All Articles Tagged "negativity"
Watching the mess that Ms. Joyce was making of her own daughter’s life on The Real Housewives of Atlanta AND the way in which Kandi cowered instead of putting her mother in her place makes me wonder how many of us deal or have dealt with the same type of issue. Even watching poor Tahiry cut off the ever-manipulative Joe Budden (but not really) on Love and Hip Hop New York reminds me of the fact that many of us at different points in our lives have suffered way more at the hands of meddlesome, untrustworthy, harmful relationships than we’ve ever needed to. It makes me wonder how many of us would inadvertently and purposely carry these same poor relationship patterns into the new year. In the past I have felt the sting of tears in my eyes after discovering that friends really could not be happy for me, no matter what good things came my way. I’ve endured countless talks with friends about why this man or that man I was interested in was no good for me when, in reality, some of these men were great catches. I mean GREAT. I’ve also battled with letting go of romantic relationships that clearly were dragging me down and not lifting me up.
Reflecting on my default of putting up with such toxicity in relationships has made me wonder, why did I do it? What am I trying to accomplish by allowing sisters or friends or boyfriends or my mother to infuse my life with negativity? Why do I feel I must endure it?
Loyalty? Respect? How much loyalty is a significant other showing me when they cheat or treat me unfairly? How much loyalty is a friend showing me by deciding to hate every good thing that happens in my life? How much respect is a sister or mother showing me when they meddle so terribly in my personal affairs and destroy my relationships?
Shouldn’t loyalty and respect be reciprocated? Shouldn’t I have enough respect for and loyalty to myself to check the people in my life when they are behaving negatively towards me? Loyalty to someone doesn’t mean that I silently take abuse or ill-treatment. Respect doesn’t mean that I must go along with everything someone says or does.
With the new year here, I have a new resolve to feed the positive aspects of my relationships and to starve the negative. This includes loving those who pour affection and encouragement into my life and setting specific and fortified boundaries with those who drain and exhaust me. I have accepted that this does not mean I love or appreciate any one person over another. It simply means I choose to live my best life. Living my best life is only possible when I take responsibility in and for my relationships.
I’m taking self-love and self-care into the new year with me. What doesn’t elevate, needs to be stopped. What doesn’t promote growth and happiness will not be a part of my 2014. I deserve to be as stress-free as possible. I deserve to enjoy life and to be surrounded by those who genuinely enjoy it as well. I have a say in how I’ll be treated. I have a say in how my new year will progress. And I say, positivity over everything.
If I were to give you a pop history quiz right now, and I asked you name five historical events in the last hundred years, what do you think you would select? Beyond that, what do you think that that would reveal? I’m not a big gambler (especially after I got hustled in Three Card Monty on the cold St. Louis streets when I was 16) but I would bet that at least 3 of the events that popped into your mind had negative associations (wars, genocide, the whole negative shebang). But why though, and can we even put blame on anyone besides ourselves?
We all know the truth. Bad news generates so much attention because it creates such a visceral reaction from us. Besides music, it seems that we can all bond on the fact that, in essence, we’re scared beings. Life is so fragile, and we don’t know when our number’s up. So when negative news comes, we can easily place ourselves in the victims’ feet and wonder: “What would I have done in that case?” It sparks discussion, encourages us to create change, and stay aware. However, I’m starting to feel as if we’re in a situation that it seems that too many times we’re addicted to dysfunction. We want it, might even crave it, and feel nervous if something bad doesn’t happen in a while.
I can only create the hypothesis that we’re comfortable in this negativity. What makes me think this? You can follow multiple news sources on Twitter, and the moment they run a positive story, there’s always those comments of “Slow news day, huh?” or “With all the other things that are going on in the world, you’re going to print this puff piece?” I’m sorry to sound judgmental, but I can’t handle all that negative news and I almost have to breathe a sigh of relief when I see puff articles.
Sometimes it seems as though when there are good news stories, there lies a suspicion that “we’re not getting the whole story.” As if some are waiting for the other shoe to drop to prove that “things are never this good.”
But things can be this good. Good news doesn’t have to always be questioned, or almost repulsed by readers. The truth of the matter is, negative thoughts can be contagious. A recent study found that people’s cognitive vulnerability is stronger than we realized. If you’re spending a lot of time with a person who is constantly stressed or negativity, that rubs off on you.
