Today’s Thought: We rise by lifting others.
One of my honesty goals was to ensure that I always spoke kindly and honestly to others and about others. I wanted to stop the cycle of negative talk about other people – I lived in fear about them finding out and it always made me feel guilty. I have certainly improved in this aspect of my life, but I still think I can do better. There are times when people I work with annoy me so much, that I find myself joining in with negative talk about them. There are also times when I find myself afraid of a colleague and I use negative gossip as a way to ingratiate myself with them – this is the habit I need to break the most.
I dislike this behaviour in myself – it is neither kind, nor honest and I can do better. I found this excellent advice about how to avoid joining in with negative talk on ‘behappier.com:
1. Go silent and give yourself big points for restraining yourself from being judgmental and critical.
2. Put on some lip balm or take a sip of a drink – it keeps your lips busy, so you will be less tempted to join in with the conversation!
3. Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. With each one, imagine you’re erasing all your gossipy, small-minded, nit-picking thoughts.
4. Revel in the positivity and peace of mind that comes from knowing you won’t have anything to feel guilty about later on when you replay the conversation in your mind. You won’t have anything to feel anxious about in terms of them finding out what you said about them.
5. Think of 3 positive things about the person being talked about.
6. If you can’t think of 3 positive things, try thinking of 3 compassionate reasons to explain why the person being discussed could be a little annoying.
7. If you can’t do that, try radical compassion – remember that everyone is fighting a hard battle we know nothing about, therefore it is important to always be kind!
8. Remember that no one is perfect, including yourself. Think of all the ways people could and probably do talk about you behind your back – it doesn’t feel good, so why would you do it to someone else.
9. Be mindful of what it feels like to resist a negative urge (gossiping) and how relatively easy it is to replace it with a positive one (kindness).
10. Remember how good kindness and honesty feel!
I am going to make use of this good advice this week and perhaps share it with the person I am most likely to fall into the trap of negative talk with – maybe we can fight the urge together; maybe I can help them realise how destructive their habit is.
Be positive, be kind, be honest and feel the freedom wash over you.