Recently, I was listening so someone tell her friend a story about something that, in her view, was a bad experience. It was a crowded area (I wasn't trying to eavesdrop), so I couldn't really make out the details, but there was a lot of hand gesturing and "OMG" faces made. So really what I was seeing was the exchange of energy in that moment and both people were fully invested in the swirl of it all.
It got me thinking ... we invest SO much energy in the negative things, yet we usually dial it back when talking about positive things. Is there more emotion given over to the negative stuff, while we are underwhelmed by the positive?
I was thinking about this while I was with a group of friends. We all were sharing "good" things and "bad" in the spirit of catching up. Without exception, the "bad-stuff" stories took longer to tell and, for the most part, held more energy. So why is it that we get sucked into drama and gossip differently that we do stories of unicorns and rainbows? Essentially we have become a tribe of people celebrating the negative, then. Not good.
I'm not saying that people like it when bad things happen, but there does seem to be a "tell me more" energy that isn't the same when it's good news. A personal hypothesis is that people long to connect and perhaps its easier to do over shared negative expereinces than good ones? SMH. Or maybe people love stories of gossip and judgement so they can feel better about themselves, therefore elevating them at the expense of another? Does there always have to be a pecking order?
My bigger life philosophy is you get what you focus on, and if you focus on the negative - be it your narrative or that of another - that's what you will see. In corporate, we also call this, "what gets mesaured, gets attention," and it strikes me we are constantly measuring up and comparing. In the good vs bad example, this is why we love gossip and judgement so that we can constantly update our score of self-worth.
For me, witnessing the original conversation in the crowded area was a reminder to myself: Put MORE energy into the positive/happy stories than in sharing what went badly. Flip the time spent gossiping and in drama to time spent celebrating others.
Our thoughts are powerful, and though we all would like a witness for our crappy days, what we give energy to is what we create. Our words, thoughts, beliefs and actions all add up to the life we create, and personally I'm all for stepping out of those negative swirls!