It saddens me that as I write this, I feel like there is so much hatred around. And I suppose these days we are exposed to so much more thanks the way we consume media, which feels like it’s non-stop and all around us. I have begun to see this parallel though and I’m conflicted about it. We are a society that is constantly talking about trolls online and bullying, but we are the same society that aggressively and public condemns anyone that expresses their opinion that might not be in line with the majority, might be a bit controversial or offends someone. We are telling people online not to hate on someone’s post or photo and to refrain from online bullying, yet so many of us seem to partake in some form of bullying ourselves. Someone speaks out or has a public opinion and then there is a petition with thousands of signatures to get that person sacked. Is that bullying or just having a say? We might have supposed free speech, but that speech doesn’t always come without consequences. So, then it is even free speech? What are we teaching this next generation? If someone says something you don’t like, start a petition to get them sacked? We have grown to be a society that believes because we have these avenues to express our opinions that we should express them all the time. We should correct people, we should tell them when they are wrong, we should give our advice even when it’s not asked for. This behaviour has nearly become habitual and the new norm. You used to have to have some form of credentials to be a person of influence and have a say to a large audience of people. Now you just need a social media account.
But we also tend to do this in a relationship more too. We criticise before we compliment. We give our two cents when our partners haven’t asked for it with the belief that we are just trying to help them out. We think because we have been told to always be honest, that we should speak the truth not even stopping to think if our opinions are truth or just that, opinions. Yes, we are also seeing love, we are seeing people unite in the face of diversity, but we are also seeing fear and hate and a confusion amongst people as to what to say and do. It’s only natural some of these feelings have the capabilities of extending into our personal lives too. Anger and hatred are not just feelings that stop at one issue. Once you start focusing on hatred, anger and even revenge, it has the capability to consume you. And what do you think it’s like to be in a relationship with someone who is consumed by this negativity, especially when the person themselves are unaware of even how it’s impacting them and the way they react to those closest to them?
It might not be even be the political client, media or online bullying but every day stress. If we allow ourselves to become all consumed by negativity in some other areas in our lives, then we might just experience that negativity in our love life too. You don’t really get a say as to where you can stop these negative feelings and thoughts, what aspects of your life you get to isolate them too. So, when it’s there, it’s there and it has the capability of staying there too.
Keeping this in mind, my message this week is one of love. I might sound like one of those annoying people right now, but since love is what I deal with so much in my professional life, I think now is a good time to focus and celebrate it. Think love before hatred, think positivity before negativity and kindness before revenge. Can you compliment someone online before you get into a political debate? Can you ask someone how they are doing and show care before you scroll through the latest news? Whilst having an opinion on current affairs and being involved is important, it’s also important to ensure that negativity does not consume you and that you bring a little more love into your life, even in a time when things can feel so cruel. Are you allowing stress at work to follow you home? Are you bringing conflict with someone else onto your spouse? Sometimes there is a mantra or trick that can pull you from the depths of negativity, hatred or despair. Sometimes it’s just a matter of being aware of where that negativity is coming from and how it’s impacting other areas in your life.
And when it comes to that person you love, tell them something you like about them before you tell them something you wish they would change. Tell them something you think is amazing before you give any honest feedback on a task they might have done. Tell them what you enjoy about their company, what they do that you love, what they say that makes you laugh. Do something for them just because you know it would make them happy. Say yes to them more than you say no.
We focus so much on giving feedback that can be perceived as negativity that we seem to do this with our loved ones too. Our loves ones are not work, they are not a social media network, a forum or political debate. Be mindful of showing love first, otherwise that negativity might just have a grasp over you and your relationship too.
I don’t know if love makes the world go around, it seems to be spinning on its own right now. But I do know that love makes a huge difference in your life and your relationships and that negativity, hatred and revenge have the ability to stop you not only feeling but expressing love too.
We are all wanting a happier and more fulfilling life. Maybe the answer is not to fight for it, but to get it by expressing love and positivity not only onto ourselves but to others too.