Friday, 25 January 2013

Say Something Nice...

Everybody knows I'm a guy with a lot of hobbies and interests.  Like any geek, my interest in something or other will get peaked and, for at least a while, become extremely consuming...whether it be the Maple Leafs or Batman, Transformers or guitar, or whatever!  The interest becomes my focus for a while until I feel like I know everything I want to about it or that I've worn it out or, in some cases, (in the words of Optimus Prime) "It never ends."

Why do I mention this?  No real reason, but I've been noticing lately that no matter what I develop an interest in, there's a long line of people waiting to dump all over it.  Maybe it's just because it's January and everybody's either getting sick or recovering from being sick and it's cold and grey...I don't know.  The part that bugs me is that the people waiting to dump on the things I enjoy are SUPPOSED to be FANS of same.

Maybe I just spend too much time on the Internet.  I just get annoyed that the so-called supporters of, say, the Maple Leafs, are often the first people to bash them.  Same with comics...everyone's just waiting to rip them to shreds as soon as they're sooner is J.J. Abrams announced as the director of the next Star Wars movie than people are bemoaning the announcement, even though he did a GOOD job with the recent Star Trek movie, and is generally thought well of as a director. 

So why is everyone so negative?  What does it accomplish?  Let's all try to focus more on the positive...look on the bright side, for once, will ya?  You know, if you can't say something nice...

That's right...I'm being negative about negativity.  Ta-da!


  1. 8-)

    You knew me more than a decade ago and I was pretty darn negative and I complained with the best of them! In fact, when people would say "...but I can't complain..." I would often be heard to retort "sure you can; there's always something to complain about!"

    Although slowly but surely I found myself turned-off by negative and depressing music and movies. I would listen to NIN and even I started to find Reznor a little whiny. I realise now that it was probably an inner dialog with myself, but I felt like: "Enough already! So your girlfriend left you and you feel lonely and empty and, blah blah blah... We get the fricken point! Can we not move on now?" (I'd argue that NIN's "With Teeth" was an indication that he did, eventually. I especially like his reflection on "Down In It" found in the song "Only").

    I'm a firm believer in the power of the confirmation bias. Even in my deepest depressions, I realised that my view could be affected by this bias. If you always expect the worst (like saying to yourself "ugh, the subway is so slow today, I bet you I'm going to be late"), but it doesn't happen and you're on time, you go "huh, well, I lucked out", slough it off and never think about it again. If you are late, you will go "ah ha! I knew it!" and it sticks in your mind. If it happens 3 more times you say to yourself "See! This always happens to me, no matter how early I leave!" and yet there were probably times in between where you did make it on time, you just didn't remember it cuz you sloughed it off. So negative thinking can create this vicious circle, but I think I've discovered my own way to counteract it (which will be my next post.)

    I also stumbled across a this dude's project a couple of years ago, and I think it's an interesting idea. I tried it for a couple of months and it really did help become more aware about how much I complained. Never got past 2 days without moving the bracelet, though. I might try again some day.

  2. Some people really are only happy when they complain, I know. You were the most MINOR of offenders back in the day...where we worked, being negative at work was as normal as being clothed!

    It's a hard habit to fight and one I'm not ALWAYS inclined to, but hey, we all do what we can, right? :)