I recently read a stream of social media posts criticising others for complaining about an event. Others chose to ignore the negativity and stress the positives of the event. It struck me that there will always be dissenters whatever the situation, we will never all agree!
When faced with other people’s negativity it’s really useful to see that we have a choice about how we experience it. I was left feeling compassion for those experiencing the negativity, whether first hand as dissenters against the event or those who had become caught up in their own negative response. I now see all negativity is just a result of a low state of mind in that moment. Despite how it might look, nobody chooses to be in a low state of mind, but we can get stuck there!
It’s really helpful to understand how the mind works, to recognise when we are in a low state of mind and to know that it will pass on its own. When it comes to interacting on social media it would be really neat if a warning signal could pop up on the screen to remind us not to ‘comment’ when in a low state of mind. We just need reminding that our state of mind has nothing to do with either the event or the negativity of others and everything to do with our own thinking in the moment.
The mind works 100% from the inside out; this means our experience is created within our own minds and that nothing on the outside can make us feel anything. We misunderstand how it works when we blame something other than our thinking for those negative feelings of frustration, disappointment or embarrassment.
Someone else’s negativity tells us that they are caught up in their personal thinking and have misunderstood where those negative feelings are coming from. Their negativity tells us nothing useful about ourselves. We therefore don’t need to get caught up in their negativity but are free to feel compassion for them or at least to give them space to see this for themselves. We know this because when our own thinking is clearer and calmer, we respond to things very differently. It explains why we all see things differently; we have separate realities depending on our state of mind (our personal thinking) in the moment.
We are human beings experiencing the ebb and flow of life. It is so much easier when you know not to take anyone else’s negativity personally.