My advice this week is basically me preaching to myself, because this is something that I need to practice a lot more.
Try to see the good in people.
It is so easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by how much people suck. Especially in a city like New York where you interact with sooooo many people (co-workers, roommates, strangers, friends) every single day, and can therefore have even more negative interactions.
I see it every day, without fail. Someone is rude or yells at you or honks their horn at you or shoves into you on the sidewalk or says something demeaning… the list goes on and on. And it’s so easy for me to just sigh and proclaim, “people suck.”
It can really affect my mood sometimes, and make me want to just stay at home with my cat and not want to face the world or build relationships with people, because I have this constant niggling thought that people suck and only think of themselves and will ultimately let you down.
But that’s not really a healthy way to think, is it? Even though I experience it every day and see it all the time and it’s hard to forget, I shouldn’t let it get to me. You should definitely learn from negative experiences and interactions with others, and be careful with your trust and building relationships, but you should also remember that there is good in people, too. For every bad egg you bump into, you also have a great friend to balance that out. Sometimes I get so caught up in how much people suck and how much I hate people and by how many people were jerks to me that day, that I forget all the amazing and positive people in my life. It is so easy to let negativity cloud your thoughts, and it can be so hard to remember and call on happy thoughts when that happens. But you have to pause when you’re upset and just reflect on the good things and people and experiences in your life. It’s what keeps you going.
So focus on the good instead of the bad. And focus on making yourself one of the good guys, who lifts another person’s spirits instead of dragging them down. This goes back to my advice post from a while back about being selfless. Put others first every once and a while to remind them that there are still good people in the world. And, if you’re lucky, someone will do the same for you and remind you the same.
The world has got some crappy people in it. The news is overcrowded with horror stories and tragedy. But don’t lose sight of all the good in the world. It’s there if you know where to look.