Granted, we should know what’s going on in the world, but at the same time, you shouldn’t sacrifice your happiness for it. When you’re reading a negative news story, try to counter it with a positive one, if not for anyone else, do it for yourself. Surrounding yourself with too much negativity can lead to depression.
Life is filled with both happy and sad moments. Though the negative can seem to be overwhelming, reward yourself with positive ones as well, because you deserve to be happy. Don’t waste your life on just focusing on the negative, you’re worth too much to do that to yourself.
Well, talk about taking the easy way out.
On Friday, reports surfaced that Chris Brown had a seizure while at a recording studio. There were few details about what caused it but the news was that he’d suffered from them as a child.
Well, now we have our answer: if you’ve ever said something bad about Breezy, it was your fault.
That’s right, according to TMZ, Brown is blaming his seizure on the people who bring him down. They contacted his rep and received the following response when asked what triggered it:
It was due to “intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity.”
He must have forgotten that it is his temper that seems to flare to the “Nth power” as soon as someone says something he doesn’t like. He must have forgotten that during that car accident situation from a couple of months ago, he was the one who gave false information.
So, we’re sorry, Chris, if you decided that you wanted to act like a member of a new millennium version of NWA and have given us no reason to really like you anymore. We’re sorry that you won’t take a break to get yourself together so that you know how to deal with pressure a bit better.
But please, spare us the sob story and be accountable.
That said, we don’t wish the worst on anyone so we truly hopes he finds out what triggered the seizure and can get it under control. There are many of us who know what stress can do to the body (and we don’t doubt that he has a lot of it) so maybe if he can get to a place where he finds some peace – because we know people will never stop talking – this type of thing won’t happen again.
Is hip-hop destroying black America? To answer this question fairly, we must first discard the distorted image of hip hop that mainstream media has passed off for the past 20 years.
Hip-hop is a movement consisting of four main artistic elements: DJ’ing, rapping, breaking and graffiti. But at its core, it is a philosophy based on the idea that self expression is an integral part of the pursuit of peace, love and unity. It was created by young visionaries who tapped into their greatest potential and gave birth to one of the most important cultural phenomenon the world has ever seen.
Shaped by the spirit of Africa, The Carribean and black America, it is a culture that binds us under the belief that we must strive for excellence through our respective art forms, as well as within our souls. It’s a lifestyle that unites people from the U.S to Nigeria, France to Brazil, Japan to Mexico, often unable to speak each other’s language but fully capable of understanding all that makes us who we are.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
Even in the best of relationships, you may find that your inner mean girl comes out to play; you know the one who’s full of doubt, jealousy, and negativity. But, this inner girl can easily sabotage your relationship and before you know it, the whole thing can be done and over with. If you fear that you may self-sabotage your relationship, here are 15 ways to avoid doing just that.
Let your inner fears out
We all have fears, even when we are in stable and healthy relationships. As women, we have certain feelings that we often suppress, but eventually they come to the surface. Instead of avoiding these fears, voice them, write them down, or talk about them with your man. Are you afraid of having your heart broken? Do you think you aren’t lovable enough? Let it out; you’ll feel better.
I have vowed to quit trash reality tv for months now. But after the big ghetto disaster seen ‘round the world that was Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, I meant it more than I ever had. I was so embarrassed for the cast and shaking my head at myself for not being able to turn away from the train wreck that happened on my television screen, every week like clockwork. It was a conversation piece. It was my small chance to play psychologist and try to determine what made these folks get up here on national television and act a plum fool. It was entertainment. And it was filling. Not filling in a “Girllll, that did my soul good!” type of way. Filling in a way that left me kinda sick, frustrated and disgusted. Weekly I was seeing beautiful, talented, broken, misunderstood, hurt women invite me and millions of other Americans into scripted portions of their lives to judge, suck our teeth in disdain, laugh uncontrollably, whatever – as long as we were watching.
