We're all taught to be nice to one another, and our parents always tell us: to treat others the way you want to be treated-to follow the golden rule. This is something that my parents tried their hardest to instill in me- be positive towards others, because you want others to be positive towards you. I do my best to be as positive as possible, which in a world where there is so much tragedy, it can seem difficult, but I promise it's worth it to stay as positive as you can. Constantly gossiping (as fun and trivial as it can seem in the moment) ends up leaving a bad taste in my mouth and constantly putting out negative energy.
I just spent the better part of a week with my dad, who I've nicknamed "Big Buddha" for his approach to life. The man is easy going as can be, and nothing seems to faze him- even things that send me into days of anxiety. Spending a whole weekend with him taught me quite a lot about him, myself and our relationship, but it mostly brought to attention the way I approach people and the way I talk about myself and other people.
We talked about confidence quite a lot. One thing that came up quite a lot is the issue of self confidence, and at what point does confidence become narcissism? I've always found myself to be an incredibly confident person (sometimes, people will say I'm overly confident, but I think that as a woman raised in a society where women are taught to be meek and timid, an overly confident woman isn't the worst thing in the world), but I, like any other human, find myself getting down on myself every now and then.
What I then realized is, I don't always seem to apply the idea of "treat others the way you wanted to be treated" to myself. The things that I say when I get down on myself are things that I could never, EVER, imagine saying about another human being, no matter how much I dislike them. Why, along the way of growing up, did no one ever say to us, you should treat yourself the way you want to be treated by others?
There is no reason we should be saying things to ourselves about ourselves that we would never say to someone else. Sit down and think about how you bring yourself down and think long and hard about if you'd ever say that about or to someone else. We're all very good at standing in front of a mirror or, nowadays, staring at ourselves in the screen of our phone and listing off everything that's wrong with our appearance, and some of us are even worse in terms harshly critiquing our minds and emotions.
These negative thoughts about ourselves easily bubble up and can quickly slip out of our thoughts into our words and into the world around us. It's definitely going to take an effort to counteract the automatic negativity that you may feel about yourself, but it's vital for yourself that you do it.
If we're taught to treat others the way we want to be treated, we should also teach ourselves and future generations to treat ourselves the way we want to be treated by others. Positivity can begin with a small step with one person, and I promise, it's infectious. I try my best to keep a smile on my face as often as possible and to spread joy to others, even when sometimes all I want to do is complain and lay face down in bed groaning about life. Complaining feels good in the moment, but afterwards, it just feels like you're walking through muggy, stagnant old air. Change it up and try to find the good in life and stay positive!