Many of the life coaching clients that I work with have a similar problem. It tends to come up over and over again during my life coaching sessions. RELATIONSHIPS: finding them, keeping them, and thriving in them.
Would You Hang Out With You?
It sounds a little silly at first, but it’s an important question to ask. We make all kinds of judgments about the people that we surround ourselves with. Is she generous enough? Is he interesting enough? And so on. But how often do we stop and take ourselves into consideration?
What sort of traits do you look for in a friend or partner?
- Sense of humor
Have you ever stopped to consider whether or not you are in possession of all of these traits? Have you ever wondered if, given the choice, you would choose to hang out with you?
I’ve written about how I used to suffer from terrible anxiety. Like all anxiety, my anxiety was mainly characterized by negative, irrational thoughts. That negativity pervaded every aspect of my mind, and my personality. In short, I was a negative person. The sad part was that at the time, I didn’t realize it. None of us seem to have trouble identifying the negative people in our lives. Yet, when we are the negative person, suddenly… we’re clueless.
The reason many people are completely clueless about the fact that they are negative is because they are entirely lacking self-realization. Self-realization simply means how well we “realize”—or know—ourselves.
Many people view themselves in an entirely different light than the rest of the world views them. It is not a deliberate misunderstanding, it’s simply a matter of ignorance. The disconnect between how we perceive ourselves and how we actually are is a result of a disconnect between: what we think/say and what we actually do.
In our minds, we may have every intention of being a wonderful, positive person. We may tell ourselves frequently that we intend to be great. We intend to influence the world around us, creative positive change, and spread love & light. However, there is an enormous difference between: intention and action.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” —Mahatma Gandhi
Therein lies the problem. Because so much of our reality exists inside of our minds—we believe that our intentions are real. We unknowingly become delusional and end up with an entirely unrealistic picture of ourselves.
Overcoming the Delusion
The fact is, that you can’t depend on anybody (even your best friends) to tell you that you are a negative person. Most people will avoid conflict at any cost. If you are negative, they will simply avoid you or deal with it. In fact, some people may even enjoy and encourage your negativity. Remember, misery loves company.
If you really want to become more self-aware, you will have to become conscious of your thoughts, words, and actions. My favourite way to do this is by writing things down. It can all become very jumbled in your mind. However, by writing things down you can gain a clear, logical picture of you. Jot down conversations and make a note of what you add to them.
- Are you constantly complaining about the weather?
- Are you regularly gossiping about co-workers or family members?
- Are you frequently repeating disturbing/sad stories from the headlines?
- Are you always sick and whining about stomach pain/headaches/allergies/etc.?
Also, jot down your thoughts and actions a few times a day. If your thoughts are consistently different than your actions. You will become aware of that disconnect. You may find that you’ve been meaning to volunteer at your local animal shelter for months. But in reality, you’ve been spending five nights a week on the couch, streaming Netflix.
All of these behaviors are signs of negativity. You may be a negative person and not even know it. I know I was.
Become a People Magnet
The best way to attract people, is to be a person that you would be attracted to. Once you have become more self-aware, this is easy to do. Replace all of your old, negative behaviors with positive ones. Instead of focusing on the bad in your life, focus on the good.
- Instead of complaining about the weather, tell people how much you are looking forward to Sunny Summertime.
- Instead of regularly gossiping about co-workers or family members, point out people’s positive attributes. (Yes, every body’s got at least one!)
- Instead of repeating disturbing/sad stories from the headlines, spread the good news that you hear.
- Instead of moaning about sickness/pain, let people know how grateful you are to have two legs that walk, and two eyes that allow you to see this beautiful world around us. (Of course if you can’t make the legs/eyes statements, I’m sure you can think of others. The point is gratitude.)
If you just love to be around kind, generous, patient people with a great sense of humor—be a kind, generous, patient person with a great sense of humor! Now that you are aware of what you want to be, take the necessary steps to actually be that. Align your intentions with your actions.
Negativity Repels—Optimism Attracts
I am constantly amazed by the positive transformations that my clients see in their relationships, simply by transforming their thoughts. If you’ve been struggling with relationships or just trying to become a better person, give the ideas in this post a try. Let me know how it goes.
In love & light,