Today’s topic is… Mental/Habitual Talk (Part One)
There are two sides to this I want to talk about. The external negative chatter, and the internal negative chatter.
Let’s tackle the external stuff first…
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t said something negative about someone else.
Be it their physical appearance (weight, clothes, hair, etc), their choices in life, etc.
I feel some of this can be coming from a place of character study, empathy, sympathy or simply passing on bad news. Sometimes it comes from admiring someone and their accomplishments…
I also know quite often it comes with the harsher side of things… judgment, contempt or gossiping.
There is harm in the latter.
It’s easy to pass judgment on people.
It’s easy to say:
“Look at her, she’s so skinny, she doesn’t know what it’s like to have to work at anything.”
“Look at her, her life is so easy, she’s fit and has perfect hair.”
“Look at him… He’s always so dumpy, why doesn’t he take care of himself?”
“Look at him… He’s huge… why doesn’t he just stop eating so much?”
“She’s such a tramp, just look at her walking around in those skimpy clothes.”
Is it really that much harder to look deeper into why we are saying those things?
Is it that we’re envious because someone appears to have their ducks in a row, and appears to have found a way to balance life and put their physical health as a primary importance?
Is it that we are scared people think we’re dumpy? That we don’t take care of our appearance, and therefore think less of us?
Is it that we’re jealous that someone can wear revealing clothes without inhibitions?
I don’t pass judgments or say cruddy things about others to try to help them. I don’t 100% know why I do it actually. I think it’s a meld of some things identifiable… envy, fear of having those same things true of me, awareness, and partially sadness for someone and not knowing how to help. And sometimes, I think if I can point out other’s failings, it will cover up mine, or make mine more acceptable.
What I do know is that this negative talk defines me or defines us… It lowers us. It makes us less in the grand scheme of the world.
It’s part of the seedy underbelly of our society… A flaw that doesn’t serve the greater good.
And honestly, saying things like that… does it even do any good for the person that it’s about? Does it improve their sense of self? Does it make them happier and prouder of themselves? Is it going to help me lose weight to come down on someone else who has been successful? Or come down on someone who has not been successful?
Otherwise, why don’t we go out of our way to befriend someone and see if we can help, rather than push them down further? Even if we’re not saying these things to people’s faces (and I rarely have been brazen enough to have done so) we’re still pushing them down, even if it’s just in our own minds, or behind their backs. Or why don’t we befriend them because we secretly admire them and want to learn how they have gotten to be so awesome? Building someone else up… it doesn’t make us any less. If we all worked to admire something about someone else, we might be surprised at the outcome.
I am aware that every time I say something derogatory, or negative, or judgmental about someone else it’s damaging me. In the eyes of those around me, and internally. I makes me ashamed of my behavior and I think I’m ready to be more aware of it. To stop judging people. First step is awareness… From there I think I can minimize the frequency. 🙂 Who’s with me?!?