4 Reasons Why You’re Stuck Feeling So Negative
#2: You talk too much sh*t.
“I don’t know why I’m feeling so negative lately,” she said for the third day that week. “It’s so annoying.”
This was sandwiched in a conversation about friends and work between a friend (I’ll refer to her as Amber) and me.
This time, I noticed that all she said was just that. The topic changed immediately. She didn’t really think about why she was feeling negative or what she could do to feel positive. I suppose she was just interested in trying to let it pass on its own.
She didn’t want to take control of her emotional destiny, but she wanted to complain about how it wasn’t working.
She didn’t want to clean up her diet, but she wanted to complain about how she was gaining weight.
She didn’t want to get a new job as I suggested, but she wanted to complain about her current job to me on the daily.
We’ve talked about all of these things dozens of times, but at some point, I realized that my suggestions wouldn’t change her. Only she had the power to let go of negativity in her life.
I’ve noticed small habits that allow negativity to build-up in my life, or in other people’s lives.
You’re settling for what you have.
“[People] do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”
— James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
I don’t think Amber agreed with me that she was worthy of being treated well at her job because for so long she had put up with the crappy job that she hated. When I would suggest new options for other job places, she would make excuses for wanting to stay. “Where is there to go?… I like my coworkers…I don’t want to start somewhere new.”
When you stay where you are, even though it’s making you miserable, you’re doing two things.
- You’re telling yourself that you belong in that environment, that you deserve to be there. Then you don’t feel comfortable leaving because part of your identity is rooted in that negative place.
- You’re holding yourself back from what you could achieve. Instead of staying at her no-tip, fast-food job she hates and complaining about it, Amber could be working at a restaurant making an hourly wage and tips, meeting new people, and enjoying herself. She could take control of her life, but she doesn’t want to.
If you want to get out of a negative place, get out of your negative mindset. Begin with the way you think about yourself, what you’re worth, and how you want to live your life. Don’t put up with anything less.
You’re talking bad about ✨yourself✨.
The thing people say you should avoid is usually talking bad about other people. Gossip is hurtful to others, sure. I agree.
But if there’s anything more poisonous to your confidence, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth, it’s talking bad about yourself.
You wouldn’t go up to a friend and tell her she’s trash, ugly, doesn’t deserve to have money or love, and you probably wouldn’t even think that about her either. Why are you doing it yourself, often without fully realizing the effect of your words?
The problem is words and thoughts; words are just a reflection of thoughts. If you think you’re not worthy of love, that you’re lonely because you’re not worthy of love, it does the same damage as looking in the mirror and saying, “I hate you.”
Amber has been known to slip self-deprecation into conversations about clothing and food, and it didn’t come as a surprise to me when she said she was unhappy with her life.
At dinner, when the food would come out, she’d “joke” about “getting fat” instead of enjoying the food and being grateful, or even choosing something healthier.
While shopping, when we’d try on clothes, she’d casually remark how bad she looked (not even in the clothes — in her body!).
She would talk about herself like she was a piece of trash, as much as I hate to say it. It really makes me sad to see. To me and anyone who knows her, Amber is beautiful, funny, outgoing and smart. To herself, Amber is worthless, less-than, and undeserving.
She might not say that out loud, but it’s clear that she’s thinking it.
It’s not a good feeling to admit that you don’t love yourself. It often hurts just to think about it. But it’s the first step in healing and learning to love yourself. It’s the step Amber wasn’t willing to take.
This is where positive affirmations come into play. They’re powerful because they change the thoughts that you have about yourself by using the words you’re using. They reverse negativity.
It takes a while, and lots of repetition, but it’s guaranteed that if you spend enough time saying, “I am beautiful, I am worthy of love and money and happiness…” your brain will start to believe it and your actions will start to match it.
Everyone around you is negative.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
— Jim Rohn
In our recent phone conversations, Amber often winds up talking about her friends, from work and school.
But it’s never in a positive way. She doesn’t talk about how much fun they have at work, or how funny and uplifting her friends are.
It’s almost always negative. Person X was complaining at work. Person Y was upset, making fun of Person Z, etc. Never a good word to say about her friends. How much can she like herself?
The people around you the most are going to be your greatest influence; it’s a fact of nature. Be incredibly selective about who you let into your life.
Maybe you haven’t found your tribe yet. But spend more time with people who make you feel good about yourself and who feel good about themselves — even if right now it’s just one person.
Maybe right now it’s no one. Fine. Spend time alone and seek out ways to meet new people. When you hold yourself to a higher standard, you will attract the right people into your life.
You’re not practicing self-love.
She treats her body, mind, and spirit poorly, and it shows. Not only is it a result of the way she thinks and speaks, her lack of self-care influences it.
A part of having low-self worth that most people don’t talk about is feeling like you’re undeserving of small gifts or gestures. Stop telling yourself that and be deliberate about teaching yourself to see how much you’re worth. No one else can; only you.
Treat yourself more or at least as much as you treat others. Learn how to take care of your body and mind. Learn how to manage your time, money, and environment, and you’ll find that you begin to feel more valuable.
Negativity is a cycle that has to be broken by a deliberate and conscious change in one of the areas of life.
Image by the author.
Bonus: You’re more invested in other people’s lives than your own.
The only people I know that are interested in celebrity gossip and follow it religiously are those who don’t like what’s happening in their own lives. It then leads to comparison, which reinforces low self-esteem. Don’t get caught in the trap.
I don’t mean to put anyone or Amber down. I don’t mean to be better-than-thou. I’ve been where she is, and I spent years there. I know many other people just like her, and most of her friends have the same attitude. I’ve put the work in to change my mind, and my life, and I want to help other people do the same.
The truth is, strong people and strong women don’t let circumstances dictate their happiness. I didn’t mention any outward influences like tragedy or fear because those are often out of one’s control. The way you should approach life in general starts from within, from cultivating inner peace and love.
Everyone gets into bad moods. But when a bad mood persists and negativity seeps into the way you look at life, it’s a sign of something deeper inside of you. Pull out the roots and the weeds won’t grow back easily.
Start building the life you truly want. After all, you’re the only one who can do it.
Originally published on medium.