I wasn’t learning anything from what I was seeing and I suppose that is the point of most reality television; to simply entertain with little to no educational or uplifting value. It’s just something to do. Something to see. But something clicked and I was no longer satisfied with simply “being entertained.” I can see how it may seem to be blown out of proportion but I have to tell you, once I started reining in my reality television intake, life started to carry a little more hope. I substituted Dr. Steve Perry saving our sons, T.I and Tiny raising their beautiful kids and Tia and Tamera navigating motherhood and Hollywood for those crazy, foul-mouthed mob wives and those catty, overbearing housewives. I started looking for substance and it has been one of the most rewarding investments of time I’ve ever made where entertainment is concerned. The positivity I was looking for was always here, I just had to break my gaze from the debauchery to head toward its light.
In being totally honest, I do catch an occasional episode of Basketball Wives LA (Miss Jackie Christie is six separate shades of crazy and it blows my mind!) but trash reality tv doesn’t hold an ensconced place in my entertainment schedule anymore. I’m looking toward what uplifts, motivates, inspires and showcases folks who have or are walking the same path as me. To each her own. But I’ve given positivity a permanent home.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
A Love Letter To the U-S of A: Despite Our Problems, No Matter What People Say, I’m Proud To Be An American
“You Americans are so dumb. You take education for granted.”
“I’ve never seen this much poverty in MY country. I was so shocked when I came here.”
“I love MY country. In MY COUNTRY we don’t have to worry about the stuff you worry about here.”
All of the above comments are compliments of various conversations with people from various countries. I’ll begin by stating that I was born and raised in the United States. I haven’t visited other countries to know firsthand the parallels or the dissimilarities. All I have, at this point, are an open mind, the desire to seek out international information from objective, credible news sources and the honest truth about the good ol’ US of A.
As an honest American I can say that yes, 46.2 million Americans are considered to be living below the poverty line, an issue that the 1% could easily alleviate by… Never mind.
Yes, the average private non-profit institution cost of tuition is $28500, leaving unlucky students with an overwhelming amount of debt, of whom I am one.
As an American woman who happens to be Black, I weep for and can attest to the crimson thread of racism that runs through the tapestry of US history like an unwanted yet tolerated intruder, too deeply ingrained to wholly pluck out. As a bleeding heart and socially aware citizen, I can bite the bullet and admit that America has yet to put as much effort into controlling domestic ‘wars’ as it does in the Middle East. US cities are riddled with gun violence and homelessness. I can admit that Hurricane Katrina highlighted the intense lack of governmental forethought, clearly demonstrating to the world that some Americans are but an afterthought, some of whom are still waiting for ‘relief.’ There is no denying that America’s faults are spread wide, piled high and often overlooked by those who have the most power to effect change.
However, the line between our landmark rights to “freedom of speech” and the vehement, calculated criticism of America by international acquaintances begins to get blurry at fragile points. And I won’t lie – I get mad.
Over my 20-something years of life I have learned how to take criticism like a champ. It hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes I want to wring folks’ necks. Sometimes I have to wait until I get by myself and cry away the hurt. Either way, I’ve learned how to take what is spoken to me; take what is true and will lend itself to higher understanding/growth and then leave the unhelpful thoughts alone. As Bishop T.D Jakes said, “Eat the meat and throw away the bones.”
But what I can’t get down with is the intense disregard for and stereotyping of ALL Americans based off of what a few capitalist snobs, a few greedy CEOs, a few gang bangers, a few unscrewed citizens, a few unconcerned politicians do/have done. The ‘America’ conversations even with FRIENDS from other countries can create deep resentment because if I came out and said, “Well, hey if America is SO much worse than your country, why don’t you go back?” I’d be wrong. If I did some objective research of some of their home countries or even just listened long enough to their personal descriptions of the degradation some of them came to America to escape and recited it back to them, I’d be a racist, a bigot. My character would be questioned.
Everyone can tell the ‘truth’ about Americans but Americans have to bite their tongues to be, you know, PC.
So, I sit and endure jabs at my community, my home, when in all honesty, I have been blessed to grow up in America. Are there rough and jagged edges to this country? Yes. Am I disappointed daily, by the varying demoralizing events that litter the 6 o’clock news? Absolutely. But there are always two sides to a coin, aren’t there?
