Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Letting Go of Being a Hater - Is it Possible?

My mother never said "if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all." 
Mostly my mother talked tremendous amounts of shit about everyone, even (especially?) family members when they weren't around. Opinions on behavior, parenting skills, choice of pastimes, company kept, footwear, hair color, eating habits, spending habits, and on and on. Everything and everyone was game. Still is, in fact. I can't have a conversation with her, or my dad for that matter, without it turning to the judging of others. 
On the one hand, it's fun. It's interesting to hear their takes on other people, especially if you agree with the assessments. On the other hand, it's brutal. You can imagine yourself being similarly verbally abused in conversations with other siblings. I used to engage in it, but I find the older I get, I can't. It has the effect of shutting me down.
Not that this stops me from being a hater in my own right - it's pretty deeply ingrained. So often when I feel compelled to write (or tweet, which is sort of embarrassing, this compulsion I have to tweet, but that's for another post), it's to vent about something that pisses me off. And this bothers me. It bothers me that what bubbles up most often in my consciousness is venom. It's directed at everyone - myself, my co-workers, Facebook people, people I follow on Twitter (sorry), musicians, celebrities, politicians, basically anyone I feel is being a loser at any time. 
I'm trying very hard to let go of these thoughts, but how do you stop your natural response to something? If you let it fester, it sticks around. It festers. But then if you talk about it, you're spewing negativity. And what do I know anyway? Who am I to judge anyone? It's a fucked up cycle and I'm trying to leave it behind, but it's not easy. I'm working on it.
And if you have any suggestions for how to cure this cancer, please let me know. 
p.s. This was written in response to this prompt for #Reverb10
p.p.s. On the non-hating side of things, I really love the vocal harmonies in this song. It's sung by sisters.


redcedar said...

I have similar problems with the voice in my head with regards to people's physical properties (ie: weight) which were drummed into me by my own mother continually asking "Do you think I'm as fat as her" everytime we went to the mall. So far, I have found no particular cure, but I do think some form of cognitive behaviour therapy (or practice) is the way to go. You know - where you replace the bad thoughts with good ones everytime until finally the good ones come more naturally?

In any case, good for you for working on this particular issue in your life. Being a hater is so popular in our culture right now - so everywhere! It's hard to resist at times. Be a positive force and you'll feel better about you as well as everyone else!

Tammy Pajamas said...

I applaud this effort and know it's hard--I just wrote you an email about my coworkers practicing/mangling Xmas carols in the next room. I'm wondering if maybe the way to eradicate, or at least lessen, the ranting is to use the meditation technique? In other words, have the thought, acknowledge it, and then move on. Or maybe putting yourself into other people's shoes is helpful? These are just guesses, mostly. I've had a little luck with the second, haven't tried the first. They seem pretty time consuming (maybe only initially?). Good luck!

Jane Donuts said...

@redcedar - thanks for your comment, and yes, I am definitely trying! feels difficult when the bad things just keep popping into your head, but i guess as long as i'm not doing anything with them, there's no real harm (except to me, psychically.)

@tammy - yeah, i think the meditation thing is more or less the way to go. just acknowledge it and move on.