Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Why Must We Be So Negative?

with 12 comments

Folks, the other day I read an interesting post by my friend Tajwar Fatma, she of the blog Life As We Have Never Known it. She’d just passed ten thousand hits on her blog — a truly impressive feat, if you think about it — and she decided to talk about how much negativity she’s had to overcome during her newfound blogging career. (It’s called “Overcoming Negativity,” and can be found here.)

This got me thinking.

Why must we all be so negative all the time?

Granted, there are plenty of negative things in this world. Politics often makes no sense. The weather is too hot, too cold, or maybe just too boring. Prices are rising. Everything we seem to like gives us cancer; everything we don’t like is touted as curing everything down to the common cold, but is ultimately just good, solid food that we continue to dislike.

So, we can eat healthy and hate it. Or we can eat what we like and clog our arteries (at best).

It seems like no matter what we do, we can’t win.

I have no answer for why others are negative. But I do have an answer for how to overcome your own negativity, at least in part.

First, as Tajwar put it in her blog, “Don’t let negativity get to your mind and heart. You have to lose in order to win. And if you can’t handle criticism and negativity, you sure can’t handle praise and victory!”

Second, you need to realize that some of this negativity, regardless of how personal it feels at the time, is not being directed at you in specific. It’s because people are frustrated, upset, angry, or sometimes even jealous of the fact that you’re still trying, but they’ve given up.

Third, it’s important to keep going because you know in your heart that what you’re doing matters to you. (For example, I continue to write, despite the struggles and life-worries and frustrations, because writing matters very much to me. And my stories matter, too.)

Don’t let anyone tell you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter. Or that no one will ever care, either.

As a barely-succeeding author (someone most people don’t even know about), I’m here to tell you that so long as you care, that’s all that matters.

So keep doing what you are. Work hard on yourself, and spread joy and light and life wherever you can. Try to overcome the negativity in this world as best you can (mind, constructive criticism is not negativity, but that’s a separate issue and I’m not going to get into it now).

And most importantly of all: Whenever you get a negative thought about what you’re doing right now, do your best to throw it out. (Or better yet, laugh at it, as Tajwar suggested in her blog.) Don’t let that negative thought stop you from doing whatever it is that you need or want to do…because that’s the only way that you truly lose.

And I see no purpose in that. (I hope you don’t, either.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Well said Barb 😉 xx

    Jack Eason

    August 26, 2017 at 12:48 am

    • Thanks, Jack! Glad you enjoyed it.

      Barb Caffrey

      August 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    • There is a lovely addition to the anti-negativity treasure-house that can be found in, amongst other places, Buddhist practice. ‘Tonglen’ is a (usually meditative) technique involving breathing in an imaginary thick, black smoke that is negativity (such as despair, hatred of someone or self, fear, whingeing, the neighbour’s dog barking several times at night, you name it…) and breathing out a clear light that disperses the smoke. it does involve some commitment to meditation/concentration, but is something that can be effective. ‘Tonglen’ is quick to find on the internet. The practice itself takes a bit longer…


      August 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

      • It sounds interesting, and helpful. Thanks for letting me know about it. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        August 28, 2017 at 11:08 pm

  2. Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Say no to negativity…

    Jack Eason

    August 26, 2017 at 12:49 am

  3. I liked Tajwar’s blog and I like this one too! I agree, the world seems to be focused on negativity (which is why I stopped reading the newspaper 😅), and we should focus on the positivity and light instead. ❤️✨


    August 27, 2017 at 6:38 am

    • My niece has come up with a workaround that I think may help; she only looks at the news for five minutes a day, and skims to see if there’s anything she needs to know right away. If there isn’t, fine; if there is, she reads it and moves on. That way, she’s staying informed but not letting herself get weighed down. (Need I point out that my niece, who’s also a writer, reads faster than I do? But it’s still a workable concept; most of the rest of us, myself included, might want to give it fifteen minutes, though, not five.)

      Thanks for enjoying the blog, Nicolle. 🙂

      Barb Caffrey

      August 28, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      • That’s a good idea! I read a little faster than average so that might for me. 😀


        August 29, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      • 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        August 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm

  4. My wife teaches 4th grade. They have to set goals for themselves each year. This year her goal is positivity, to brighten someone’s spirits every day.


    August 29, 2017 at 10:49 am

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