Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dealing with Negativity

So although I've really had a lot of support and positive responses to my homeschooling news, there has been some negativity. To be expected I guess. Dealing with this negativity is difficult because it usually comes from those closest to us. Why is that? Why are we hardest on the ones we love the most? Why do we tear our loved ones down instead of building them up sometimes?

I'm sure I am not completely without blame in this category, but I like to think that I am almost always very positive when loved ones share an idea, express creativity, or come to me with something important. Unless I was truly afraid for their welfare, I don't think I would be negative (not intentionally anyway). And maybe that's it. Maybe it is not intentional and they don't realize they are doing it?

For example, playing the 'Devil's advocate' role. I soooooooooooo don't get this at all. Unless you are asked to help brainstorm a problem or you are asked to weigh the pros and cons, WHY would anyone play Devil's advocate unsolicited? I find this highly insulting. AHEM, I am 38 years old, have a Master's degree, own a home, have a successful career, and have managed to raise my girls (with the hubbs of course) to be pretty awesome kids (if I do say so myself), I am generally a good person. Do I appear incompetent? OK rant over.

I know everyone deals with this negativity in their daily lives. The snide comments, the eye rolls, the doubt, the 'I'm saying something that sounds helpful but is really underhanded and negative.' I just don't understand it I guess. I get when it comes from people who are envious, or do not feel good enough about themselves to celebrate others' successes, but I don't understand when it comes from those closest to you. The ones that are supposed to love you unconditionally. The ones who are supposed to support you and help you along the way. If I have ever been negative to anyone in this way, I truly apologize and did not realize I was being negative.

So maybe we should all think before we speak next time. Is what we are saying REALLY helpful? Are we being positive, supportive, nurturing? Are we lifting our loved ones up or tearing them down? Just about every adult I love is a competent, smart, level-headed human being. Let's treat each other this way. Give each other the respect that we deserve. Realize that unless we ask for help, we are really just looking for support and praise. Ranting off a grocery list of 'what ifs' doesn't help anyone. Assume we have gone over that grocery list 100 times already. And even if there are negatives (which there are in every situation) support your loved ones ANYWAY. Because you love them and they deserve your support.

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