Have you ever found yourself trying so hard not to sound boastful that you highlight to others what you think your life is lacking?

People often use negativity as a shield to protect themselves from the unkind judgements and jealousies of others.

They sweep their happiness under the rug and hide it like a dirty secret.

Instead of focusing on the pride she feels for providing for her family, the working mother will mourn her lack of time with her kids. If she doesn’t she risks appearing like she doesn’t love her children enough.

The stay at home mum will protest at her lack of identity and financial independence, even if she’s secretly happy.

The travelling salesman will winge about his time on the road, though he may quietly rejoice at the freedom.

The office worker will complain about his time stuck indoors as he quietly revels in the comforts of air conditioning on a cold, winter day.





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They are all just shields – a way to deflect other people’s jealousies by letting them know our life isn’t perfect.

They can become the weapons we fire upon ourselves.

When we give in to the urge to hide our happiness we risk losing it.


Negativity is a thief that steals happiness.


When we are claiming our negativity, we close the doors to positivity and it can have a snowball effect.

I’ve heard conversations where the participants are actually competing for top status in their negative dramas.

It is a form of attention seeking and fishing for sympathy. Or just an urge to fit in.

The fact is those words have power and as you think and speak them they become reality. Your negativity shield has become a weapon for self–harm. It can lead to depression.

To use the words of Joyce Meyer, you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind.

In my post Can Too Much Happy Make You Sad? I ask if you can be guilty of NOT sharing misery.

I had to laugh when re-reading this I as describe an instance where I was doing the very thing I’m saying we shouldn’t – list the negatives in our life to make someone else feel better.


If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet.

Joel Osteen


We do not need to justify our happiness. We have a right to it.

A better way of handling this is to allow them their grumble, show empathy and move on to a happier subject.

As I mentioned in When You’re Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places, it is not their job to like me – it is mine.

By the same token, it is not my job to make people happy by downgrading the joy in my life and focusing on the negatives.





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To be truly happy, fulfilled and satisfied, we must find the confidence to build our shields from positive and grateful thoughts and to proudly own our joy.

This takes confidence because instead of attracting sympathy (as a negative shield does) there will be those who feel threatened by our happiness and will test the strength of our armour.

The negativity shield is a way of justifying our choices, but when we are truly confident we no longer need to explain ourselves to others.

This is why we need to be our own friend first – not relying on others for validation.

Your true support people will rejoice in the choices that lift you up and make you happy and you will never feel the need to protect yourself from them with a negativity shield.

When you stand up and say; “I’m happy, I’m doing what I want. I love life”, without, “BUT, it is hard work, I get tired” – all the add-ons to justify this – you are living an authentic life.

This is not boasting. This is acknowledging the good in your life. If people feel threatened by it that is their issue and it stems from their insecurities.


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It’s not always practical to avoid these people. They could be co-workers or family members, but it is a good idea to limit your time around them as they can influence your mood and your thinking and help you bury your joy.

The reverse is true too. If you don’t allow the threat of judgement from others to make to use a negativity shield, you’ll be spreading positive energy which could help to lift them.


It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.

Robert H. Schuller


Embrace your joy. Own it and own up to it and you will be sharing it with the world.

Wishing you no need for shields and a gleeful week, Tamuria




  • I must admit I never thought about this topic. I have wondered why people focus on the negative, but not that they use it as a shield. Perhaps I’m fortunate and I only surround myself with people who don’t complain, who are proud, who share good things.
    Interesting thoughts here.

  • This is a great reminder. We tend to go negative if others are negative in the room. Not many people want to stand out when everyone else is not doing so great. It helps to remember that you can share your wins with others. People may even need it to inspire them to take action and make a better life. I would suggest starting out by sharing your wins with people you feel close to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • This is beautiful, Tamuria. And of course, I’ve been guilty of this too. No life is all roses, but how silly I’ve been to list the thorns rather than rejoice in the flowers, simply to make someone else know how tough I’ve had it! And it’s true–that only hurts me.
    Yes ma’am–my new mantra!

  • Yeah! I love this topic and you have shared insights so eloquently. I know the words, thoughts and feelings we focus change the way our life unfolds and has a positive or negative impact on others. I am far from perfect but do my best to be a conduit of love and good. I know that is you too! Love this, thank you.

    • Teresa, thank you for recognising I also do my best to be a conduit of love and good. I know, from reading your blog, that this is true of you. Yes, we do fall down sometimes but to keep striving to pass joy to others is the challenge. It’s so important to remember that thoughts are things – powerful things.

  • I love this post! Spreading negative thoughts is never helpful. Sharing joy is! Just as a smile is contagious, so do happy thoughts enrich other people. Wouldn’t you rather hear a happy story than a sad one? I hope so.

  • A lovely post, Tami. I must admit I have been caught up in feeling sorry for myself the last few weeks, as life has been throwing so many curve balls at me, I seem to have forgotten how to catch them. When things pile up on me, I know it is easy to be negative. I want to be away from people and ‘wallow’ in whatever I am feeling. It is very true that we can flip the switch and chose to find one positive thing to focus on and somehow eventually that shifts our entire being going forward. Yesterday I focused on how grateful I was to have an air conditioned house and car and that was good for the moment. Appreciate your reminder to look for the positive and eliminate the negative. It is healthier and we’ll be happier for it!

