It’s amazing what you learn by looking at someone’s analysis of themselves. I am coming close to the end of the “happiness project” book, and it’s currently talking about having a negative outlook. Gretchen mentions how she tends to take opposing opinions in arguments and argues other people’s point of view even if she really doesn’t have any knowledge on the topic. I’ve come to realise that’s exactly what I do these days, and it made me wonder how this happened, and why I do it…
The first thought I had was that this could actually be a good thing. It means whenever something is presented to me I don’t just take it at face value, I actually think about it and consider other perspectives, I guess kind of like when we change the name of something to something that is just a different inflection of the sound of the word. Kind of like how we call a Toyota Kluger a “klugger”. While it is a good thing to think about things somewhat is this really a constructive way to spend ones time?
I started thinking about my own experiences. I often take an opposing opinion when things upset me, or when the topic involves something that’s very mainstream and I don’t want to follow the crowd (one of my commandments). I guess I often look for the negatives when I’m in a mood. My husband knows this more than anyone, and sometimes I just get into an oppositional mood. Imagining someone else do this made me realise how it must look to others, and I don’t meant to be like that, but I think I have taught myself to consider opposite ideas and think about things from different perspectives. Maybe from a place of needing to problem solve, and maybe it contributes to problem solving to some degree, but it’s a kind of negativity I want to get rid of.
I want to be more involved in conversations, I want to listen, not only to wait long enough to offer my opinion, but to hear. I sometimes find myself competing in conversations, usually when someone else has initiated it, but I think this is an area I need to work on as well. I hate when I do it, but for some reason I can’t help it at the time. I want to stop inflicting my opinions on other people, and acting like my ideas are better than theirs, sometimes ideas work for one person but not another.
It’s time to update my months objectives:
- No need to compete
- Engage in someone else’s conversation without making it my own
- Keep negative and opposing opinions to myself unless directly asked (as this would be rude)
- Remember people’s names (this is something I’ve been thinking about as I am useless at remembering names)
- Don’t invalidate other’s ideas
- Everyone is entitled to their own likes
Looking back over this I feel like it makes me sound obnoxious, but I guess I have developed a way of asserting myself that’s maladaptive. I often find myself opposing peoples’ perspectives when I feel they think they’re better than me, and pointing out that I am better of as I am.
This month is about “letting go”, so I hope to let this maladaptive behaviour go with it. I’m trying to lighten up, relax and not stress so much. Improve my time management so that I don’t get stressed by needing to rush places.