I don’t know if I’ve said anything about this before, but the Disney animated film Bambi taught me a valuable lesson: “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
This helped me because when I was in tough places mentally I would remember to do gratitude journaling. I would force myself to write out positives for which I was truly grateful for like a roof over my head, food and the companionship of my cats. This is NOT the same as Toxic Positivity and ‘good vibes only’ I still had very negative thoughts and feelings, but by focusing on writing down something positive in my life I was trying to provide a constructive perspective on my situation – that it wasn’t ALL bad (which is what my brain was telling me).
Now, when I hear friends or family being critical of others I speak out and ask why they think that other person deserves to be spoken about like that, and whilst this doesn’t always work, it can reduce the amount of negative talk around me. I experience Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria and play any negative experience over and over in my mind and ask ‘were they talking about me?’ when I hear people burst into laughter near me, it’s not something I would wish on anyone. But hearing people openly talk about others in negative ways also makes me wonder ‘what horrible things do you say about me when I’m not around?’
As a Neurodivergent I LOVE talking about things that interest me. I think the world would be a happier place if we learned to be OK talking with passion about our interests and spent less of our energy putting others down.