I don’t think anyone becomes an educator to spread negativity. At least not anyone I have ever met. And yet, there are some that seem to thrive on negativity, that cannot wait to spread the latest bad news, or relive someone else’s failure. Sometimes you can spot them a mile away, it is like a cloud of negativity surrounds them, but other times they sneak into your life and you don’t even realize the conversation you are engaged in until it is over and you are left with a stone in your stomach or your smile gone.
I used to get sucked into negativity all of the time. It makes for juicy conversations and it creates an instant bond between those who are commiserating. It wasn’t until Brandon, my much smarter husband, pointed out how I brought it all home that I realized what I was being sucked into. I was so eager to share the failures that I didn’t leave room for all of the happy that happened every day. I had become the negative myself.
So what can you do if you find yourself surrounded by negativity, big or small? My aha moment was realizing that you don’t need to be a part of it. You are allowed to leave the conversation or steer it in a different direction. Now, when a negative conversation starts up around me I try to find the positive in it or crack a joke. Of course, I am never perfect but this works a lot of the time.
But an even bigger aha moment? Don’t give the person spreading negativity any power. When you give your time to someone, you are offering them a part of you. If you listen to someone, you are giving them power in an audience. Remove the audience and all they will be left with is their negativity.
In the end, we have to find out own happiness. We don’t go to school to bring students down so why should the words we pick bring others down? I laugh more now because I choose to. Happiness is a choice, as is negativity, don’t be the one others try to steer clear of.