Live Through This

The Power of Negative Thinking

What’s so terrible about being critical?

Illustration by Cynthia

A while ago friend of mine sent me a link to a food blog. “Everything they post is so delicious-looking!” she wrote in her email. After skimming the blog, I wrote back: “Why do they have to put a POACHED EGG on everything? It’s a salad, who needs runny, raw egg all over their lettuce? THIS IS GROSS. When did we become so precious about food? There are still people all over the place who cannot eat on the reg.” To which my friend replied, “Danielle, it’s just a FOOD BLOG. Bring it down a notch.” A few months later, another friend told me that I should watch the TV show Girls. I immediately responded: “Listen, New York is my home turf, and I know for a fact that you are contractually obligated to run into at least seven minorities a day. WHY WOULD I WATCH THIS? It completely obscures the power dynamics happening with race, young women, and invisibility.” I don’t think that friend has mentioned a single TV show to me since.

I am, at heart, a judgmental pessimist. If you mention something to me that gives you joy, I will immediately find a way to diminish it, sight unseen. That new band you like? They are total Bowie rip-offs, and they’re doing a bad job of it. Oh, you read a good book? I bet it’s about five chapters too long and not worth my time. You think yoga is the best? It makes my body hurt MORE, and all of those sun salutations make me dizzy.

I may not always express my negative thoughts out loud, but I guarantee I’m thinking them 80% of the time. I recognize that this negativity is not my most charming feature, and I try to be positive (outwardly, at least) whenever possible so that I can still have friends and ride the bus without being charged for murder. My husband jokes about giving me a special notepad to hand out demerits in public when I see someone committing a social atrocity, like slowing down on the sidewalk to text in front of me or talking loudly into their cellphone on the otherwise silent train. Since I’m not actually rude enough to tell total strangers how terrible they are, my husband, my sole witness, bears the brunt of my complaints about everything that is wrong with the world, which is EVERYTHING. (He, by contrast, is the calmest, most accepting person I have ever met, which only heightens my pessimism. Can’t he SEE how horrible everything is?)

I think some terms that are commonly used to describe people like me are: bummer, grouch, grump, curmudgeon, cynic, Debbie Downer, drag, sad sack, killjoy, and huge pain in the ass. And people like me know we’re not your favorite. “WHY do you have to be so NEGATIVE all the time?!” you will implore us. But I ask you: what is really so terrible about being critical? Why is it acceptable to see the bright side of everything, but socially unacceptable to expect the worst? Why do people treat people like me like we’re a problem that needs to be fixed?

All pessimists are regarded this way, but especially women and girls. Females like us are routinely called bitches (which in my experience tends to translate as “Oh shit, there she goes expressing her opinion again”). Our society constantly proves that it has no idea what to do with women who are not smiling and nodding; please see Exhibit A: Demi Lovato for reference, and read all of the “what HAPPENED to her?” comments from the dazed masses who expect her to always be her smiley Disney character Sonny With a Chance and not a real, grown-ass woman rightfully taking media to task for their thoughtless comments about eating disorders. Or think of any time someone randomly told you to “Smile!!!” because your scowling lady face was clearly messing up their entire day. We place a pretty high premium on girls’ being approachable, and deviating from that path can land you deep in the Forest of Bitch, like it or not.

Because of all the forces that work to hurt girls’ confidence, we’re already less likely than boys, in general, to voice our opinions. When those opinions are contrary to those of most of the people around us, it’s even harder—people will try to get us to fall in line with the majority, or, failing that, to shut up altogether. Sadly, this often works, because it’s really uncomfortable to be put on the spot. It can take just one time to make you feel terrible about speaking up, and to discourage you from ever trying it again. Take, for example, the time I raised my hand in eighth grade to disagree with my teacher’s opinions about the Gulf War. One of my classmates told me that I was “stupid, and should shut up.” I never challenged that teacher again, and I never talked in any future class I had with that student.

