When someone throws a negative opinion at you, there are only two things that can happen:
- You reject it completely and/or it doesn’t bother you in any way
- It sticks to you mentally at some level in a negative way
That’s it. Option 1 is what happens to people who have a high level of confidence and are driven more by their own self-opinions than that of anyone else.
Option 2 happens when the recipient has some amount — even 1% — of negative self-image within. The negative opinion from the outside finds a friend in that 1% on the inside, the two of them recreate and multiply, and down your psyche goes.
Jack Canfield uses the example of telling someone that they have green hair. If your hair isn’t green, this comment wouldn’t phase you at all: there is no belief in your own mind for this outside opinion to attach to.
But let’s say someone tells you that you’re a complete jerk. If some part of you believed this before the opinion came your way, you’ll believe it even more when someone else says it: the opinion simply feeds the virus.
Which means, anything negative someone else says to you can only affect you if one condition is met, and only this one condition: At some level, you already believed this about yourself and the negative comment just strengthened that negative belief.
It works the same way with positive comments. Have you ever complimented someone who seems completely unable to accept praise? This is the reason for it. That person has nothing within that supports your positive observation.
So how do you change all of this?
The same way you clean a dirty glass: rinse out the residue with clean water (positive & uplifting thoughts, ideas, images) — but it doesn’t happen immediately. That clean water has to run for awhile before the glass is completely clear of residue. And the clean water has to keep running forever, lest it becomes stale water.
Deal with the water bill later.