It’s neither one thing or the other. It’s not black or white, maybe gray? What’s neutrality to me and in regard to living an enjoyable life? Neutrality may mean something or nothing to you. I’m just throwing it out there as it has been beneficial to me in maintaining peace of mind and building up self-esteem.
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How does neutrality fit with building up self-esteem and having a calm mind? It may not be something you’re interested in when it comes to personal growth. At first, it wasn’t even something I’d considered. However, it has been a great mindset to have in many situations or circumstances and the reason I bring it to your attention now.
It is important to give the meaning that I associate with neutrality and put it into context. For me, life is a series of experiences. Those experiences are created from the choices we make. I take the mindset of neutrality when thinking about the experience, rather than deciding the significance of the event – and not labeling it as a “good” experience or a “bad” experience.
I haven’t always thought like this.
Getting Dumped - Good Or Bad?
Let me share a scenario where I DID decide that an event was bad. It was a breakup. We were engaged and planning to get married. He dumped me, saying he couldn’t go through with it. Nothing else was said and we went our separate ways. I was very upset.
Not long after, I found out that he had been seeing a girl he worked with while with me. Apparently, they had got together shortly after we’d met. I’d had a lucky escape – getting away from a person that on the onset was treating me with disrespect and didn’t feel anywhere near what I felt about the relationship.
Getting dumped was most beneficial!
In that example, I’d decided the meaning of the experience before I knew the relevance of it. Now, if I had stayed neutral about it I wouldn’t have let the whole situation affect me so much and for so long. There would have been less stress and worry. I would have been able to enjoy my life instead of anxiously thinking over what had happened. It’s okay to take some time to heal and work through your emotions but don’t stay there for too long. You see, I did, I played different scenes from my relationship in my mind to try to work out what happened. Sometimes blaming myself and feeling frustrated and angry about life, the relationship and the ex-partner.
What a waste of time, in hindsight there was no point to it. If I had just seen it as an experience and remained neutral, I could have saved myself a lot of emotional pain, stress, and worry.
That’s just one of many times I prejudged something as either bad or good. Now, I’m not saying I always take the neutrality stance but I endeavor to because I have found it so beneficial.
The thing is, once you start to experience this – you realize the futility of judging, deciding, and labeling life experiences.
I read a fable years ago that illustrates the beauty of neutrality. I call the story The Maybe Man.
The Maybe Man
The story goes like this:
There was an old farmer who diligently worked on his farm for many years and he had a horse. The horse ran away and his neighbors viewed this as “bad luck” and told the farmer so.
The farmer’s only reply to that was, “Maybe.”
A little later on the horse returned to the farmer and brought back three wild horses. The neighbors piped up again with their opinion and said how wonderful that he now has three horses.
The farmer’s only reply was, “Maybe.”
The farmer’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg – the neighbors expressed their sympathy about the farmer’s misfortune.
But the farmer’s only reply was, “Maybe.”
Shortly after this incident soldiers came by the village to draft young men into the army. All the young men in the village were taken away except for the farmer’s son as he had a broken leg. The neighbors were upset as they saw their sons leave and they exclaimed to the farmer about how lucky he was to keep his son by his side.
The farmer’s only reply was, “Maybe.”
The neighbors passed judgement on each of the farmer’s experiences but he did not.
In my opinion, being quick to pass judgment on our experiences is not beneficial as we do not know the whole story. I’m sure if you look at any past events that you will be able to see how this has played out in your life too.
Isn’t it so, that we hear of people sharing their perceived horrible experience to find that if it hadn’t have happened they would not be where they are, which is in a fortuitous and lovely place in life?
For example, getting a life-threatening disease that you recover from and afterward completely re-inventing yourself. You make big changes that drive you into living the life you truly want. That is a very common scenario – having a direct experience that makes you realize you will not live forever so you make the most of it! However, if you hadn’t become very ill you may have been stuck living a life that is not enjoyable.
Maybe that common scenario smacks of me speaking from experience?
If it does, it is because I am.
7 Benefits Of Neutrality
Here’s a bullet list of the benefits I’ve experienced when I stay neutral:
1. Remaining neutral has been invaluable when working in a customer service environment and dealing with people. It diffuses complaints and any possible situations getting out of hand on the phone. Try it.
2. Being able to stay calm when there is drama going on. Meaning other people’s drama that is nothing to do with me. This is especially effective in toxic environments that you have to accept at that moment in time e.g. a job you will leave but haven’t put everything in place yet to move on. (Or a family/relationship circumstance).
3. I have noticed people are less likely to involve me in conversations with gossip as I don’t engage and give an opinion.
4. I have more focus on the things I am doing rather than the outcome. I stay neutral about what will happen. It doesn’t matter. Enjoying the moment and not stressing on the end result.
5. Number 4 points to failure and success now having a completely new meaning. This is huge – both success and failure are no big deal anymore.
6. Less procrastination – a lot of procrastination is due to having a fear of success or failure and thinking things have to be perfect. When you are neutral about the outcome and focused on enjoying the moment/work you are doing, procrastination is less likely to occur. Neutrality provides perspective.
7. I have less stress, worry and anxiety in general in my life when I remain neutral.
Neutrality is SUCH A RELIEF in life!
There Is Duality In Neutrality! 🤪
I love that title – it’s such an oxymoron. (Apparently, “oxy” comes from the Greek word that means “sharp” and “moron” from the Greek word “dull” – complete opposites, obviously.)
In my opinion and because of my experience, cultivating a neutral mindset is a very useful and beneficial tool to have in life. I read online that some people think that neutrality is a bad thing and some thing it is a good thing. This struck me as quite funny due to the very nature of neutrality, but not surprising at all.
I’ve said it before but I will say it again – we live in a dualistic world. There will always be opposing opinions about EVERYTHING. That is the way it is. Trying to change this (or other people) is not beneficial in your journey. Leave people to walk their own path, without trying to drag them off onto yours.
I have learned to accept people and the world just as they are.
I now live in the moment and enjoy my experience without deciding the significance when the relevance is unknowable to me.
What’s neutrality to you?
The name of The Game is Experience so let us experience Connecting and Sharing.
Tell me your opinion and comment below.
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