Before You Negate Someone: Think Twice


Photo by Adrian Van Leen

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori Proverb

Recently over dinner, the person I was speaking to asked me: "Do you really believe that all people are good?" I replied, "Yes." He said "What -- everyone, really you mean everyone?" I said, "Yes." To clarify my definition of good I told him I believe that people are born full of positivity, light and love. It is how we all react to the world that distorts who we really are and can at times prevent us from being our true radiant selves. He disagreed somewhat, saying "Many people are good, but what about some people who are just, basically... a***holes?" (He didn't mince his words here as he was trying to get a point across.) As our conversation took place at the end of the evening, we didn't get to complete our discussion so I wanted to expand on my feelings on this topic.

I really do believe that all people are intrinsically good. When I say "good" I mean that their innermost being is beautiful and spiritual. However, their behaviour is another matter. Some people behave in ways that are almost impossible to understand and do things that are unthinkable to many of us. We can become frustrated, scared, angry and upset through our reaction to their actions. Does this mean that they are "evil" and intrinsically "bad"? I think we need to be careful before we attach negative labels to people. We are all human and we all come from the same source. Just as snowflakes are all unique yet come from the same original source, water, so we are all unique and come from the same original spiritual or energy source; define it however you prefer.

It is so easy to pin negative labels on people. So often we can say "Oh he's an idiot," or "She's a nightmare." But really? Is he actually an idiot? Is she really a nightmare? Perhaps you think that he is behaving like an idiot because he is unable to perform the task that you have given him or because he is behaving in a way you find inappropriate in public. Perhaps she has a challenging personality or you feel like you are in a middle of a nightmare when you are in her vicinity. At the end of the day it's all a matter of your perspective. We could look at a rainy day and say "This is awful." To you it might be a nightmare as you will get wet or your outdoor plans will have to be put on hold, but to the flowers and plants and a farmer who has been waiting for the rain after a dry spell it might be a dream come true.

I'm not saying that we allow people to behave any which way they want without setting boundaries, and I'm not saying we should not be careful or protect ourselves from people whose behaviour is harmful to us. However, by labelling them negatively we limit their scope to change. We put them in a box in our mind from which perhaps later it could be hard for them to emerge.

So before you fall into the habit of negating someone -- I invite you to think twice. Is it actually who they are that you are unhappy with? Or is it their behavior that is not suiting you right now? The sun is always shining: depending on where we are on the planet, the weather and what time of day or year it is; we might feel it's too hot or that it's lacking. Does that make the sun bad, or an idiot, when it's not behaving in the way we want it to? The sun is still the sun and we can choose to turn our faces toward it.

Some questions to ponder:
What are your thoughts on the above?
How would you feel if someone labelled you in a negative way?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Feel free to comment below. If you wish to contact me directly you can reach me at or via my website.