(Let me take a minute to say that I think it’s totally OK to call someone out in class or anywhere else if the opinion they’re expressing is racist, homophobic, trans*phobic, sexist, misogynist, ableist, ageist, or otherwise bigoted about groups of people—i.e., hateful toward people as opposed to challenging people’s ideas.)

I spent the rest of high school stifling my “controversial” opinions. In college, things were different: when someone challenged a statement made by a professor or a classmate, they weren’t shot down—their contribution led to more talking. Witnessing this encouraged me to try speaking up again, and it felt really good to engage in discussions and disagreements freely, without worrying about whether I said the “wrong” thing. I realized that I’d rather talk and risk going against the grain, than be silent about things that mattered to me or let people assume that I agreed with them when I absolutely did not. And the more I spoke up, the better I got at walking the line between being critical and staying open to dialogue. In turn, the better I got at striking that balance, the more confident I felt expressing my thoughts and ideas. (And sometimes I’d even find myself changing my mind—and being able to do that is just as important.)

Even if you’re the most posi-vibez person in the world, you will never be in a situation where every single person around you agrees with every thought you have. If you learn to say what you think without worrying about what everyone else thinks, you might find yourself, like I did, being more able to really engage in conversations, to have faith in your opinions, and to just be a fully formed person who has tons of different moods.

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51 Comments

  • oleander October 29th, 2012 11:37 PM

    found myself sort of disagreeing with this in the first few paragraphs, but then it turned out to essentially be about letting go of negativity – which made more sense to me. i’ve been feeling kinda negative lately due to total uncertainty about the future (just graduated university – no jobs in sight) and i find it kills my confidence my life feels way shittier.

    the critical thinking paragraphs in the middle totally make sense, but to me that’s separate from negativity.

    • Uthilda October 30th, 2012 8:22 AM

      I agree. I think the thing is that people who struggle with negativity sometimes justify it claiming that it’s simply ‘critical thinking’. But it’s definitely not the same.

      What have you graduated in? There are so many possibilities out there, it can be overwhelming. Try thinking outside the box and don’t just look for job adverts :-)

      • Danielle October 30th, 2012 1:26 PM

        Agree – especially since we live in an age where “snark” is valued as a legit form of communication, making it easier for people to think they’re adding a critical layer to the conversation when they’re maybe just being a bummer. And when I say “they” I’m including myself here, because that’s the exact sort of behavior I want to stop enacting.

        Plus, thinking so negatively starts to eat away at you over time, you know? It’s never that you’re just being negative about TV or a song – sometimes you start to internalize it and your interior monologue becomes pretty negative, too. I just wanted to work through some thoughts on how to remain critical (which I think is helpful to overall development as a healthy person) but not become an A-hole.

  • Christi October 29th, 2012 11:45 PM

    Amen!!! I used to be just like this, but now I’m learning how to simultaneously be more positive and outspoken! It’s tougher than it seems, but I’ve made alot of improvement :)

    • clairedh October 30th, 2012 1:50 AM

      Me too! This article is basically my life the last two months. My problem was that I always agreed with everyone or didn’t have anything to say at all. Now I’m learning how to be assertive with my opinions and at the same time understand and accept other peoples. I have become about a zillion times more confident since I worked it out :)

    • Danielle October 30th, 2012 1:30 PM

      Christi and clairedh, YOU ARE SO SMART. It’s definitely more about how to be outspoken but open-minded, to stand your ground without closing yourself off. I struggle with negativity so much, and just wanted to reflect on where it comes from and what it actually means to try to change it. One way is totally to focus on the outcome, like the stuff you’ve mentioned – to be more outspoken, to have better conversations or meet different types of people.

  • Maggie October 29th, 2012 11:52 PM

    I always love Danielle’s posts. I wish I had one of those demerit notepads! I hate letting people get away with behavior I deem to be rude or UNACCEPTABLE. But this can be problematic (choose your battles, etc). This is such a helpful guide for how to express yourself without becoming everyone’s most hated person.