    • When we’re hit with big stressors, as you have been lately Beverley, it’s so easy to forgo the gratitude for a bit of self-pity. I fall into this trap too, but it sounds like you are using you mind power to turn your thoughts around. It’s important to stay away from people who want to wallow in negativity – particularly when we are struggling to capture the brightness in our own lives. I think gratitude is the cure-all for negativity.

  • While I agree that negativity has a lot to do with our happiness, in that we dwell on it… but I just can’t believe that negativity breeds it…. like.. when shit happens, and it does and if I dwell on it, then I am like asking the universe to give me more.. really? No. But I get the bigger picture and that is.. focus on the good people… know that shit happens, but unless you can control it, which we usually can’t, and can’t change that it already happened… move on!

    BTW.. ?comforts of air conditioning on a cold, winter day.” don’t you mean HOT day? lol

    • According to the law of attraction like attracts like, Kisten, so if we are focusing on the negative we’ll attract more of that to us. I agree that bad stuff happens to us all and it’s important not to bury our feelings towards those things. However, sharing that negativity, especially if we are using that negativity as a shield, gives it power.
      We are having some of the coldest days on record here in the Australian winter at the moment. I was thinking about Sydney office workers ( who have endured some pretty nasty storms in the past couple of weeks) when I wrote about the comforts of air conditioning on a cold, winter day.:)

  • Those around us can impact on how we deal with daily challenges. I was blessed to have a father who focused on gratitude even when he was in pain . There was a time in my life when it was a huge struggle to focus on joy which now makes each day ever more precious. Lets scatter our joy !

    • I love that Pauline – scatter our joy. I doubt many people get through life without periods where it is hard to focus on joy. It’s all part of the growth that helps us recognise and embrace it. I know that gratitude and positivity may not make problems go away, but they will make us feel better, while negativity can make us stuck. Here’s to scattering the joy.:)

  • I do try to only give voice to what is good or what I want because I do believe that our words are powerful. Talking about the negativity just gives life to it.

  • In many cultures, especially the Eastern ones, Tamuria, we are taught to be quiet about our success and happiness for fear that someone’s jealousy may ruin it for us. In the West, the concept is one of circumspection and not tooting one’s horn. But to put on a negativity shield? That had not crossed my mind, though it makes logical sense to me!

    The metaphysical law of attraction does talk of attracting that which we focus on and if we are putting ourselves down in front of others then at some point we will lower our vibration level and attract exactly what we crib about! I’m for the positivity shield -its so much lighter and brighter!

  • This is great, Tamuria! (And I Love your name!)

    I like your perspective on the idea that negativity can become a shield. Coming from experiences of abuse, it makes sense that joy has been downplayed, because it grates against the normal of the abuser, who seems to see life through very different eyes. Claiming joy is not meant to feel challenging! Yes! How magical.

    Thank you for your insights.

    Big Love,
    ~ Jenny

    • Perfectly said, Jenny – claiming joy is not meant to be challenging. Sad that for so many it is, and that surrounding themselves with a negativity shield seems the easier option. Thank you for your lovely words.:)

  • I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this post – drop in on the group and you’ll see how very much we are on the same page! Yay, you!

  • I really love the insights you share here Tamuria. I am still guilty of doing this, and you hit the nail on the head when you say it’s linked to a concern with how other people will respond if I stand tall and strong in my joy. I’d been dimly aware I was doing it, so your words are like a wake up call from the Universe. Here’s to owning the joy in my life without adding the negative tag-on.

    • It’s so easy to do, Julia, and I catch myself doing it a lot. It’s good we’re both aware of it so we can stop ourselves and truly rejoice in our happiness.

  • Interesting perspective in using negativity as a shield. However, I like how you turn it around to make it armor for positivity. It seems it’s so easy to fall into the negative trap, and I have met people who try to top another’s negative story with one greater of their own. I don’t think people realize how energy depleting negativity is. Personally, I prefer the energy generating feeling that comes from what’s positive in life.

    • So true that people don’t realize the power of that negative energy, Joyce. It’s particularly distressing when they turn it into a competition about how rotten their lives are. It’s so much better to spread positive energy.

  • I am a positive person by nature and so I definitely show my joy. I have had others try to tear me down for it, but I realize it isn’t me, it is something they are dealing with. I refuse to be negative to fit in or comfort others. Life is good and I love living it.

    • Karen, it’s so wonderful that you celebrate life as you do, not allowing others to tear you down, though they try. Understanding it is their issue, and not yours, is the best way to deal with it.

  • This is so true, and a real problem for people! Consciously owning your happiness (or sadness) is key, and you can’t control other’s reactions to your experiences. Authentic existence is the best solution. Great post, thanks!

  • Hi Tamuria 🙂

    Thank you for sharing such a positive post! We should all have those kinds of shields to keep that negativity away 🙂 But, like you said, it is difficult to stay away from it sometimes….As long as I am happy and living my best life it really does not matter what others are doing anyway.

    Great post!

  • Tamuria- Yes! Yes! Yes! We need to stop with the qualifiers when giving positive feedback to ourselves, and to others as well. Not “This worked out well for a change,” but rather “This worked out well.”

  • Loved this! You are singing to the choir in my case. I particularly enjoyed your comments: It’s not people’s “job to like it is mine. By the same token, it is not my job to make people happy by downgrading the joy in my life and focusing on the negatives. that it’s not our job.” Well said! Sadly we women often feel guilty for being happy, prosperous, successful or any of the other positive labels out there.

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