Don’t you find it fascinating how we humans seem to love to make an already bad situation worse?
Living in a remodel is a bit challenging for someone with a dust allergy. As a result, I woke up the other day with a terrible headache. Of course, having been primed for the last two years to think that I might catch COVID any minute, I immediately started catastrophizing. “This might happen, then that could happen, then this could happen…!” I finally settled myself down and realized that, no, it was only dust. But my mood had already turned for the worse. “What a cruddy way to start the day!” I thought.
After two or three minutes of pouting, I realized I had a choice. I could choose to stay grumpy and let it ruin my mood and my productivity and the way I show up with my family. And then, of course, I’d get to feel like a bad dog for being grumpy and moody and pouty (because that’s the way it works). Or I could choose not to.
I remember consciously sitting and observing my weird self being reluctant to make the better choice.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we get something back for staying stuck in our negativity. Maybe it’s because we get to be “right” about it.
I remember thinking, “I don’t have time for a headache today!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
“It’s unfair!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
“I deserve better!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
Knowing that no one would dispute my rightness, felt oddly pleasurable.
I’m aware that this sort of thing, for most of us in most situations, plays out subconsciously. That while many of us perceive ourselves as being pretty positive people, we likely have very little awareness of the negativity that might be lurking because, of course, we’re right to feel as we do.
It lives in our snarkiness, and in our reactions, and in our fatigue. It feasts on our self-righteous quippy tweets and posts and comments. “I’m riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!” Ha! Take that! Like the creepy zombies that take over the world, our negative-rightness replicating itself through social media.
And while we may be right (ooooh, doesn’t that feel good?!), our rightness is costing us (you knew it was coming…right?).
One of the things that actors do, that I encourage my students to do (and I’m continually working on myself), is to be a detective with yourself. To stay curious about how you think and feel and how it affects the way you show up in the world.
If you want to be and bring our best, we have to understand what’s getting in our way. What are your triggers? How do they impact you emotionally, mentally, and physically? How is that affecting the way you see, experience, and show up in the world?
Because how we show up determines our results. That’s what’s real.
So, when I had my headache, I noticed that my “rightness” likely cost me more than I realized. It was a negativity-gateway of sorts.
Which only prolonged the pain.
How might you be suffering from ”rightness?” Where in your life are you feeling grumpy about something or someone and holding on to it because you’re “right?”
“He’s a jerk!” (You’re right!)
“It’s not fair!” (You’re right!)
“I shouldn’t have to….!” (You’re right!)
How is that having an impact on how you’re thinking, feeling, and showing up in your world? What’s the price you might be paying?
Because, while it may feel oh-so-good in the moment, and we may feel oh-so-justified, sometimes we can be oh-so-right it hurts.