I’m blessed to have running water, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer. A full roof over my head, paved roads. I’m a product of many years of a Tri-State public school system in which I thrived. I’m a product of a country where the practice of my faith is not threatened with imminent death. At night I sleep with no fear of my home being bombed or of my private parts being mutilated. I travel the width and length of this country not having to ‘show papers’ without which I could be incarcerated for only God knows how long. I can proudly say that the America I so freely roam today is a result of ancestors who came here – some willingly, some in chains – and decided to make the best of the hand they were dealt. While I have no doubt that there are ample other countries who enjoy these same freedoms, America is all I know firsthand, for now. And I count myself blessed.
Do unspeakable things happen here? Yes. But those unspeakable things, however horrible they may be, do NOT discredit the warm blanket of freedom under which I sleep comfortably at night, (respect to the American soldiers who spread that blanket over me with each tour of duty). Those unspeakable things that happen in America and the people who carry them out do NOT discredit the vast amount of good-hearted folks in this country who walk in their calling of reclaiming civility, generosity and compassion to the United States.
It may be the unpopular opinion, in an age of increasing ‘political correctness’ as opposed to speaking the raw honest-to-God truth, but yes, I HAVE recommended to those who have NOTHING but negative comments to spit on the red, white and blue: “You can always go home.” Why stay someplace where you have absolutely NOTHING good to say about it? Why subject yourself to such alleged detrimental and sub par living conditions? Why scrounge up the money to attend an American college when in YOUR country you can attend for free, as you say? Why sit and watch American news every day with its looming cloud of bad luck, death and destruction when in your country little to none of the above plague the people? True freedom of speech is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? It allows others to run down ‘The Great Melting Pot’ for whatever their reasons while also allowing me to dole out a piece of my mind. Thank God, and my American rights for that.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change through her writing. Check out her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
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“You’re wearing that?”
“She looks crazy in that outfit. Don’t she have mirrors?”
“Why does she walk like that?”
“Hmph… she’s soooo ugly, what does he see in her?”
Preface and/or follow these acidic remarks with extreme eye-rolling, sucking of the teeth and sometimes hours of people-bashing and you have a poisonous landfill of negativity brought to you by one of my former best friends. We’ve all had a toxic gal pal. Rude. Judgmental. Always talking down to others under the guise of wanting to “help,” yet totally oblivious to the mangled mess that is their own life. They have an opinion about EVERYTHING. They even have an opinion about opinions. Nothing good to say. And some days if we knew no charges could be filed we’ve all wanted to take a bat and Barry Bonds the ever-loving snot out of them and accompany it with a maniacal, “SHUT THE [your choice expletive] UP!”
At first, in my mind, that was just her personality. She was the big mouth of our circle. And didn’t every circle have one? I would be hypocritical if I fronted like I never joined in. Why did I take part in the gossip? I don’t have a solid answer; just a mashup of inexcusable but honest reasons: It made me feel better about myself; I truly didn’t like some of the people we discussed; there wasn’t much else to do sometimes. Lame? Yes. But 100 percent honest nonetheless.
I had my ‘Aha!’ moment one day when it dawned on me that we had been talking about (aka, tearing apart) the SAME girl for a little over THREE hours. Annoyed didn’t even scrape the surface of how I felt. I said, “Well dang, y’all! Can we talk about something else? That girl is going on about her business and we’re sitting, doing nothing but talking bad about her.”
The initial shock of my outburst rolled out waves of silencing guilt to everyone in the room. Everyone except who? My brazen bestie. She continued like I never said a word and pretty soon everyone else joined back in. I complained of fatigue and left to spend a few hours alone thinking about it all. I decided that enough was enough. I was absolutely finished with the bad-mouthing round tables. No one was helped and nothing was solved by them. All we were doing was trying to elevate ourselves at someone else’s expense, stupidly following the ringleader – my best friend and her big mouth.
From that day until the subsequent demise of our friendship some six months later, I made it my mission to shoot down every negative opinion/insult she hurled out, especially when the person on the receiving end did nothing to deserve such treatment. I started complimenting everyone and calling my bestie out on her behavior. She made excuses. Typical. And I made other friends. *Shrugs nonchalantly*
She didn’t like my newfound independence so we drifted further apart, but inwardly I cheered like a death row inmate getting a pardon call from the president. I was free, not constantly being dragged down by her storm of female-bashing. It was to the point that others hated ME because I was friends with HER. I was tired of enduring her big mouth to keep from hurting her feelings. I was tired of making excuses like, “Well, she really is a good-hearted person once you get to know her.” But I was more sick of her than anyone else, so it was a relief and an almost instantaneous drop in my blood pressure when our friendship disintegrated.
