As discussed around the same time last year, New Year’s resolutions are not for everybody. Some stick to that convention, others distance themselves for various reasons. I’ll share my personal resolution with you and invite you to try it for yourselves, no matter if you are a believer or not.
Whenever I am just saying something derogative about a person or a thing I will immediately pause for a moment and I will not say it.
That’s my resolution. Straightforward, simple, but not easy as the first days of 2016 have shown. But, for the last 60+ hours I have been quite successful. This resolution conveys a very interesting aspect: it makes me listen to and observe myself. I have to be quick, very quick. It turns out: speaking in a derogative way happens often, much more often I had been aware of. I’m not necessarily talking about plainly denigrating somebody, but about placing myself about others in any way. Observing myself makes me more conscious about my behavior, and more sensitive about the presences and reactions of others.
Another first days experience is the feeling of being satisfied not having said something. When thinking about the consequences of something derogative I could or would have said, I feel quite relieved not having added some negative aspect to a conversation. Additionally, I’m quite sure that there would not have been any added value if I had brought my negativism to the table.
From time to time I have discussed this “no negativism” approach with some friends. Many of them could not agree with me referrring to a “real world” with all the aspects of “good and bad”. Yes. that’s true. I don’t see things through rose-colored glasses (I stopped wearing glasses at all). But I’m willing to test my hypothesis that consciously avoiding negativism will create a more positive atmosphere, or at least it won’t unnecessarily pollute the environment. This is my personal decision and it has nothing to do with the external world in the first instance. I just stop adding my share of negativism and watch the effects.
Please feel invited to test this hypothesis yourselves! I would love to hear some feedback: does it work for you as it does for me? What effects do you see?