Welcome to Insights and Implications!
Welcome to Insights and Implications. This month we respond to a question from one of our readers. We love hearing from you so keep the questions coming.
All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
What about those negative people?
We received the following question from a reader:
Have you ever observed someone who refuses to experience the joy of life, ie., the glass is always half empty (or worse)? I get sad when I see someone missing the upsides. The deeper I care about someone, the tougher it is for me to accept the half empty bias. What can I do?
This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Turns out, I too have a loved one matching the above description. I spent years (literally) trying to get her to see the light. Believe me, I tried everything. And I’m a professional!
I had the best intentions. I wanted her to be happier and enjoy life. To me, she seemed to be missing out on so much. At family gatherings, she would find things to worry or complain about. She clearly loved her kids, but even their successes did not impress her. Nice weather – she wouldn’t notice. Her favorite team wins, “they should have scored more points.” She buys a new car but it is never quite right.
I felt sad around her. The truth was, I wished she was different – so I wouldn’t have to be sad. Then I had an insight. Her refusal to experience the joy in life wasn’t making me sad – she does not have that power. Only my thinking in the moment can create the feeling of sadness (or any other feeling) in me.
When I saw this fact deeply for myself, things started to change – a little bit in her and a lot in me. I relaxed around her. I actually got curious about how she saw the world. She became someone from another culture whose ideas, practices, and beliefs were completely different from my own. I learned things about her and came to understand her better. Surprisingly, we grew closer. She relaxed around me and seemed to lighten up (at least in my presence).
Bottom line – everyone is on their own unique journey. My mentor Sydney Banks used to say that when people are ready to change, they will change – and not a moment sooner. I’m not in charge of this. My sphere of influence begins and ends with my life and my thought system.
I know it can be difficult to watch someone you love appear to suffer. Lending support and a listening ear can help. Here’s a quote from our book, Invisible Power: Insight Principles At Work, Chapter 21 – “Those Difficult People.”
When you remember that you feel your thinking, this alerts you to what is going on inside both you and others. Ultimately, you cannot change another person but you can help to create an environment that brings out the best in others. With inner balance, your common sense and clarity can usually move things forward.
– Sandy Krot