Talia Levy

April 19, 2023

what i notice constantly and now you will too

When I learned to notice negativity, it started showing up everywhere. People speak negatively all the time, and when I became more aware of my own negative speech, I noticed other people’s 100x more.

I started thinking more about the topic of negativity from reading books like Think Like a Monk and How to Win Friends and Influence People. Both books cover the topic and have made me pay more attention to all the negative things I say. And when I started doing this, I was shocked.

I’ve never considered myself a negative person—honestly, I’ve always seen myself as the opposite. But this exercise of noting my negative words made me realize that I would say many things that fall under that category. More than I thought I did.

It’s truly crazy how many thoughts I've caught myself about to say before I've stopped, realizing their negative nature. It can be difficult though because, so many parts of our days, so many conversation starters, are negative.

They might not all be devastating situations, but even just mentioning to someone that you woke up late this morning or that you don’t love the food served at lunch, all don’t have a positive spin to them. And it’s what fills so many of our conversations.

Some things we might want to say are funny or interesting, and still happen to be negative in nature. I don’t think we need to completely eliminate negative speech, but paying attention to the rate at which we use it and when we do, I feel is a helpful thing. I’ve started regularly checking myself on this, and now, it’s practically habit.

But over time, I’ve found what’s difficult for me is not making the changes in my own speech. It’s now recognizing everyone else’s negativity and being around it. When you become intentional about noticing your own negativity, you will notice the negativity around you in ways you never have before.

When I feel surrounded by it, sometimes I try to shift the convo to be more positive, whereas other times, I don't have a choice and just have to listen. Think of the elder family member complaining about their day. Or the group of people in the lunch line, gossiping about drama. There's not always much you can do with that. 

So you'll start to notice it everywhere, and while you can’t always redirect conversation to do something about it, shifting the conversation to something more positive, when you can, can be a wonderful thing.

Although this intention has made me more sensitive to negativity as a whole, which can be draining (ha, that’s negative), I’m still grateful I’ve adopted the practice of noting it. Because I’ve changed so much about the way I speak and what I choose to say to others. And it’s a change for the better.

I’m confident I’m spreading positivity and light in my conversations with others, and I drastically decrease any negative energy that comes from and is associated with me. Also, my recognizing negativity in others more often has helped me decide who is helping me elevate energetically and who is bringing me down.

So, while I do notice more of the negativity in others, I know my positivity still permeates my conversations and hopefully allows me to lead by example, inspiring people to spread the same light and positivity in their interactions with others.

About Talia Levy

i write about relationships, self-help, & other random reflections i have. new posts every sunday.