Have you ever wanted to stop negative thinking about someone you really care about but couldn’t?
Have you ever thought the worst about your partner (even for a moment)?
And have you ever wished you could get on the same side or the same team with someone in your life and seemed to struggle with that?
Of course you have.
Everyone has, including us and everyone else on the planet…
Recently, we received an email from a woman we’ll call Peggy (not her real name) with a great question about thinking negative thoughts about her partner that most people have wrestled with from time to time.
Here’s the question…
“How do we get on the same side and quit thinking the worst or most negative things about the other? I just want to be a team and know that no subject is more important than my spouse and marriage. And, its not worth getting bent out of shape over.”
Here’s our answer…
First of all, thanks for your wonderful question and know that you have expressed beautifully what most of us want in our relationship–peace and on the same side of whatever comes up.
Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news…
The “bad” news is that when two people come together, if they’re truly honest with one another, there will be differences that can create upset and distance.
The good news is that as you say, you can realize those differences are “not worth getting bent out of shape over.”
The even better news is these differences actually arise from fixed beliefs that you make up (we all do it)…
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And if you realize that, you’ll able to see beyond them into a space where both of you can come together.
With that being said, we know that when differences come up over topics where there are fixed ideas and a lot is invested in holding onto those beliefs…
You get triggered and upset, almost automatically, and negative, judgmental thinking like “He shouldn’t act this way” or “Why is she acting this way?” starts churning away, as walls are built between you and another person.
Here’s what the two of us have discovered in our exploration of how to stop thinking negative thoughts and hopefully it will shed some light for you…
1. Every situation you will ever encounter is always and only created from our imagination even though it appears real, perhaps very real in the moment.
In saying this, we’re not saying that people don’t do things that appear hurtful to others.
We are saying that when the “shoulds” enter your mind, it’s a sign to take a step back from the situation.
It’s a sign to look at what you’re believing to be true that may not be.
It’s a sign to open to exploring what’s actually true.
2. Thoughts come and go
We are not in control of our thoughts. They come and go, seemingly at will.
The only thing you can make a choice about is how much meaning to attach to them.
When you know this, you can make the choice to not hang onto the negative ones or even the positive ones about your partner and what’s happening in that moment.
Because in the next moment, it can change.
There’s a freedom in knowing that and not hanging on too tightly to what appears to be dividing the two of you.
3. Approach the “misunderstanding” with compassion
When you see what’s going on as a misunderstanding instead of some irreconcilable difference, you can approach it and the other person with love and compassion.
You can slow it all down and find out more.
You can find the stillness inside you and see what’s real without the smokescreen of all that negative thinking blinding you to the truth.
When you’re able to do these things, you’re going to find that the love between you and the other people in your life increases, connection expands and your happiness and joy in being together continues to grow in more ways than you can imagine right now.
Everyone wants more connection and more love and these tips about how to stop negative thinking we just shared are some very simple ideas that will help you create that.