I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel strange to practice self-observation by being sure to say what I think is kind, useful, and true. Before beginning this exercise, I thought it was going to be easy – how hard could it be to stay positive throughout the entire day? After about an hour of holding myself back from making negative comments or gossiping, I knew that having a positive outlook on the whole day would be more difficult than I thought. I realized that I spend more of my day speaking negatively about situations and people than I do appreciating the little things in life. I noticed that I usually communicate with others by either complaining about something or adding similarly negative comments to my friends’ complaints.
I found it very difficult to not be able to chime in when someone started gossiping about someone or started complaining about how much work they had for their classes on Monday. All I could do was try to stay positive and steer away from adding any negative comments about how I was also drowning in schoolwork or how I’m also annoyed by said person. I tried to only talk about what had been helpful to me during the course of my day and what had made me happy. I chose not to tell anyone about the assignment to see if they would notice a difference in my communication. Because I tend to heavily add to a gossipy conversation with my friends, they did notice that I had been more positive than usual and found it strange that I didn’t seem too interested in listening to them talk poorly about someone or a certain situation.
After completing this exercise, I realized that when communicating with others, I tend to have a negative outlook and attitude towards the situations I am in and I don’t always speak highly of everyone I come into contact with. Spending a whole day forcing myself to say only kind, useful, and true things was definitely difficult, but it made me realize that I need to be more positive! If I continue to communicate negatively, I can’t expect other people to not complain and gossip about me. This exercise has encouraged me to think before I speak and has helped me realize just how important spreading goodness is, even if it’s just through the way we communicate.