    • Danielle October 30th, 2012 1:31 PM

      Maggie, I’m going to make a set of demerit notepads JUST FOR YOU. (❤)

      • Maggie October 30th, 2012 2:28 PM

        I hope they will have a big cartoon of your face, and some catchphrase like, “WE DO NOT APPROVE.” We should sell them in the Rookie store.

  • oleander October 29th, 2012 11:57 PM

    also, i would LOVE to see a post on mindfulness! it made such a big difference to my anxiety and was one of the main things that cured my IBS which i thought would never go away. its such a cool thing and i wish everyone knew about it.
    this is a little introduction http://vimeo.com/24884903

  • Adeline Ania October 30th, 2012 12:12 AM

    I tend to be the same way but I’m trying to improve. This was really helpful and eye-opening.

  • puffling October 30th, 2012 12:17 AM

    Everyone who writes for Rookie seems to have a husband!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p4Btf3X49c

  • cherrycola27 October 30th, 2012 12:23 AM

    I really liked this. I find myself being really negative too and didn’t realize it until semi-recently when a friend told me that it’s hard to talk to me because almost everything I say is negative. I really had no clue I sounded like that. I’ve really been trying to be (at least outwardly) positive and cheerier.
    But just last night my friend’s brother was like “Geez, is there anything you DO like?” after I was hanging out/joking around with them for a while. I guess I still sound that way?

  • llamalina October 30th, 2012 12:49 AM

    There is a big difference between expressing your opinion and slamming everything you disagree with. While the beginning of this article left a sour taste in my mouth, the end began to look up. I just don’t like the idea of devalidating someone else’s opinion because it’s not the same as your own.

  • giov October 30th, 2012 1:42 AM

    I’m very happy to read this on Rookie, as it’s something that I struggle with everyday and with this website in particular.

    See, I read a lot of blogs written by people from seriously oppressed background as a way to check my privilege (that sounds pretty cocky of me already).

    According to them Lena Dunham is a Terrible Person, Amanda Palmer is a Terrible Person and even Lana Wachowski is a Terrible Person. Before reading about why they are Terrible People, I thought they were pretty cool. I still do, but I’m also able to see the Things That Are Wrong with what they do.

    Maybe the lesson here is to hear both sides and never stop at the first impression?

    Don’t just like something because Rookie says OMG LENA DUNHAM IS SUPER COOL. Read around why OMG LENA DUNHAM IS A TERRIBLE PERSON, and form your own opinion about it?

    I fuck up because of my privilege, just as much as Lena Dunham does. We can learn from our collective mistakes and maybe become better people?

    • Elizabete October 30th, 2012 5:26 AM

      I feel like this too, especially on Rookie!

      I don’t understand/see the most of stuff people are offended by here. Maybe because i am not American, i just don’t get offended by anything, i don’t know! Before going on American sites online i considered myself a true feminist and anti-racist and my classmates thought i’m pretty “hardcore” with that, but when comparing to people online i’m a total brat :D

      I also absolutely hate that when there is a great photo shoot on Rookie with only one girl who happens to be white there’s always someone complaining about how Rookie only features white girls even though the last shoot was only Asians and Latinas for example! Like everyone is beautiful and needs to be featured!

      http://melodyfairitale.wordpress.com/

    • Danielle October 30th, 2012 10:33 AM

      Giov, I feel you, and I love this comment. Overall, positive or negative, I’m always searching for the most information that allows me to form my own opinion.

  • Elle October 30th, 2012 2:31 AM

    I love your story, I probably don’t have anything new to say about it that hasn’t just been said in the above comments, but I think you just described me (negative person who doesn’t want to die alone).
    I don’t know though, I pretend to be optimistic whenever I can, but it just feels wrong mostly. It just makes everything I say sound ironic. It makes me feel even worse sometimes, like I always have to pretend when I’m not with my best friends (I am in high school). Did the same thing happen to you? Did it go away?

