Sometimes, I talk shit.
Sometimes, it’s because something affects me negatively. Like when I watch reality TV. I can’t help the singular thought that this type of content is intellectual poison…an active ingredient in the stupification of human beings.
Sometimes, it’s because I’m bitter. I watch people, that I perceived to be average, or unoriginal, or self-absorbed, gain fame, fortune, and a better life, by doing something trite and ordinary. I loathe that they receive more attention than subjectively more important causes and information do.
Sometimes, I’m jealous. I see someone doing something that I don’t think I have the temperament, discipline, or moral flexibility to do. It’s worse when they acquire more wealth, fame, fortune, attention, and admiration than I do.
I’ve become a hater. And that’s never how I would’ve described myself until recently.
What has it gotten me?
What do I win for all of this negative emotion toward others?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
I watch these other people, and regardless of where the emotion originates from, I’m still me. Their success or failure has nothing to do with my own.
I know that positivity and optimism is what people want to be around, and how I want to be. It’s how I’ve always seen myself.
Sure, in a zero-sum game of attention, I might have a justification for my staunch opposition to these people and the content that I am quick to judge.
But this isn’t zero-sum
If I really tried to convince anyone (or myself) that the internet is a zero-sum game, then I’d be showing my hand that I don’t truly understand the internet.
But, I do.
So, instead, I’m deciding to change this behavior before it gets out of hand.
Squashing the inner hater
I don’t have to like everything, and not everything is unicorns and rainbows.
But, I do think I need a reset by asking the very simple question: what am I getting out of this?
When I’m talking trash about someone else on the internet, or judging them, or being jealous, or bitter about them…what am I getting out of it? Is it advancing my career? Is it deepening or enriching a relationship? Is it making me a better person, or making me feel better about myself?
In any of these cases, even if the answer is yes, is it necessary? The negative emotions that come along with this are not worth it. I know this because I see this behavior poisoning other areas of my life. It’s causing me to close off elsewhere. It’s causing me to be a grumpier person. It’s causing me to root for people to lose.
And when I look at any of that behavior in others or have the moments of clarity to see it in myself, I want nothing to do with it.
I’m working on squashing my inner hater. It may not happen all at once, but I’m going to be more conscious of this, and try to work my way back to being more of an appreciator.
If you read this entire post, may I suggest you do the same? Look at yourself, and see if maybe you need to get yourself in check.