If Your Words Are Not Helpful, Keep Them to Yourself
I really can’t stand negative and fearful talk. I don’t see any point in it. What good can possibly come from that? None. But it can cause a whole lot of damage.
I’ve known a few people like that in my life. It’s one thing to have a conversation with someone about specific concerns during the decision-making process, when many factors need to be taken into account. But once there is a decision, there is absolutely no point in going on and on about all the possible things that could go wrong.
The only thing worse than offering an unsolicited opinion is offering an unsolicited opinion that is destructive, whether or not that was the intent. Speaking without specifically having positive intentions is a dangerous road to travel.
It sucks when there you are, already doing battle with your fears, shoving them aside as best you can, when people start launching them back in your face. What if this doesn’t work? What if that fails? What are you going to do if…
Maybe you’ve now got yourself into something that you can’t easily undo, and you must carry on with your plan. But there are those Negative Nellies who seem to think it’s necessary to keep feeding your fears. For some reason, they keep asking, “What if your worst fear comes true??”
Or perhaps you have an idea, a dream. Bravely, you share your excitement and your plans with someone. And the response is, “That will never work.” Or “What’s the point?” or “You wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Your heart sinks. You feel deflated. You agree, “What’s the point?” and you give up before you’ve even tried.
There will always be those people who burst your bubble, or who focus on fear and pessimism, and who feed these to you as often as they can get you to choke them down. I’m sure it’s their own fears, failures, shattered dreams and bad experiences that make them say such things.
But whatever it is that drives them to do this, you must never let anyone else shoot you down. Tell them how you feel. Tell them to keep their negativity to themselves and if they have nothing good to say, nothing positive, useful, helpful – or at least innocuous – then tell them not to bother saying anything at all.
Negative, fearful talk just weighs people down, holds them back, and keeps them stuck. And if you are one of those people who just has to fret and worry out loud, telling people all the things they should be fearing, or that might go wrong, or if you keep offering unsolicited negative opinions, stop.
It’s one thing to raise legitimate concerns. It’s another to keep harping on all the negatives after a decision has been made.
Be positive. Be uplifting. Be encouraging. Especially if you know the listener is already concerned about the same issues and is trying to move forward and overcome the obstacles. Your added negativity will only make the situation worse.
As humans, we are already primed and ready to be fearful, to worry, or to be anxious, and especially when it comes to anything pertaining to our survival. Fear takes away our power, and when we feel disempowered, we become less productive, more stressed and more anxious.
When someone keeps reminding you that you might fail, or that everything will go wrong, it’s easy to slide into that kind of thinking, making it oh, so much easier to attract the thing you fear the most because you are no longer feeling strong or confident. And that can affect your ability to make good decisions.
It is not loving or helpful to remind people that their biggest fear might become a reality. If you have to say anything at all, give them strength by encouraging them, focusing on their strengths, or strategizing about how to handle potential pitfalls. Remind them of their courage and their ability to stay calm and focused. Help them find solutions. Focus on the possibilities and remind them that they are powerful, resourceful people.
If what you have to say in any conversation is not going to be helpful, or at least innocuous, then keep it to yourself.
Written by Liberty Forrest
Award-Winning author and Huffington Post contributor, Liberty Forrest, has written several inspirational books covering a wide range of self-development, healing and empowering topics.
Living in England for many years, she appeared approximately monthly on Sue Marchant’s evening show on BBC Radio doing psychic phone-ins for listeners. She also did stage work as a medium, connecting audience members with loved ones in spirit.
With a background in social work and counselling, Liberty uses a highly creative, multifaceted approach to helping people overcome obstacles and move into a place of empowerment and connection with their Highest Selves.