If you are human, I’m sure you have struggled with negative thoughts about the others in your life or vice-versa.
I once had a miscommunication with a friend. She was furious and felt that I was lying about the situation and had ulterior motives. She let me know all the horrible things she thought about me. I don’t think I need to explain why this hurt. Ultimately, her thoughts about me made me feel very uncomfortable.
The problem, in my opinion, is the way she thought about me. It seemed she had negative views of me that had nothing to do with the misunderstanding; I believe when the situation happened it confirmed all the irrelevant negative thoughts that were lingering inside her head.
If you think someone is doing things out of bad intentions, you should speak with them about it. Try not to bring up more than one thing at a time.
I have a saying… If you think well of someone from the start, when they do something wrong or weird you will be able to give them the benefit of the doubt or easily forgive them.
For example, a friend of mine is selfless, thoughtful, and kind. On a past out-of-town trip, she pushed to go to a restaurant. She did not pay much attention to the fact I was cramping and fatigued. I was able to let the moment pass and remain positive while we were at the restaurant. Later, we talked about it. She was pushing this popular restaurant because she felt that this might be her only opportunity due to her severe illness. I realized she wasn’t trying to overlook my feelings. She was scared.
At the restaurant, I could of triggered and yelled at her for her seemingly
selfish actions. I could of became bitter towards her and start thinking ALL her behaviors were selfish for that day and in the future. But, that would be severely unhealthy.
Forgiveness and moving on past difficult moments becomes hard if you are holding on to pain and automatically thinking the worst of everyone when mistakes happen. If you are not forgiving or having solution-oriented conversations, issues are pilling up! That means you will have a laundry list of things (record of wrongs) that your loved one is committing. Sad thing is, most of us don’t notice that we have such a list till we are provoked.
I strongly believe that our thoughts, left uncheck, will cause our loved ones to seem like our ENEMY or MONSTERS! If our mindset causes us to think everyone is attacking us… Who can we trust? We will eventually feel alone with no one to trust!
Summarized: A lot of small negative thoughts – overtime – will give way to destructive mindsets or views of people. If you start obsessing that you boyfriend is selfish… You will start to hyper focus on his selfish tendencies and overlook the other great qualities that he has.
How do you transform judgmental thoughts into compassionate thoughts? How to stop thinking negatively about others? By studying yourself and the people you love.
1. Learning Yourself.
Sometimes the way you view others can stem from pain. Sometimes we think people are doing something we have experienced in the past… When they aren’t!
It’s trippy, but your pain can cause you to view someone that is extremely selfless as selfish. You have to be humble enough to evaluate if you have a pattern of behavior and thoughts and seek help.
Read more about controlling your negative thoughts in this related article: Take Control Of Your Anxiety
Everything that has happened in your life makes you YOU… Every struggle, pain, embarrassment, and heart break. Learning about yourself is important to find out what triggers you to anger, sadness, and happiness. Understanding will help you to know how to communicate with others in regards to how they made you feel, without blaming them.
You can learn yourself more by journaling, seeking therapy, and speaking with wise counsel! Learning why you do the things you do (motives) and what causes you to do it (triggers) will help you put a stop to patterns of bad behavior or continue patterns of good behavior.
2. Learning Others.
I encourage you to talk to the people in your life in a loving way about your negative perspective of them. Ask questions about their behavior and motives.
Create a safe space where they can learn things that they didn’t know about themselves. You may be viewing them as selfish and they aren’t. Or, maybe they never noticed they had selfish tendencies. Be gentle. Related Article: Building Trust: 6 Steps To Encourage People To Let You In
Avoid Generalizations: No one person can be ALL selfish, mean, etc. Share your feelings but give others the room to explain why they do the things they do, without reacting negatively to it. You have a history and so do other people.
If you have to constantly rehash issues with no resolution, consider this:
- You may need internal healing — Your pain & thoughts of people may have nothing to do with the other person but how you view life!
- You may need to draw boundaries with the other person. Suggest they seek counseling. However, if they can’t see the issue and refuse to work it out… This may be an unsafe situation for the moment.
OVERALL: Communicate with your loved ones, seek therapy, speak with mentors and work hard at changing your thought patterns!
Always strive to think good thoughts about people and give them real love! Expect that your close circle loves you. Assume that when friends hurt you it was an accident or there was a reason… before entering into conversation about the issue with them.
Try not to assume the worst.
But, if you assume the worst it isn’t the end of the world. Let’s be real.. we can tell when someone is just plain rude and inconsiderate. However, approach the conflict management conversation with an open heart. They may have had a horrible day and lashed out on you. It doesn’t make it okay… but, it will help you to understand them better. The first goal is to understand the pain their in. The second goal is to refrain from labeling the other person!
It’s important to honor the people in your life. To speak and think kindly of them.
The bible instructs us to have healthy thought patterns about others:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4: 29-32
My post is to challenge you to keep track of what you think about the people in your life. Then, you will be able to actively change your judgement to compassion.
To grow more get the free e-book: The Heart Detox !