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Who's In The Skin?

Finding the positive in the negative

By AYANNA CLARKE

This week I begin with a question:

Is there such a thing as being too positive?

If we are honest with ourselves there are times when we don't want to smile; or see the brighter side of things. There are times when we want to do a little wallowing in self-pity's pool or admit that we just feel like being miserable.

The difference between you and the person we consider negative is that they dwell in these mindsets most of the time.

Our study on personality has hopefully given you a greater insight into yourself and the privileged ones who share your life. Now you know who is available and who is politically correct.

You also know by now how your closest friends recharge themselves, and who is really the easiest to get along with.

This final article in the "Who's in the Skin?" series gives us a look at the negative traits which include pessimism, moodiness, anxiety, and criticism.

Although we all have negative traits that show sporadically, the truly negative person embodies these and other adverse characteristics on a more consistent basis.

I can see you now...going down a list in your mind of persons that are already considered negative or who can now be placed in that category.

When it comes to this part of personality, I find that there is basically no middle ground. Either you have an open and positive personality, with some negative qualities that show up once in a while; or you have a generally closed and negative personality. None of them make us great or bad people. Really. it just boils down to how honest you are with yourself. Here is a list of questions you may use:

• Do I always think of the wrong, bad or down side of things?

• Do I use words like can't, won't, wouldn't more often than not? Am I always judging and harsh in my criticism of others?

• Do I have an incessant need to be right all the time?

A little self-evaluation is good but this factor is better judged by observation. Its all about the sense that you leave behind when we encounter you.

A person high in negatives, will probably be insecure, often complain and self-conscious most of the time. It is highly possible for this person to hang out with others, be a best friend, or even be the dependable one in a group. The thing is negative persons bring a realistic view to life. They ensure that we are never lulled into the nonsensical view that life will always be a bed of roses. Negative persons open our eyes to the harsh realities of this existence. Despite the fact that they leave discomfort in their wake, negative people who are confident enough to be themselves will let you know that:

  1. No, there will not always be good times.

  2. Yes, things will probably go wrong.

  3. Certainly, life is not a box of chocolates.

They see the glass half empty, much to the annoyance of those who prefer to see it half full. However, we can gain wisdom from a negative person, even if we disagree.

The Bible cautions us to remain optimistic through meditating on things that are lovely, honest, just, praise worthy, etc. In fact the very basis of our Christian walk is that you must have faith in the goodness of both God and others. In other words, you can't go wrong believing the best about situations, and people. However, reason can be given for a little awkwardness, caution and sensitivity when the need arises.

Remember I started this article with a question. Perhaps you can be the judge: Am I being too positive about finding what is positive about someone who is negative?

God bless you this week!

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