Embracing the negative is so much easier than listening to the positive. The smiles we receive during the day, the compliments, the uplifting conversations – they instantly fade away whenever someone tells us a negative thing. Why has our skepticism become such a habit?
I’m not sure why, but I too have been doing this very same thing – embracing negativity – for a long time. Growing up with dyslexia wasn’t exactly easy in the 80s and 90s. The education system hadn’t heard of the D-word yet. The comments I got were, “she is really lazy”, “she doesn’t take her time to read what she needs to do”, “she is not very good at taking instructions”, or even better “she is really not interested”.
It was only much later that I learnt to appreciate that the way I looked at words stirred unique things in me – completely different from people with regular vision or reading skills. I also learned that there is nothing wrong with the fact, that my way of interpretation isn’t always the exact same as someone else’s. The interpretation of words – how we translate them for our use – is an individual process.
The good thing about this experience, is that it prepared me how to deal with feedback of people around us. If someone tells you that you are not doing well, then that is their opinion, it is their view. It has got nothing to do with you.
I have a different skill set, maybe one that doesn’t fit in with the mainstream, but that did not stop me from embracing my love of putting words behind one another.
The moment I understood that this is my passion, I started to write again in my spare time again and truly enjoy it. I began just to write down my thoughts and ideas, to channel information or stories that I saw happing with my mind’s eye.
And look at me now. All the creativity I like to put into words. I write these blogs, and jump on every opportunity I get to write more.
So today I would like to invite you to do the same.
Just check in with yourself whenever someone is telling you that you weren’t powerful enough in the meeting, that your organising skills were not good enough for the event, that you are just not a good sister/partner/parent. Take notice when someone tells you that you are ‘not yourself today’.
Truth is, that these comments say more about them, because it is their point of view. Of course, they can share that with you, but you have all the right to decline it.
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You do not have to embrace their negativity. It is feedback, simply a view coming from someone else. You can listen to it, and if there is something you agree with and if it is constructive, you can take it aboard. But remember at all times:
You have the right to decline negative input of others. To shrug your shoulders and move on.
I have learned that it is important that an editor looks at my work before I send it out. I am very grateful for my editor! Other than that, I just throw the feedback into the river of the day and let it flow all away.
I look forward hearing your stories. What did you throw into the river today?
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