green gas spewing from canister
Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

Negativity is an Indiscriminate Poison

It harms the speaker just as much as the hearer

Salina Christaria
4 min readJul 22, 2021


You know how in Disney’s 1942 animated classic, Bambi, Thumper the bunny reminds us if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all? Well, I’m sorry to say, one day last week I said a whole slew of not nice things. What started out as me thinking I could complain just a little bit without any harm being done, turned into an all-out rant and rave. By the time I was through, I learned negativity is an indiscriminate poison.

It would be convenient to say I don’t know what came over me. Yet, that would not be honest. In retrospect, I know exactly what happened. I allowed one ugly attitude to lead to another, and then another, and then another. And as Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

At the time, I deceived myself into thinking lamenting to my friend about what was bothering me would make me feel better. But the more ugliness that came out of my mouth, the more I poisoned everything and everyone around me — including myself. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the plants we passed as we walked along the trail withered in my wake.

To Vent or Not to Vent

You might think I’m being too hard on myself. After all, maybe I really needed to vent. Besides, no one is perfect. I’m only human, right?

It’s easy to rationalize and justify and minimize bad behavior. It’s not only easy, it’s rather tempting. However, succumbing to the temptation to excuse my verbal rampage is just as bad as succumbing to the temptation to embark on the rampage in the first place.

By the time my friend and I finished our walk in the woods, I had arrived at the place of being thoroughly ashamed of myself. Keenly aware I had soured what could have been a sweet conversation, I apologized for my negativity. My friend was graciously forgiving, not wanting me to give it another thought.

Even so, I couldn’t help thinking about it. Being the introspective gal I am, my failure loomed large before me. I knew beating myself up over it wouldn’t be productive. Yet, I also knew if I shrugged it off as no big deal — making excuses and allowances for myself — that wouldn’t do either.



Salina Christaria

Author, blogger, speaker and deep thinker, passionate about encouraging us all to be unstoppable in the pursuit of our potential.