Opposites and Reframing

I’ve always been interested in opposites*. A little exercise in opposites: close your eyes and think about opposites…. Now open them! See????!!!

A lot of people ask me what my favourite opposites are. I think probably it’s a toss-up between cats/dogs and kitties/humans? Or maybe windows/doors. Opposites are everywhere (little exercise: accept this statement as fact).

In the realm of self-help, the most important opposites are: negative/positive, crappy/less so, and pre-improvement/not-bothering-with-improvement (maybe you’ve got other stuff on?).

Today we’re tackling the first one: negative to positive.

This opposites is incredibly close to my personal heart. Growing up near The Marshland, I was sometimes referred to negatively.** The Brewsters are big on nicknames, as well as the usual family pushing, shoving and locking. Normally the nicknames were ok.*** Other times not.**** When I moved to the big city – far from the natural vegetation scenes of my childhood – I taught myself how to change all the negatives into positives. Once and for all!

Pattie advice

If the people/doinks in your life are prone to pointing out what’s wrong with you, know everyone that you DO NOT have to accept this and hate yourself so much everyday!!! You can do one of three things:

  1. Hurt the person who told you that in the first place
  2. Change yourself so those things aren’t true anymore
  3. Reframe them

Now say somebody says that you’re whiney,****** your first two options are to hurt them, or change so you’re not whiney. Both of these will take ages and you’ve probably got stuff to feed. I’d leave yourself five hours for each. Your third option? reframe it guys!!! This takes less time, and everyone – no matter how tall – can spare a few milliseconds here and there.


Reframing is my number one tip for keeping your confidence huge. It involves changing negative thoughts into positive ones and seeing yourself in an improved light. Here are some of my best reframes (1991 to the current day) *******:

Negative attribute –> Positive reframe

Whiney –> less whiney

Nosy –> enterprising/curious

Useless –> challenged

Disruptive –> energetic

Hugely + overwhelmingly aggressive –> dynamic

Lonely and bad –> Making the most of the fact that there is no law against enjoying your own company

Domineering and controlling –> assertive

Naggy –> persevering and knowing that others WILL let you down

Angry –> aware of what everyone else is truly like in this world

Small –> not small

Bad hair –> HMM?

Go away Pattie –> no

So now you know! Now you never need feel bad about yourself again. So go and be confident and know that it’s all because of Pattie! J

Bye guys!!!!!!!!!

* eg dark/light, black/white (or another colour, doesn’t matter), so so sad/happy etc

** Won’t specify how many times, but consider the numerical region of >1000

*** Can’t think of any examples right now but I write down all the compliments I receive in my compliments journal so I can look up later!

**** I don’t write these down any more as I only used to in order to burn them afterwards and my neighbours on both side (in tandem with the council) have banned me from fires.*****

***** Ok FINE just thought of two: “Minx-Pot” and “The Horrible Whiner”

****** I don’t know why I’m using ‘whiney’, nobody’s ever said that about me before. I’ve never even heard of that word actually.

******* Some of these I’ve borrowed from Lisa B in her lovely and pink lifestyle book: Lisa B: Lifestyle Essentials (Cambridge: Icon Books Ltd, 2008)

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