I haven’t looked back in regret. It was absolutely draining trying to keep a perpetually negative friend happy. It was an uphill battle I was undoubtedly going to lose. Why? Because there was something about herself that she hated, couldn’t forgive, was insecure about, etc. It was an internal struggle that wouldn’t end until she found the courage to self-evaluate and CHANGE. It’s easy to project negativity to others but it takes a huge measure of humility and strength to take a look in the mirror. Whatever is in you is what comes out. That’s the same for negativity and positivity alike; a lesson I learned the hard way.
Allowing that one big-mouthed friend to spew negativity is the worst thing you can do because not only will the negativity spread, but you’re also enabling her behavior and actually proving to be a horrible friend just like I was. True friends lift each other to meet and operate according to their higher nature and standards. They don’t go along with basic behavior for the sake of sparing feelings, and sit back and watch them hurt others for a quick chuckle.
Now, all these years later, I’ve been blessed with some true, positive, straight-shooting girlfriends. Are we perfect? Absolutely not, but we refuse to allow negativity to dwell among us and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am, we each are, a better friend and woman because of it.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries with Natural hair and lots to say. Her writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and positive change. Check out her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
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By Jazmine Denise
“Your standards are ridiculous. The man that you’re holding out for doesn’t exist. You are going to die old, lonely, and bitter!”
This is what my ex from over three years ago said spitefully through the phone. “Okay. Thanks for the dating advice!” I calmly replied before ending the worst phone call ever. “Old and bitter. Oooh scary,” I thought to myself sarcastically. Old, lonely, and bitter is a kryptonite that looms in the back of just about every woman’s mind, because when we think of our futures, we like to envision love and happiness. As a result of this fear, many women are willing to offer up their time, energy, money, body, and God knows what else to men who aren’t actually worth their time. These relationships usually end in turmoil (and possibly with children in the picture) and the woman is left to pick up the pieces wondering where she went wrong. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It is my personal philosophy that this theory should be considered in all aspects of life, including dating and relationships.
Women are often accused of consistently assuming the role of the victim when it comes to relationships because we constantly put ourselves in the same types of situations with the same types of men, which ultimately deems us the same results. However, when a woman has an “AHA” moment, recognizes her worth, and sets standards for herself and the men she dates, she is accused of being bitter and too picky. Although these “AHA” moments often come after she’s broken free from a negative relationship, I in no way feel that this has anything to do with bitterness. Bitter could be used for the woman who sits around saying (and saying on social media platforms made to be soap boxes) that all men are dogs, but when a woman tries to raise her standards to increase her happiness, why is she bitter? It is my opinion that “bitter” is a derogatory term that is often used improperly and hurled at women to wound their self-esteem and make them doubt themselves and what they thought they wanted in a relationship.
While I am not encouraging anyone to go out and develop a ridiculous or unhealthy set of qualifications for the men that they date, it is my belief that standards are crucial. Standards are what set the foundation for any dating relationship. They set the ground rules for what you will and won’t accept. They help you to get what you actually desire instead of settling for whatever he wants and any old Johnny that comes along looking to waste your time. To take it a step further, it is my belief that it is not standards that make women bitter, but lack thereof. Can you imagine getting to the end of your life and realizing that you’ve never had success in the love department because you’ve been dealing with the wrong men all of your life since you never set any standards? You let them treat you any kind of way, do anything they pleased and talk to you every kind of way because you didn’t want them to leave. I could see it now. Someone’s old aunt sitting around on her front stoop drinking a Coke and smoking a cigarette talking about, “Child, none of these men ain’t no good!” Depressing, I know. But, honestly, are all men no good or did that person possibly make poor dating choices? So the next time someone accuses you of being bitter because you have standards, proudly reply, “I’m not bitter, I’m better, and I’m not looking back.”
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If you’ve ever found yourself in the company of an exceptionally negative person, you know how draining it can be. It will literally weigh on your spirit. Once you’ve detected a hint of “not right” in a person, you have to make the decision of whether you’re willing to handle their negativity or deciding to next them in order to make room for some more positive people.