Positivity vs. Negativity in life and relationships

I have been thinking a lot about positivity versus negativity in life and relationships lately.

Positivity is defined as:

The practice of being or tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude.

Negativity is defined as:

The expression of criticism of or pessimism about something.

People generally try to be as positive as possible in life. It is encouraged from an early age, to seek positive people, have positive feelings, say positive words, to be positive. As I look back now, I don’t see as much of an emphasis on removing negativity from one’s life…but it is equally as important, if not moreso!

One can be the most cheerful, vivacious person in the world and radiate happiness on everyone, everywhere. But if that person gets into a certain situation and turns into a black hole of depression, does the positivity outweigh the negativity? Does the positivity matter at all?

In western culture, there is such an emphasis on just working to be happier; do more positive things and you’ll achieve satisfaction and happiness. But if you look at eastern culture, you can see how practices such as meditation, and religions such as Buddhism, put a huge emphasis on removing negativity from your life in order to achieve happiness.

As I have explored my thoughts and feelings lately, I see how powerful and helpful it is to remove negativity from one’s life. I was recently in a relationship where I kept putting in positive energy, positive actions, positive words in order to make everything better and more rich. What I did not see until afterwards, is how much negative energy, negative actions, and negative words I was also putting into the relationship. In the end, all of the positivity in the world did not matter, because although the positivity would raise the happiness and quality of the relationship, the negativity created a noose that was ultimately suffocating.

What I have learned in all of this, is having strong and healthy relationships, and achieving happiness is not just about putting in more positive work and more positive energy, there also needs to be an element where one looks within, identifies negative tendencies and energy, and works to remove those tendencies and energy from oneself. This ultimately will create a larger net-positive of energy in one’s life, because the delta between posititivy and negativity will become that much greater.

Key Takeaways: Positive thinking and energy is good, and negative thinking and energy is bad. We all strive to increase our positivity, but we do not look enough at removing our negativity. Self-reflection and meditation are great ways to observe one’s negative tendencies, and work to remove them. Overall, there is the potential for a higher net-positive of positive energy with the removal of negative energy. This will create a healthier set of relationships and a happier life.