(What one thing that you often do gets strangers and friends to cringe every time?)
Recently I read a book on first impressions.
It breaks down the dynamics of moods, body language, and the initial conversations you have with the people you meet to put yourself in the best light possible. Researchers have found that the most boring topic of conversation is what they call “negative egocentrism”, a.k.a. complaining. People that are subjected to complaints view the complainer as unreliable, weak, and even at times will grow hostility for the other person. We’ve all met that person that as soon as you meet them, they try to dump on you and suck you in to their black hole of problems. He/she may think it’s a way to get attention, but it’s actually a huge turn off for the listener/reader.
My number one rule with social media is don’t complain. Why? Because there’s enough negativity in the world and people (especially complete strangers) don’t care about your problems. They have enough of their own issues so why would they want to hear about yours. Why would someone want to log on to Facebook in a happy mood just hear about your horrible day? Thankfully Facebook doesn’t notify the people I have “unsubscribed” from because of their poor outlook on life and everything in it. No one likes a Negative Nancy so why don’t you try to be more of a Positive Polly, Optimistic Omar, or an Affirmative Annie.
For those of you familiar with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), you know that the words you use can shape your thought process. It can be something as simple as switching “I hope today is going to be a good day” to “today is GOING TO be a good day”. Your words matter.
And then there is the hopefully dying Internet trend of people writing FML (fuck my life) after something remotely bad happens. I understand if you are trying to use that for the sake of comedy, but I don’t even like typing out those words. Every single moment of your life is precious so it seems offensive to even write that. Try leaving your precious safety bubble of “home” and going to a third world country. I’m sorry your barista ran out of soy, i’m sorry you’re sitting in traffic, and i’m sorry that your Blackberry only has two bars but these are all definitely “first world problems”. Try going to India or Egypt and observe the widespread poverty and oppression there. Now try to type FML.
People like to be around people who are positive because it elevates their own mood. They feel happier and better around positive people but they may subconsciously not know why. Your negativity is a slowly crushing weight for those you come in to contact with and every time you complain on social media it incremmentally pushes people away from you. People are physically and mentally drawn to positive people. Don’t you want people to be drawn to you? Then stop complaining.
[Photo: A door in Venice Beach, CA]