The essence of understanding negativity is in the awareness of this fact:
Negative thinking is a protection against disappointment.
The negative thinker expects nothing good to happen and is not disappointed when nothing good happens. Most negative thinkers develop early in life, but occasionally the ravages of time chip away at the positive attitude of an adult, and those who are beset by constant disappointment often turn to the protective cloak of negative thinking, thereby avoiding additional pain.
As the negative thinker is never disappointed, it would seem that negative thinking has positive results. However, there is a side effect to negative thinking.
When one loses the excitement of positive expectations, life becomes dull and bland, a spiceless existence.
When people have nothing to look forward to, no goals and few desires, that dullness creates an apathy that brings with it the depressive state that so many in our modern society are afflicted with.
And following closely behind depression is that state of mind that preys on many of the elderly, despair.
Despair is a feeling that what is desired is impossible to attain.
When despair comes into people’s lives, they care little for anything, feeling that anything they want will be impossible to get.
They learn to want nothing and life soon becomes no more than a waiting room for the grim reaper.
Hopefully you're not bothered by this unfortunate affliction, but you may know someone who is. The easiest way to protect yourself against people like this is to avoid them.
Dealing With Negative People
What if the afflicted is a loved one, a close friend, a business associate, or an acquaintance?
Let us see how a negative thinker is born, for an understanding of this type of person may help you decide to what degree you may wish to be involved.
Birth of a Negative Thinker
Betty W. was six years old and a more exuberant, positive, excited young lady would be hard to find. The world was bright and gay and filled with wonder.
Every stroll down the street led her to new discoveries.
For her, grass was always green, the sky was always blue.
When she awakened in the morning, she could hardly wait to jump out of bed to see what new wonders the world held in store.
One day her mother says, “Betty, we’re going to the zoo this weekend,” and Betty is joyful and animated as she tells her friends all about her impending visit to the zoo.
Friday evening comes and her mother says to Betty, “I’m sorry, darling, I know I promised to take you to the zoo, but Daddy has to work this weekend, and we can’t go.”
Betty is desolate. But with her youthful energy she bounces back and is her old self once again by Sunday.
A few weeks go by and Betty’s mother says to her joyfully, “Honey, I know we disappointed you about the zoo but this time for sure we’re going for a picnic in the park on Sunday.”
And Betty jumps into the air with a great “Hooray!” and runs to tell her friends. Saturday comes and Betty’s mother says, “I’m terribly sorry, Betty, but I forgot we’re going to Grandma’s house and can’t go on the picnic.”
". . .she does not expect good things to happen. . ."
Now Betty loves her grandmother dearly, but if she were to weigh going to grandmother’s against a picnic in the park, Grandma would lose every time.
Once again Betty is disappointed. It won’t happen the second time, the fifth time, perhaps not even the twentieth time Betty is disappointed.
But one day, when mother says something like, “Betty, we’re going to the amusement park this weekend,”
Betty will say in reply, “Aw, it’ll probably rain Mother, or Daddy will have to work, or maybe I’ll get sick.”
And another negative thinker has been born.
Betty learned that disappointment hurts. She does not want to be hurt anymore and so has figured out for herself that if she does not expect good things to happen, she will not be disappointed when they don’t, and therefore will not be hurt.
Negative People Have Many Disappointments
Understanding that a negative person is a person who has had many disappointments in life, brings you to a better awareness of why they think as they do.
It takes a lot of programming and reinforcement through the years to produce a negative thinker. It is unlikely that you are going to turn one around with a few words. You can, however, put them on the road back to the positive mode by reversing the process.
Negative thinkers are born through disappointment.
The way to turn negative thinkers around is to make sure that you personally never disappoint them.
Many who have loved ones in rest homes or other institutions for the aged have discovered that for the most part an aura of negativity hangs over the place like a cloud of fog, infecting everyone inside.
Those who make the attempt to turn someone around face a formidable task - formidable, but not impossible. It is possible to reverse the method it took to turn six year-old Betty into a negative thinker.
Restoring a Zest for Life
Call your institutionalized loved one on the telephone or write and set an exact time that you will be there to visit. Be there at that time.
When leaving, make up a strange time for your return visit. Say something like, “Dear, I’m visiting a friend in the neighborhood next Tuesday and I have to leave there at twelve. I’ll be here to see you on Tuesday at twelve-seventeen.”
Make sure that you both have the same time, and make doubly sure that you’re there at precisely 12:17 for you can bet that they will be staring at the hands of the clock from the moment twelve o’clock comes along. It will take awhile, but one day your loved one will begin to come back to life.
“You know,” you might hear, “the food tastes a little better.”
Suddenly, appetites begin to return, not necessarily just for food but for experience, for change, for a grain of excitement.
It’s unlikely that negative thinkers will turn into Pollyannas, but your goal should be to carry them as far from despair as possible.
What of those people you feel are impossible to change?
Or those people who are not loved ones but who you do not wish to avoid, for whatever reason.
If you simply avoid a negative person, then of course you’ve rid yourself of the problem.
Using the same method of not disappointing them until they are secure with you, you may well find that their negativity is confined to those outside the sphere of your relationship.
Determine the relationship between yourself and the negative person. It may be that you have a subconscious need to torment yourself due to some recent or long-forgotten guilt.
All people have problems that you're not aware of. These problems that often affect:
You will be better equipped to help those people as well as yourself by using the visual images of the positive thinker and the Reiki mental/emotional symbol. Get yourself grounded as well with the Raku symbol and approach each situation with optimism. Practice this t echnique for restoring the 'zest for life' in a loved one. See the difference in how you can positively influence and change their expected outcome.