    • Danielle October 30th, 2012 9:08 AM

      Elle! Hello.

      I think it depends on your situation, you know? I think I started this sort of negative thinking in high school, when I was surrounded by people who I literally could find nothing we had in common except geography, so it was pretty hard to wake up and be thrilled every day that I had to go to school and spend time with them. Be a little easy on yourself in this respect, since there’s not much you can do to change where you are right now. It DOES go away when you get to choose where you want to be and who you want to be with, so that should give a little hope?

      I think you’re doing the exact right thing by having some friends you can be yourself around, and reveling in that as much as possible. I think what I wish someone had told me, though, is that the hard part of your thoughts, the part that helps you get through the times you’re NOT with your friends, doesn’t have to define you completely.

  • paige.xo October 30th, 2012 3:36 AM

    I showed this to my mom because this is me. I am so negative all the time and everyone at school calls me a bitch. A+

  • lylsoy October 30th, 2012 4:55 AM

    I am like you, Danielle. If I ever come to the states, let’s spend a day together talking about how terrible everything and everyone is!
    In year 6 I had a teacher who treated me unfair and when I told him so, he just made me feel stupid and told me to see him after class, which made me (an over-emotional 6th grader who knew everything better) cry. So after class, I told him (screaming/sobbing) that he was treating me unfair with no reason, that I had a right of expressing my opinion and that he didn’t even say sorry after making me a fool infront of class. After my speech I left the room- which is probably the bravest thing I ever did!
    This teacher never messed with me again, and at the end of the year I had an A in his class. So- it is worth to speak up and be negative sometimes. *note-> sometimes* because people will respect you:)

  • Sorcha M October 30th, 2012 5:10 AM

    Oh god, this. I tend to have the most sour expression on my face the minute anyone says something that fits into one of those categories just to silently convey YOU ARE WRONG AND BIGOTED. Then, inevitably, because I live in the UK, men will screech into my face, ‘Cheer up love, it might never happen!’. WHAT MIGHT NEVER HAPPEN, RANDOM MEN WHO FEEL THE NEED TO COMMENT ON AN UNKNOWN REASON I LOOK UNHAPPY. WHAT? Ugh.

    • Claudia October 30th, 2012 2:02 PM

      Oh my god, “Cheer up love, it might never happen” is the most annoying thing ever. Aside from the fact that this kind of just how my face looks and it is none of your business anyway, sometimes people are upset about things that have ALREADY HAPPENED! YOUR COMMENT MAKES NO SENSE!

      • molly-ann October 30th, 2012 5:29 PM

        THIS IS MY LIFE the other day a man stopped me on my way out of work and told me to smile because i ‘was making it rain outside’ YOU DON’T KNOW ME

        • Danielle October 30th, 2012 6:10 PM

          My mouth’s natural shape is a frown; whenever someone tells me to smile I look horrified and say, “I WAS BORN THIS WAY!” and then pretend to cry and run away. Okay, I’ve only done this, like, three times, but not I’m reminded to start doing it again.

  • Uthilda October 30th, 2012 8:16 AM

    I used to be like that and it was down to my insecurity and fear of change. Now I don’t care wether I’m right or wrong and feel much happier. I focus on the things I like and that make me happy. If you focus on negative stuff, you deplete yourself of your own energy. You will never live in a world where everything goes your way and everyone agrees with you, no matter how ‘right’ you are.

  • ai-ai October 30th, 2012 11:39 AM

    Great article! Today at psychology we talked about how positive thinking increases success. On the other hand happy mood and positivity decrease critical thinking… I’m generally very optimistic so I try to tone it down a bit when I need to make decisions. :)

