Just as a state necessitates a strong, mighty, powerful and comprehensive military, paramilitary and police force to safeguard it from its enemies and enable the smooth and seamless functioning of its various affairs, the human mind requires a strong self-defence and self-security system which can secure and protect it from social negativity and external exploitative agencies or forces.
With this self-defence system and auto check-up mechanism, an individual will no longer get affected by social negativity and it will no longer affect his constructive capabilities or traumatize his personality. Furthermore, with this self-defence system a utilitarian and a productive individual will never become an unproductive and useless or a frivolous entity in society. Social negativity actually involves negative behaviours like bullying, jealousy, lying, dishonesty, hostility, rudeness and son, which are directed at the recipient and are perceived as aversive or unwanted, and does not simply refer to the presence of negative feelings about another person. It is an act in an unpleasant or angry manner toward an individual; making his life arduous and difficult. Social negativity is not harmful for an individual only, rather it is destructive for the whole society, hampering its growth and development.
Some of the unique characteristics of an ideal society are that every individual in it is supposed to get support from the other members and every member is encouraged to improve and prosper instead of being trolled and bullied. Those who get lost are directed to get back on the right track instead of being laughed at. Every individual of an ideal society is supposed to carry a good attitude and positive behaviour within himself. As narrated by Jaabir (RA), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Among the dearest of you to me and those who will be seated closest to me on the Day of Resurrection are those of you who are best in attitude” (Tirmidhi). Every member of an ideal society is supposed to be kind both in his words and his actions while dealing with others without causing harm to anybody in any form as Almighty says in His holy book that ‘do good to others, surely Allah loves those who do good to others’ (Qur’an 2:195).
However, when we look around now, these attributes are seldom found anywhere and our societies are filled with the filth of jealousy, hatred, show-off, bullying, trolling, dishonesty, lying and many more flaws than can be counted. Good attributes like morality, character and honesty are slowly fading away and becoming meaningless for most of the so-called enlightened modern human beings.
Our societies lack positive thinking and there is a rise of negativity in our societies. Negative behaviours are on the rise which have resulted in many psychological issues, anxiety and depression among the individuals in our societies. Being part of these societies we need to develop the attributes of patience, tolerance, honesty and positivity among ourselves to protect ourselves from social negativity. In order to develop these positive attributes in ourselves, we first need to take a comprehensive cognizance of these negative attributes in our societies and then try to evolve and cultivate tactics and strategies to deal with negative behaviours in our daily routine life. Better apprehension of social negativity will lead us to generate the best approaches in ourselves to combat negative behaviours.
Let’s try to find some practical ways which can be helpful in dealing with social negativity so that it may not dominate us and affect our personality by overpowering our positive energy and exercising control over our cognitive power as we often face negative propensities in our societies:
People with negative behaviours are not problematic only for others but they themselves also suffer from their negativity. They lack solace, serenity and tranquillity in their lives. So, dealing with social negativity by adopting the aforesaid approaches can bring peace and prosperity in our societies. These approaches have multidimensional benefits and can eradicate the nuisance of social negativity in our societies which in turn paves the way for an ideal and prosperous society.
The first and foremost principle to deal with negative behaviours is to ignore them. Brian Ortega, the American martial artist, has said that sometimes the best response is no response. A person should try his best to avoid unnecessary response to negative social behaviours. He should always try to keep himself busy with his own activities and ignore social negativity by not giving space to frivolous and futile thoughts of his mise-en-scène.
Human beings are social animals depending upon each other. So limiting our social circle seems to be an unsocial and unethical principle and most people consider it negative for social stability. But sometimes it is necessary for mental peace. Being super selective about who you share your energy with is self-care. Experts say that it is essential to keep distance from people who are the reason for your heartbreaks and mental disturbance. As Edmond Mbaika has beautifully said, we should keep our circle small with positive minded individuals who only come to grow with us, and not to take advantage of us.
Celebrating our success or triumph is our right but unnecessary showing off always creates negative behaviour of people towards us. Remember, everyone who is with us may not be our well wisher. Unnecessary and superfluous blaring of our success attracts the attention of envious and beguiling people towards us, resulting in their negative behaviour towards us. We should always try to abstain from rhapsodizing our achievements and accomplishments. Showing off may bring glory to us but staying quiet brings peace of mind.
Self-defence is one of the best ways to counter negative behaviours. If a person encounters social negativity regularly, he needs to fight against it judiciously instead of keeping silent. He must present his point in a civilised, humble and courteous manner. Silence, seclusion, fear and trepidation may not always be the solution to social negativity. Sometimes mutual understanding and interaction is the best possible way to eradicate negative social behaviours. But our response to such behaviours should never be harsh, bitter or unethical as Almighty Allah has mentioned in the Quran that one of the best attributes of wise people is that when the foolish address them ‘improperly’, they only respond with peace (Al Furqan :23).
Some people carry cyclopean negativity with them. They are always ready to have altercations and fight with others on nugatory issues. Their inner selves remain filled with jealousy, hatred and other negative traits. These people need our guidance and counselling so that they can make over their negativity into positive vibes by reconstructing, reforming and modifying their negative behaviour. Such people need our motivation, encouragement and sympathetic impetus for the reformation of their negative behaviour towards others. Our sympathetic and compassionate approach towards these people will persuade them to shun their negativity and nourish positive and friendly characteristics inside them. As has been said by Kimberly Giles, all bad behaviour is really a request for love, attention or validation.
The aforementioned ways can help us efficiently to tackle social negativity in order to save our existence from its detrimental effects. It is pertinent to mention here that people with negative behaviours are not problematic only for others but they themselves also suffer from their negativity. They lack solace, serenity and tranquillity in their lives. So, dealing with social negativity by adopting the aforesaid approaches can bring peace and prosperity in our societies. These approaches have multidimensional benefits and can eradicate the nuisance of social negativity in our societies which in turn paves the way for an ideal and prosperous society.