Sadly, “filtering out negativity” is not a new topic, a necessary skill, and something I learned how to do years ago, while a theatre student in college.
I very much remember standing at a theatre call board to see who got in the next stage production at school. I remember standing next to people, and learning what the word “diva” meant, but something did not sit right with me when people complained about how someone else was not talented, or that they were wronged for not being chosen. Something did not sit right, and it was probably my background and love for sports. My mindset was always:
- “Walk it off.”
- “I lost. I will get ‘em next time.”
- and my dad’s favorite…“You’ll survive.”
“I will survive.” I had no idea, at age 18, how that saying made me have more in common with fellow theatre students than I realized. Regardless, in an online world filled with opinions, one must remember the quote:
- “A fly in stink, thinks his world is made of stink.”
Let’s say you have been hearing many negative things lately, that tend to disagree with the very nucleus of what makes you…”you”. I promise you, if you filter out the negativity, you will find more people to work with simply because the process of filtering out the negative, will help you find like-minded, positive people to work with.
- Are you in a Facebook group with lots of complaining? Leave it.
- Are you connected in social media to someone who constantly says things that bother you? Block them.
- Do you get emails from people who say nasty things to you, or ask you to think a way you wish to not think? Mark them as spam.
- Do you read forum posts and start to believe everything people say? Then, stop reading it.
- Do you think you will somehow miss something useful, your life will fall apart, or you will lose work, if you do any of the above? WRONG.
If there was one useful lesson learned about working at a website, it was that “The world goes on with or without me. How I survive is dictated by what I choose to give importance to in my life.” A poignant time in my life was after working one summer’s evening, when someone had threatened me via email, stating how he would “destroy me”. That very same hot summer night, I made my usual big gulp trip to the 7-Eleven, where I used make it a point to buy this homeless guy food…just because I wanted to do it. He remarked to me that same night, “You are a saint for helping me out.” It made me think, “Am I bastard like the angry email said, or a saint like the homeless guy said?”.
I then burst out laughing because it hit me:
- “If I know I am trying to do the right thing, I should listen to everyone, but only to focus on solutions; not complaining about problems.”
What the online world never prepared anyone for was how people do not always get along or understand each other because it is human nature. There is no way you can make everyone happy all of the time. What the online world did do was give us the technology to ignore, block, and avoid people. But they do not market these tools very often, right? Why not?
- Because it is a negative topic, and in our heart of hearts, when our world gets too negative, the business of working online suffers.
Get what I am saying? If what someone says disturbs your nucleus of “you”, just ignore it, walk away from it, or go buy a homeless man a burrito and soda. All of it will make you feel better, and that will help you make the best possible choices for yourself because you wasted no energy feeling negative.
Steven Lowell is a blogger, voice actor, and voice-over industry advocate