Abstaining From Negative Talk – Are You In?

Ouch. That’s all I’ve got to say. And I’m not being negative, just real. I’ve decided to go a little deeper in my understanding of the power that words have, something I believe in deeply. Something I am about mastering, or at least getting really good at. Words.

I’m reading, devouring actually, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines, in which she relates a powerful story of how she accessed a new reserve of personal power by abstaining from negative talk for 21 days. Negative talk means complaining, criticizing, dissing, using sarcasm, and gossiping. Whoa.

I thought I had this one. Really. I’m Ms. Positive, right?  Well, no. I didn’t and I’m not. After all, I am a J in the Myers-Briggs personality type system. Although they kindly say it doesn’t stand for judgmental, in my case, it does. You could say discerning, and I am. I can parse a bundle of sticks. I can see so clearly how it is and how it could be oh-so-much better. And when the world does not see it and do it my way, it irks me.

All of which is okay. What’s not okay, and I’m not sure why, because I haven’t experienced it yet, is bitching about it.

But I’m willing to try, because it’s something I suck at so far. I seem to have come up against an inner wall, and I’d like to dismantle it. I’d like to have a more spacious inner room where air and light (that is, ideas and spirit) can flow and expand freely.

Can I be a bigger person, and learn to use my powerful words even more powerfully? Especially not in the blog, not online, not in any of my promotional guises, but in the personal realms where I am in relationship with actual people and have to tolerate imperfection and disappointment?

I hope so. So far, I’ve had to start over three times in three days. That’s how ingrained the habit of criticizing is, and that’s how unconsciously I indulge in it.

© Phyllis Capanna
© Phyllis Capanna

So, I like company. Are you willing to take the challenge with me? No criticizing, complaining or gossiping for 21 days. If you lapse, you start the count over. Make a calendar for your fridge and mark off the days. Comment below if you’re in!

0 thoughts on “Abstaining From Negative Talk – Are You In?

  1. I’m in! As of today (and tomorrow, and then probably starting over for the 6th time, the day after …)

    Yup. Healing/helping the world starts HERE. Good for you, for your honesty, and for putting this out there. Well done!


    1. P.S. Here comes the squeeze: thoughts and actions count, too. Perhaps that old Buddhist thing of not taking a position, not making something concrete (that isn’t?) might come in handy here. And taking a step back, a breath — getting some perspective. The original out-of-body experience. SO much easier said than done.

      Whew! Here goes … baby steps.

      1. Whoa, thoughts, too? Yikes! I think I will have to notice them, then let them go, i.e., not cultivate them, but for me the most important thing will be not opening the mouth.

  2. Hi again, dear one. Thank you for this “tough-love” post. Perhaps you recall reading a short post I did on my social media page about striving to avoid “snarky” or sarcastic comments, especially as I work with well over 100 clients per day, five days a week. I deeply wish to extend only positive, healing comments out to the lives of the many I meet in my daily walk of life. I have forgiven myself for the countless ill-advised “comebacks” I’ve spewed out over the decades, but my soul knows that it is now time for peace and for sharing it with others. Thank you for the affirming post and reminder from your beautiful “love note for the soul.”
    Dave R.

    1. Hi David! Now that you mention it, I do remember that post, and I remember thinking what a good idea that was, and I also probably thought, “Good thing I don’t have a problem with sarcasm….!” I had no idea what a strong response this post would bring, and I am delighted. I am ever grateful to have you as a companion on this journey.

  3. Hi Phyllis! I thought I had mastered this and caught myself getting caught up in “drama” and “gossip” this weekend. I was so disappointed in myself! But then I realized that the good thing is that because you are keeping this topic in my brain right now, that I noticed that I was doing it and stopped. I am also working on the negative self-talk and reframing comments about myself so that they are positive only. Quite a lovely challenge! I think it should go on forever, We all need to challenge our negative comments/thoughts always.

    1. Yes! Awareness is everything, isn’t it? This has been quite an eye-opening experience. I’m glad you took up the challenge, and for both us, at least, it will go on forever. Thanks for your comments.

  4. I am in for today and likely every day for eternity b/c this will be a huge challenge for me as I learn to “let things go”! 🙂 will give it a go and not be afraid to fail! KEL

    1. Oh, me, too – a lifer! But the awareness of the negativity has begun to shift it for me, and I am more inclined to keep my lip zipped when all I have to offer is criticism. Thanks again for coming by and reading and commenting. Goes to show how endings are just beginnings in disguise. pmc

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