Research indicates that the average person talks to himself or herself about 50,000 times a day. (I bet writers do it even more!) Most of that self-talk is about yourself, and according to the psychological researchers, it is 80% negative.
While much of the negativity comes from criticizing ourselves (I don’t like my new jeans… They don’t like me… I can’t ever seem to get organized…), a lot of the negativity we sensitive creatives feel is picked up from other people. We tend to take on the emotional states of other people–and if they’re negative, it impacts us.
Kinds of Conversations
I found three great articles on the types of conversations we have (with others and with ourselves) and the impact on us as creative people. There’s even one strictly for introverts!
“Are Invisible Conversations Preventing Your Success?” tells us about the invisible conversations we’re often in without knowing it, especially the kind where we’ve picked up on someone else’s bad mood. This type of invisible conversation is called “emotional contagion.” It can be especially detrimental to creative people.
“You Become the Network You Hang With” had this to say: “When my first book was published they told me they [my friends] could also publish a book if they had time. When I suggested they would have time if they quit going to the pub and watching so much TV, it was made clear they did not tolerate such talk…I started to see real progress when I made a new network. When I sought out people who were a positive, nurturing influence. People who would help me up rather than find ways to knock me down.” [This is called "crab mentality."] ”Rather than hold me back my new network expanded my horizons, expanded my opportunities, and expanded my reach.”
“The Introvert’s Guide to Making Great Connections” had this to say before giving his “guide” recommendations: “People will tell you that meeting and mixing with others – networking, hanging out, socializing, tribe-building, whatever you want to call it – is a vital part of the path to… something. Greatness, maybe, or creativity. Perhaps just contentedness…Honestly, I haven’t found that to be so. In fact, I find most of the connect-y, conference-circuit-y, business-socializing stuff to be vacuous, painfully false and a waste of time.” He goes on to say what kind of conversations work for introverts–and what happens between conversations.
Do you identify with any of these writers? Do you find your creativity is impacted (positively or negatively) by the kinds of people in your life? If so, share with us. And if you have a tip for dealing with it, share that too!