Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

What Would You Say To Your Best Friend?

Negative Thoughts

There are two types of people.

  • Those who HAVE negative thoughts and,
  • Those who SUFFER from negative thoughts

It is a natural human tendency to HAVE negative thoughts often. Some people can take the negative emotions in their stride and move on. However, others get stuck with their negative thoughts and feelings, and they find themselves unable to extricate themselves quickly. As a result, they SUFFER their negative thoughts.

Someone bombs an interview, feels terrible for a day or so and moves one. Someone else bombs an interview and gets depressive for days. Someone has a bad day at work but can forget about it when she enters her house while someone else feels miserable, unable to get over the negativity even when home.

Those who SUFFER their negative thoughts do so in some of these ways.

  • Thinking of the worst, catastrophizing. People conflate minor issues into something very big. The boss did not call you for a meeting, and you start thinking that you are being sidelined.
  • Taking things personally. “I sent a message two days ago, and he has not responded. I am not getting the respect I deserve.”
  • Jumping to conclusions. Making faulty assumptions about what others are thinking or making negative assumptions about how events will turn out. “He has not sent me the report I asked about last week. He is slacking, and he is not respecting my position.”

Like anyone else, I also have a lot of negative thoughts every so often. Some become sticky and start impacting my mood and emotional state, where I SUFFER from my negative thoughts. Whenever I notice myself getting to that stage, I have a simple technique to pull myself out of that negativity.

I ask myself, “If my best friend were to tell me that he is SUFFERING from the same issue that I am, what would I say to him?”

This TIP always works. I know what I would tell my friend, and I know what I should do from there.


I am upset that someone in my team did not send me a report on time as promised. I am jumping to conclusions thinking that person is inefficient, slacking, etc. If my friend were facing the same issue and I noticed it, what would I say to him? The conversation would go something like this.

ME: Hey, what’s up. You seem upset about something.

MY FRIEND: Yeah, there is this person on my team. He promised to send me a report last week. Unfortunately, it’s four days overdue, and I am super pissed.

ME: Why get pissed for such a small reason. Why didn’t you call him last week itself to check on why he didn’t send you the report.? Maybe he is having a problem? 

I get my answer. I know how to escape from the SUFFERING of my negative thinking.

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