  • wallflower152 October 30th, 2012 12:05 PM

    How do I deal with blatant racism/sexism? Especially if the conversation is not one that I’m involved in. Example: I live in rural south central Texas so everyone is pretty narrowminded. The other day my boss was talking to a customer about his recent trip to Georgia. He said, and I quote “man, it’s 90% niggers over there.” To which the other guy replied “yeah it’s the same as it is over here with the…” He was going to say Mexicans but he stopped when he realized a “Mexican” was sitting 10 feet away. I acted like I was doing work, typing and staring at the screen but inside I was fuming. It still makes my blood boil just thinking about it. What can I say/do in a situation like that? I wanted to say, “If you don’t like Mexicans get the fuck out of south Texas! This used to be Mexico anyway!” It just makes me so mad that people still think this way and I have to deal with it a lot because most people here are ignorant, uneducated and stuck in the 1800′s. : (

    • Anna F. October 30th, 2012 12:23 PM

      Ugh ugh ugh. I am so sorry you have to deal with that shit.

      My big thing is that I never call anybody out when I’m in a situation that I’d feel physically unsafe to do so. If I’m alone in a group full of men or white people who start spewing shit and I’m not sure how they’d react if I’d call them out, my first thought is “Can I get myself out of this situation?” and “How soon can I be with people I trust/feel safe around so I can rant with them?” One of the most infuriating things about racism is how easy it is to feel powerless when confronted with it. Sometimes I just have a mantra that I repeat over to myself when I’m stuck in a scenario like that – “I’mBetterThanThesePeopleI’mBetterThanThesePeople,” repeat ad infinitum.

      Of course, there is no “right” way to deal with this. It’s something we tried to hash out over a year ago in that “perks of being a killjoy” post Anaheed linked to above. But I want to reiterate that you are NEVER wrong for feeling furious in situations like that.

    • Danielle October 30th, 2012 1:13 PM

      I’m so, so sorry you have to be around this sort of terrible behavior. I 100% agree with Anna – you never want to be in a situation where you’ll be unsafe, and the examples you gave sound like there’s no clear way to combat it yourself.

      BUT.

      Since one of these people is your boss, you CAN TOTALLY REPORT HIM TO HUMAN RESOURCES. Every company has an HR office, and it’s their job to handle this. If they refuse, you can sue or contact the ACLU. There is no reason for you to work under such hateful conditions.

      As a black woman who routinely experiences racism, I’m still amazed by how often I hear this sort of hateful language. I still hear people where I live (Madison WI) say the word “colored” like it’s 1945. It’s painful to deal with because you feel like you have to completely teach someone how to be a human in order to make it stop, and is that even your job?

      Thinking that this stuff sucks does not make you negative – it makes you an empathetic human. Go to HR, find someone in your company who can fight against this with you. You have no obligation to remain silent, but protecting yourself should be your #1 goal.

  • yourenotfunny October 30th, 2012 1:05 PM

    Man, this article came to me just as I’ve been thinking about my mom’s ultra-conspiracy theorist boyfriend. Can’t even enjoy my Big Ang without him going off on how the satan-worshipping media is deliberately dumbing us down so we’re ripe for the enslaving or w/e. I am not exactly an optimist or a super-cheery person, but I just am not that angry of a person in general, and other people’s differing opinions and annoying quirks don’t typically bother me for more than a few seconds. So I guess I’m saying… you don’t have to be super smiley and all that, just consider whether the situation benefits from your input (such as calling out a bully or racist, or saying no, I prefer we do this instead) rather than using every given opportunity to express your not-that-relevant criticisms. Or shooting down other people’s respectful opinions.

    I hope that didn’t come out as an incoherent rant!

  • Mary the freak October 30th, 2012 1:54 PM

    This article was so helpful! I shout out my opinon about feminism waaay too less. I am always afraid of negative response. However, it is so important to tell them what you think about some stuff.
    Also, I HATE those teachers which are like ” no, stop talking, your opinion is wrong (seriously we had a teacher which wrote those words under an essay!)or it doesn’t matter anyways! ” I mean, you actually are in school in order to discuss and learn.
    I am so glad I can talk with my fiends about those topics . and I will definitely try to shout out my opinion more, especially in school!

    Thank you so mch for writing this.

