Become an objective observer(P.28)
Instead of reacting compulsively and retaliating, we could enjoy our freedom as human beings and refuse to be upset.
* retaliate(v.) 報復
We step away, not literally but emotionally, and look at the situation as if we are not in the middle of it, …, which is called detachment.
*detachment (n.) 抽離、超脫
Negativity is a trait, not someone’s identity.
A person’s true nature can be obscured by clouds, but, like the sun, it is always there, and clouds can overcome any of us.
*obscure(v.) 使不顯著 (adj.) 隱匿的
We have to understand this when we deal with people who exude negative energy.
Just like we wouldn’t want someone to judge us by our worst moments we must be careful not to do that to others.
When someone hurts you, it’s because they’re hurt.
Their hurt is simply spilling over.
They need help.
“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”
Spot, Stop, Swap (p.32-37)
Becoming aware of negativity means learning to spot the toxic impulses around you.
Listing your negative thoughts and comments will help you contemplate their origins.
Are you judging a friend’s appearance, and are you equally hard on your own?
Are you muttering about work without considering your own contribution?
Remembering, saying whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, is not freedom.
Real freedom is not feeling the need to say these things.
When we limit our negative speech, we may find that we have a lot less to say.
We might even feel inhibited.
Criticizing someone else’s work ethic doesn’t make you work harder.
Judging creates an illusion: that if you see well enough to judge, then you must be better, that if someone else is failing, then you must be moving forward.
In fact, it is careful, thoughtful observations that move us forward.
Stopping doesn’t mean simply shunning the negative instinct.
Notice what’s arousing your negativity, over there on your frenemy’s side of the fence.
*frenemey = friend+ enemy
Do they seem to have more time, a better job, a more active social life?
Because in the third step, swapping, you’ll want to look for seeds of the same on your turf and cultivate them.
For example, take your envy of someone else’s social whirlwind and in it find the inspiration to host a party, or get back in touch with old friends, or organize an after-work get-together.
It is important to find our significance from thinking other people have it better but from being the person we want to be.
After spotting and stopping the negativity in your heart, mind, and speech, you can begin to amend it.
…researchers have found that happy people tend to complain … mindfully.
While thoughtlessly venting complaints makes your day worse, it’s been shown that writing in a journal about upsetting events, giving attention to your thoughts and emotions, can foster growth and healing, not only mentally, but also physically.
Instead of being angry, we might better describe ourselves as annoyed, defensive, or spiteful.
We need’t reduce our thoughts and words to 100 percent sunshine and positivity.
But we should challenge ourselves to dig to the root of negativity, to understand its origins in ourselves and those around us, and to be mindful and deliberate in how we manage the energy it absorbs.
The less time you fixate on everyone else, the more time you have to focus on yourself.