Naysayers

Do you have Naysayers in your life? I do! If you don’t have any now, you may have witnessed naysaying or perhaps have past memories of Naysayers,

What are Naysayers? There are different types. Remember the story of Job? He had three friends whom I would say were Naysayers. Job stuck to his faith but the “friends,” perhaps with very benevolent intent, told Job to give up. Yikes!

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever experienced well-intentioned people in your life literally tell you “You can’t” or tell you in some other fashion that you should give up your dreams?

Teachers and college professors sometimes do this, although my own experience of college was not like that. I have heard stories, though, of instructors who tell students, “You have no talent.”

I can’t imagine saying that to anyone, can you? How can these profs say this without realizing the consequences? I have known students who were insulted like this and they ended up dropping classes, giving up totally, getting discouraged and angry.

I have had people tell me to give up antipsychiatry or whatever the heck our Movement is called. I was even told that no one cares about it. Actually, that’s so untrue I am surprised I even listened to the person who said it.

I have been told I will always be a failure, even by people I highly respected.

Most of my doctors called me disabled and incapable. And yet, haven’t I consistently proven them wrong when they’ve played the role of Naysayer?

Do you have Naysayers in your life?

I have often thought that the Naysayers in one’s life are actually an impediment and this is why:

Naysayers don’t expect much from you. They expect you to fail, or are convinced you will. This negative expectation is almost like a diagnosis. Or pseudo-diagnosis. FAILURE.

Maybe it’s time to get the Naysaying to stop. I don’t like hearing it and I don’t see it as productive. But is such a thing possible or is Naysaying an intrinsic part of being human?

What if we just didn’t listen to all that? What if we disregarded the expectation of a poor outcome?

Perhaps it goes back to realizing that other people don’t predict your future. No one is psychic. Even if you have had past failures (and who hasn’t?), that in itself doesn’t mean you won’t succeed.

I think I need to also tune in to any Naysaying I may be inadvertently sending out to other people.

I ask what the difference is between warning people about a scam, such as the Windows computer infection phone scam, would count as Naysaying. Should I instead have an open mind and say, “If. you think giving all your personal information to this telemarketer is the best thing ever, GO FOR IT”?

Most likely, not.

What about a person who decides to enter the Mental System?

I have heard people say to me, “I don’t care about consequences, I only want to feel better right now.”

Of course this is a foolish approach. But should I say so? Wouldn’t that somehow be knocking the person down, even though my intent is certainly not to be cruel?

While many of you out there may wish we could stop people from making this decision, perhaps a gentler approach would be more effective. I don’t mean toning down the message. I mean working at a slower pace so the potential psych victim realizes for himself that he’s moving in the wrong direction, and takes the initiative to prevent that from happening.

I think when a person decides and acts autonomously to make a change, ultimately the change is more solid and long-lasting.

I think I need to be more aware of when or if I am making Naysaying statements. Sometimes it is best to stay mum even when you are sure of yourself.

Just a thought.

Feedback and comments welcome!