In relationships, in life and reality in general. Not negativity in the sense of unnecessary drama which seems to call forth an energy you wouldn’t like to be a part of or participate in any of the unfoldings, while you attach disastrous scenarios to its expulsion. (Smart) negativity is not necessarily negative. The feeling of an uncomfortable hurt is a transient emotion and it’s ok to feel it while the negativity does something very important – shines a light on a problem that’s been pushed under the rug and left there to fester. Even truth has a shadowy companion of negativity and is contextual because you have no idea how the truth is going to be received onece it is spoken. It might just be the most hurtful and healing thing, all at the same time.
A balanced full, joyful life is not relieved from ever feeling any negativity. It is a life in which we learn to use the dark messy spaces as conduits and portals to something else, not being negative for negativity’s sake but to break through glass ceilings and fakeness of speaking of trinkets while there’s an underlying problem. It is the willingness to work on something, a completely imperfect thing that can be made better by not hiding from the raw areas. Did you know that there is a sweet spot in which relationships flourish? It’s a ratio that can predict the continuation or dissipation of something so weirdly complex as s relationship with up to 90% accuracy, a staggering percent for the intricacy it speaks of. If you were in a relationship where the ratio of positive and negative interactions exceeded 5 to 1, the relationship will fail – there is too much negativity, but it doesn’t mean that no negativity at all makes the relationship endure. It actually makes it fall apart because there is no growth, no advancement. Being completely the same is just as detrimental as being completely different. You need some overlap in the big things but some disagreements in other areas to feel as if you are not stagnating, as if you are learning from each other. So relationships where there are more than 11 positive interactions to one negative will also fail the long term test. If you are just chilling with a partner it’s ok to have far more positive interactions like 20 to 1.
if delivered kindly, openly, with an aim to fix the issue and not hurt another or blame, negativity can be a strong force for good, a source of intelligent adaptation and compromise, where both sides are heard and their needs acknowledged. It’s a dance. Toes might get stepped on here and there but, as the time passes, with practice that will happen less and less as you learn the other’s rhythm. Don’t fear the negativity. We’re all (well most of us should be) relatively rational grownups. We can listen, talk things through, we can take it, work it out. Say what needs to be said, say it with respect for the other. Don’t be mean, don’t sugarcoat, express what needs to be said for things to move forward. Some things are hard but they can get better.