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • wallflower152 October 30th, 2012 1:57 PM

    Anna and Danielle, thank you for responding. That instance that I mentioned was just one of the things I’ve had to deal with. I’ve seen grown ass men burst out laughing after two gay men walked out of the office. I’ve had a guy say that my boyfriend must have a huge penis because right now he is unemployed and I pay for our dates. I hear this same guy talk to his fiancee on the phone and his tone, most of the time, is so condescending and disrespectful. Anna, I usually do what you said and repeat something along the lines of “I’mBetterThanThesePeopleI’mBetterThanThesePeople” But it’s more like “You ignorant, uneducated, narrowminded, misogynistic fucks.” I don’t feel unsafe to speak out, but I’m a quiet/introverted person so I just don’t know what to say. Danielle, I can’t report him to HR cuz it’s a small business and he is owner/manager/everything. However, thank you Rookie for letting me vent and sympathizing with me. Makes a huge difference just having yall listen. : ) <3

  • Yani October 30th, 2012 4:33 PM

    ahhhh! i was drawn to this article because I saw the words critical thinking though today that combination of words isn’t as clearly seen as yesterday. anyway… I realised that critical was used in the thinking critically/with criticism sense, not the critical thinking/reasonable sense. critical thinking -rocks- it will solve all the problems with anything in your life along with instinct. thinking with wayward negative criticism … won’t.
    <3

    • cancercowboy October 31st, 2012 9:01 AM

      that confused me as well. kept thinking “since when is critical thinking married to this ‘negativism’?
      besides, there’s this awesome thing called ‘optimism bias’. nowadays everything seems to come with a bias. one could argue that the postmodern era has a bias towards meta levels ^___^
      you know the saying: optimism is just lack of information and unduly extrapolation of one’s own hopes. ;)
      anyway, thanks for clarifying this nuance of the english language for me.

      • Yani November 3rd, 2012 2:38 AM

        you seem to have a good grip on philosophical jargon enough to get it yourself but yes, no problem :)

        maybe people just are. positive/negative bias relates to environment. I know that in australia, people are just generally happier or bias-less (more levelheaded). whereas in russia, the bias, if you will, is very negative or I could say, realistic. relates to environment, community, exposure to all kinds of things to change your mind et cetera.

        at the end of the day, I adore critical thinking, along with intuitive feelers type of perception of reality. tmi?

  • Little Red October 30th, 2012 5:53 PM

    This really must be a coincidence. My mother has just tried to get me a ‘life coach’ so there is somebody I can speak to about being so negative and help me be more ‘positive’. This article has really helped. Thanks.

  • taste test October 30th, 2012 6:09 PM

    it made me so happy to see “know you can yell” on this list. I was pretty much mute outside of my house in my freshman year of high school and I seriously did not think I was capable of yelling. I would listen to punk songs and think “wow, I wish I could sound angry like that.” I was so excited when I realized that I could yell too… god, that sounds so pathetic, but it seriously does help you feel more powerful and all that.

    • litchick October 30th, 2012 6:40 PM

      I totally feel the same way about punk music! :)
      “The Hunger” by The Distillers amazes me every time I listen to it- it’s not necessarily ANGRY, but it’s just sooo powerful.

  • thisisausername October 30th, 2012 7:08 PM

    YES! I needed this today.

    This jerk in my chemistry class decided it would be fun to profess to everyone why the holocaust was actually a plot by the jews to make everyone hate the Germans.

    I always used to get accused of being overly critical so i’ve gotten used to keeping my comments to myself, but sometime (i realize) its important to speak out. Otherwise, like today, i go home with the awfullist feeling that I could have siad something but didn’t.

  • giov October 30th, 2012 7:28 PM

    I used to be SUPER critical when I was younger, and then I learned to bite my tongue, which doesn’t mean I stopped being outspoken. I simply learnt to WAIT for the right moment to express my opinion, giving myself time to decide if it was worth expressing.

