“Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians: 4:29)
Have you ever noticed how many people these days seem to like using social media to criticize someone else’s posts, rather than focusing on anything positive about them? Why do so many seem to steer more towards seeing the negative in another and commenting on that, rather than commenting on any of their positive qualities? Is it just easier to express negative viewpoints of another, rather than ones that uplift and praise them?
First off, I’ve always learned that one can only see the positive in another, if they see the positive in themselves first. When one is a positive person, it’s usually because they have a good amount of self-love behind it, which in turn leads them to see and concentrate more on the positive traits in another. My mother didn’t love herself much at all when she was alive and because of it, she tended to be more negative than anything. She frequently cited out all the things about my sister and I that she felt could use improvement, instead of lifting us up and praising our accomplishments. All that did was give us the worst of self-esteems, even though she truly believed it was going to help us to become healthier and better individuals.
Ever since, I’ve had many friends and partners who have been just like her, constantly pointing out all my flaws and shortcomings and any areas they felt I could improve. None of it was ever really helpful for me in the long run, because it only made me loathe myself a lot more and in turn, made me see the negative in others, because that’s what I saw in myself from all that constant criticism.
Thankfully, I’ve learned through it all that it’s far better to offer helpful words, to praise and uplift one’s achievements, then to cite out anything negative. As when someone places a negative comment on my any of my blogs for example, and then justifies it’s just them being honest and helpful. It isn’t helpful to me at all, in any way, shape, or form, as it only makes me doubt myself even greater. The same is true when someone hears me at a speaking engagement and the first thing out of their mouth is a comment on something they didn’t agree with. That too is more harmful than helpful because ultimately, I’ve had enough criticism of my life to last an eternity.
The last thing I need are people in my life these days who tend to comment on the negative parts of me, rather than the positive ones. What I need more of now are people who utilize helpful words, that build me up rather than tear me down, that motivate me instead of discourage me, that nurture me, rather than harm me.
Nevertheless, if we want to build a world with a lot more positivity, wouldn’t it be better for all of us to cite out the good we see in others, and not the bad? I’m inclined to believe from my own journey that citing out anyone’s negative attributes will only lead to them seeing themselves in greater negativity, which in turn will lead to them seeing the world around them in greater negativity as well.
So maybe we should all begin to use more helpful words than harmful ones. Ones that focus on a person’s achievements, accomplishments, and positive traits, that build a person’s character more up than down. And maybe we should all start by doing that with ourselves first, as when we do, we’ll be able to see that far greater in the world around us to the point where we share from that perspective instead…
I pray to love myself enough that I focus on all the good I am and all the positive traits I bring, and in turn, start seeing that in the rest of the world enough to where I communicate that more so than anything else.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson