Saturday, February 14, 2015

Could I go 30 days without being mean?

I read this article a while ago... and thought it was a pretty cool idea.

Could you go 40 days without being mean?

I left the page open on the iPad as a reminder to ask John about when he got home. He wasn't really interested so I kind of just dropped it. I mean, we do most things together so I was only going to actually consider it if he thought it was a cool idea too....(like our New Years resolution this year to not eat fries. Can't do it alone!) So I pretty much forgot about it after that.

Then last Sunday when I was watching the Grammys I found myself not being able to control the bad thoughts I had, and the mean words that were coming out of my mouth. "She looks horrible. Ew. I hate him. That was stupid. Ew." etc.etc.etc. I just couldn't stop. At one point John who wasn't totally watching but was in the same room goes "you aren't doing too well with the being nice thing." 

Now it's one thing to think mean things in my head because it doesn't really affect anyone and seems more or less harmless. But earlier this week I commented on someone's blog post some not very nice things. Not directed towards the blogger or really at anyone in particular. But more at a group of people. And the next morning I felt like I had a remorseful hangover. I felt bad about what I said. I went back to try to delete the comment but I couldn't, so I tried to write an apology. I really didn't like that I exposed that ugly side of myself to people out in the world. That little "secret" behavior that I think is fine because I don't usually say the hurtful things out loud. Or if I do it's just to John and between us. But after this happened I realized that even when I am only thinking the mean thoughts, in what I now realize is an effort to make myself feel better, I actually end up feeling worse. 

I opened the iPad yesterday and there was the article still open in the tabs. I read it again, twice. And found I was this "unconsciously negative asshole" as she describes....

-Making negative comments
-Being skeptical
-Making fun of
-Using sarcasm
-Being critical

Check, check, check, check, check, check and check. Guilty on all accounts.

Highlighted below are some parts of the article that stuck out to me:

So, basically the idea is to be nice for 40 days. I'll start tonight at midnight...or who am I kidding, I don't stay up until midnight so tomorrow. I am going to try to be nice for THIRTY days. Because 40 just seems like a little bit of a stretch. 30 sounds more my speed. And I am going to use the journal like they suggest to write down my "goofs" every day. I am literally going to have to carry it with me at all times because I know this is going to be hard at first. But this is going to be so good for me.

I would honestly consider myself a very nice person. And I think most people who know me would too. But I can get very negative. And complain more than I should. And tend to notice the bad before the good.  I would like to think I'm not alone in this behavior. I think everyone could probably benefit from this exercise. But mostly I just want to feel good. I want to have the strength to stop and choose how I react instead of defaulting to something that's just easy, but not lifting me or anyone else up. And I don't ever want to feel embarassed again by a stupid comment that I made.

Report back after March 16th. Wish me luck!


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