    These three question can be good ones to ask yourself: 1) Does it need to be said? 2) Does it need to be said now? and 3) Does it need to be said by me?

  • wissycosh October 30th, 2012 10:12 PM

    Cool man’

    I hated GIRLS it really just was a bunch of hotch potch! I shall maybe even give it another go hey.

    Cheeeeeeeeeeeerrrrs.

  • astrorice October 31st, 2012 1:03 AM

    As a cynical girl trying to be a little nicer without losing my negativity entirely (because seriously, I could never be a super positive thinker, ever), I want to thank you for writing this. I NEEDED TO HEAR THIS.

  • victoria October 31st, 2012 9:02 AM

    “Practicing shouting, not because you will need to actually shout at people, but because it’s nice to know what your voice is capable of.”

    Wow. I know you meant this literally but it really rings with power. Thank you!

  • purrr October 31st, 2012 2:11 PM

    thanks so much for this post, but what are you to do when it seems like EVERYONE around you is “racist, homophobic, trans*phobic, sexist, misogynist, ableist, ageist, or otherwise bigoted about groups of people” in some way? I try to softly call out people, but usually they get all defensive, and sometimes I start thinking myself that saying “faggot” and “nigger” isn’t much of a sin, and that fat-phobia is just a stimulus to lose weight and feel better and that trans*women are actually men. but I know none of this bullshit is true and it’s extremely hard for me to talk to people when I know they are homophobic or sexist deep down. A classmate of mine (we don’t have many similar interests but we sometimes have coffee) turned out to be a homophobe and now because of that I have reduced his whole persona to just that – a homophobe. I do this with a lot of people, but I believe it’s right to stop this marginalisation of minorities. I live in Moscow, Russia, and I feel like it’s only okay to be a white cis hetero male here, and otherwise you WILL be marginalized. I have been seeing more poc around and my queer friends are slowly coming out, but it’s still hard around here, and it gets lonely – everyone seems to conform to the rules and to the standards, the gay kids throw “faggot” around themselves (probably to stay safe and closeted) and girls play along with the fedora boys so they “have a chance to get laid”. I don’t want to be lonely, but I don’t want to be friends with assholes, either.

  • purrr October 31st, 2012 2:14 PM

    I’m moving to LA in a few months, maybe I should just suck it up and wait for the future. I’m afraid there is no way to change Russia, and I’m sorry for thinking that, but it seems like nothing I do, no blog posts I write have any effect on people that spew hate all around themselves

  • Maudie27 October 31st, 2012 3:41 PM

    It’s socially unacceptable simply because it makes people feel like dirt.

  • Pureun November 1st, 2012 11:38 AM

    I am pessimistic as well. I have negative thoughts especially when I don’t agree to things or just have no interest. I think the best way to do things is to have your own opinions but also accept opinions from others. That way- you may view things in differently from before. Different views may even bring changes to your existing thought :)

  • Ben November 1st, 2012 10:08 PM

    I hate being told to smile! i will smile if i want to. Someone at church told me to smile and “that i never smile” and i was thinking “i do smile, but not at church cuz i’m not happy and don’t want to be here” but i just kinda did a fake smile instead. also people talking during movies really bothers me. but generaly i’m a positive accepting person.
    also recently this one guy has come up to me and aplogized because he said he used to make fun of me (for how i dress) but now he realizes it dosen’t matter and he won’t do it again. it was wierd tho cuz i thought he was cool and he didn’t seem like he would be mean about me and then my friend was like “if you do that again i’ll kill you and your family (not literaly)” and i was like “he just said he was sorry and wouldn’t do it again! the end

  • Jemila December 19th, 2012 5:15 AM

    great article. :)

  • serinaparis December 19th, 2012 3:32 PM

    I love that they did an article on negativity because I’ve been trying to shape my negativity over the past year into something that is not detrimental for me. It made me feel really good to hear someone else dealing with this challenge, and that having the natural ability to be negative/critical can be a benefit in many situations, though perhaps not all.