David Strittmatter

The art of dealing with negativity: my unconventional approach

There is too much negativity in the world. Do your best to make sure you aren’t contributing to it. ― Germany Kent

Dear friend,

I love conversation card games. You draw a card. Read the question out loud. And learn about yourself or another person something new.

Last week, my girlfriend and I played a round of We’re not strangers – couple edition. I drew the card “What’s something you don’t feel comfortable talking about”. My girlfriend and I laughed: What a nasty question.

I needed to think for about two-and-a-half minutes to formulate my answer.

For me, it’s just one thing: I don’t feel comfortable talking about the negative stuff in my life. Stuff that brings my mood or the mood of others down. Stuff I reflect on at least once a week at a dedicated time but otherwise block out of my life.

I don’t like talking about…

  • feeling like shit from time to time because I doubt my personal sense of life
  • worrying about friends and family who don’t live life to the fullest
  • being bullied when I was in my early teens
  • hating the fact that life is finite
  • and so many more things

I don’t want to let too much negativity in my life. If you think life sucks, life sucks. We are born in an imperfect world.

However, we have to deal with negativity. It’s vital for a happy and fulfilled life. Ignoring negativity leads to…

  • suppressed negative emotions, which can result in increased stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues over time
  • accumulation of resentment and misunderstandings, ultimately harming your connections with others
  • issues unresolved, which may worsen over time and lead to more significant problems

The way I deal with negativity is a twofold approach:

  1. Whenever there is an issue, I resolve it as fast as possible and ask the people around me for help. Once I reach the point where the issue is resolved or I cannot affect it anymore, I don’t think about it (involuntarily).
  2. Once a week I reflect on the week including negative stuff. I let myself think about the stuff I cannot control. Even the most negative stuff like the fact that we all will die someday and lose all our loved ones.

Thereby, I take care of all the negativity while letting it as little room as possible.

However, this comes at a price. My girlfriend and I regularly have deep conversations. Yet, she cannot fully interpret me and my feelings.

The same goes for my family and closest friends. They don’t really know when I have a shitty day unless I ask them for help to resolve the underlying issue.

It’s like I sometimes have a pokerface and they cannot tell whether I have it or not. This makes me appear less authentic.

When I don’t open up, friends and family feel uncomfortable opening up.

Hence, I ask a lot of questions. As I love talking about the issues of another person. I love problem-solving. I love hearing the emotions-loaded stories of other people.

What about you? How do you deal with negativity? What is something you feel uncomfortable talking about?

All the best to you and yours,


Share This Post

Recent Posts