Maybe you've been reading along for a few years, and in that case you'll remember my .blogspot days and this blog having a slightly different name! Pugs, Pearls & Positivity just didn't roll off the tongue, and I dropped the positivity after a while. Being positive is such a huge part of my identity and that's why it was important to me to include in the name of my blog. I figured even if it wasn't in the name I could still keep this space positive and motivational! 

I enjoy talking about and sharing the good things in our life, so this blog has indeed stayed positive! I can't even remember the last time I vented about something bad. But, somewhere along the way my brain forgot to keep up with this. I love the quote above: "Positive people also have negative thoughts".  Everybody has bad days and sometimes you can't help but feel a little negative. 

What I'm talking about here today is something that goes a bit further than just the casual negative thought. One day I was talking to my sister about something that was driving me crazy, and I suddenly had a realization right in the middle of my sentence. I noticed that complaint was my third complaint during our car ride. Amy was politely listening to me and she lets me vent whenever I need to. But, I had been doing that fairly frequently. 

I don't know if she noticed me suddenly getting quieter during that trip, but I spent a lot of time thinking about this little habit that I had gotten into. It bothers me that as a person who is constantly trying to improve that I could retrogress in this way. And I'm not even sure when it started, but basically, I began just being irritated by everything. 

As I get closer to being in my 'late' twenties (eek!), most days, I feel like I know myself pretty well. I've always had a tendency to be critical. That quality has actually served me pretty well! I like to critique myself and try to find ways to improve. However, I realized that it's not okay to critique other people. Not everyone has my standards, and it's not fair to hold them to those standards without their knowledge. 

One of my favorite things in life is to learn about people and what makes them tick. What makes them do the things they do? Getting to know people helps you to be less judgemental and give them the benefit of the doubt. But! When I don't understand them or why they are doing whatever it is, I get so frustrated. Because I have this apparent tendency to get frustrated and be critical it's a slippery slope toward negativity. I literally could walk around all day getting irritated at everything and everyone. 

So I made a decision that day in the car. (Much like the decision I made when I was 14 and decided to start listening to my parents. Instant switch flip.) I would not allow myself to continue being annoyed all the time. The reality is, people are crazy and will continue to do things that you don't understand. It does no good to get worked up about it. 

That was a few months ago. I still find myself slipping in and out of that negative thinking pattern. It's helped me a lot to think about how I would like others to feel about me. I don't want the majority of conversations my sister and I have to be me venting about something that bugs me. I don't even want the kind of reputation where people expect to have a conversation like that with me. I'd rather have the reputation of being the one that will turn the topic around to good things. You never feel good after talking like that with someone else. I want people to feel good when they leave my company. 

There is also the line of thought that I would hate to know someone was being that critical of me or frustrated because of something I did. Whether it was something I chose to wear, something I said or a decision I made. No one knows what moved me to make those choices, and in the same way, we don't know all the details or the motivations of someone else. Give people the benefit of the doubt, because you want them to do the same for you. 

Leave a comment down below if you feel this way sometimes too! Are you like me, trying to be positive all the time, but have a tendency to be critical? Are you more of a positive person or do you tend to be negative? I'd love to know what personal projects you are working on! And let me know if you've been around since the beginning and remember the Pugs, Pearls & Positivity days!

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