The ‘I Love You’ Experiment

A few weeks ago I read a thread on a forum I’ve never been to before (and can’t remember, unfortunately...) that got me thinking about how I perceive the world. I like to think of myself as a positive person, but thinking you are something and actually being it are two different things.

In an attempt to one, catch myself at thinking negatively towards other people and two, replace negative thinking with positive thinking, I decided to do an experiment. For a few days, instead of just letting negative thoughts just go, I would stop the thoughts when I caught them and replace them with, “I love you, too.”

The ‘experiment’ seemed more like a funny little game at first, but it soon became more serious. It wasn’t long before I realised just how often I had negative thoughts towards other people. Not only that; I realised just how addicting negative thinking is.

I was soon put to the test when Mr. JM and I were standing on the side of the bike path (there was no room to get off it completely) and two bike riders came by. One made a snarky comment about getting off the path. I wanted to say something not so nice back, but I kept my mouth shut and thought, “I love you, too.”

It was hard to get past, that one negative incident. I kept going back to it. But every time I started thinking about the incident or the woman negatively, I just cut the line of thought and put in, “I love you, too.”

After a few days of this, I started feeling less stress and tense. Nothing miraculous, but I felt noticeably better. Relaxed, even.

I challenge you to try it out. You don’t have to say ‘I love you’ out loud – you don’t have to say anything at all. Just whenever you catch yourself having a snarky thought about someone, think, “I love him/her too.” It can get quite interesting if you let it.

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