Good things always happens in threes, or at least that is what superstition tells us.
But bad things? Sometimes it feels as if the bad things that happen to you will never end.
Let’s be honest, it is difficult to deal with setbacks and frustrations.
But if you are asking yourself the question “Why do bad things always happen to me” a lot, maybe there is something else going on here.
What kinds of ‘bad things’?
All bad things are not created equal.
So be honest. How big are those things that are happening right now? And how bad?
Maybe you are experiencing a string of small, frustrating events like being held up in traffic, losing objects, being overlooked, being unfairly treated. But what does this really mean? Is it really more than what happens to others? Is it more problematic than normal interactions in life?
What if really big, bad life events happen to you?
That’s tough. Be gentle to yourself. Acknowledge what has happened and that it is a big, difficult life issue. Then try to find ways to deal with that issue, and maybe seek the help of a professional counselor.
In healthy communication, ‘always’ is one of those words you just don’t use.
Why? It takes you away from the present moment. It creates a smoke screen between you and othersAnd, most importantly, it isn’t true.Do bad things really ‘always’ happen to you? Through out your entire life?
If your honest answer is ‘no’, then you are well on your way to breaking the trap of negative perceptions.
Passive and active
‘Bad things (always) happen to me’.
Do you notice something else about that sentence? You, the person who is speaking, are not the active agent here. It’s the bad things that run the show.
You are passive in your own life.
In other words, you have a tendency to see yourself as the ‘victim’. You feel you are ‘always’ on the receiving end of other people’s actions. And there is nothing you can do about it.
This is what some people call a ‘victim mentality’. You feel you are the victim in every interaction. Other people are responsible for your problems.
Of course there are situations, such as when someone commits a crime against you, where you really ARE a victim. There is nothing shameful or wrong in saying you are a victim when you really are.
But if you recognize yourself in the phrase ‘bad things are always happening to me’, you describe yourself as if you were not the main actor in your own life.
You are the main actor in your own life
You are. You are the main actor in your own life.
It is your own actions, not those of others, that can create change for the better.
Give yourself a reality check.
Go over the list of those ‘bad things’ (after first discarding the false ‘always’) and analyze how they happened. Make a list of what and who caused them.
Then make another list of what you (yes, you!) could do about them, both to fix the fallout and to change similar events in the future.
You will be surprised how different your life can look once you snap out of your negative thinking.
When bad things happen, we get angry.
Events that frustrate us or take something away that we wanted, create a small psychological injury.
And then we get angry. Anger is not a bad emotion in itself. What matters is what you do with the anger!
How to convert your anger into action
Anger can motivate you, and it can focus your perceptions. Anger alerts you to your boundaries and to your goals in life. If you feel you have the power to change your life yourself, anger can be converted into useful action.
Be fair to yourself.
Make another list with all the good things that are happening to you.
This doesn’t mean that the bad things don’t exist. Nobody is asking you to deny your experience or belittle your suffering. It just gives you a more realistic outlook on your life.
You don’t need to be harsh to yourself in order to leave the ‘victim mentality’ behind.
When bad things happen to you, allow yourself to feel the pain, and allow yourself to be sad.
Then try to find a way to transform the situation so that you are back as the main actor in your life.
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