Sometimes our life can be changed just by changing our attitude.
It can be as simple as making a positive comment, rather than a negative one.
Or even just thinking…I wonder what will surprise me today?
Instead of thinking…Oh I just know something awful is going to happen today.
Of course to change our life, we need to change our attitude every day in some way. I have only recently been trying to practice this. When I catch myself saying something negative, I instead say
something positive. For example, after a church service, instead of saying “I thought that sermon was repetitive”, I could say, “That sermon was a good ending for this series topic we finished today”. If I can’t think of anything positive, I could just change the subject, or not say anything at all. This change is fairly easy to do,
but it takes practice. Many times, a negative comment comes out of my mouth before I realize how negative it is.
There is no way to take it back, but I can soften it a bit, by following it with a positive comment.
I used to have a bad habit of criticizing everything. I thought I was being discerning, truthful, even helpful. One time,
somebody criticized me, and I was upset. They said they were just trying to help. I realized that being critical just hurts.
There is another thing criticism does. It makes people avoid the criticizer. Nobody wants to be around someone who
tends to criticize a lot.
I realize that sometimes a critical comment could really help someone improve the next time, and maybe even avoid a future problem or embarassment. If you can help someone with a criticism, talk with them alone. Start with a compliment, then ask if you can make one suggestion to improve. If they say, yes, then you can make your suggestion, but don’t be too harsh. I learned this the hard way. Recently, I tried to make a suggestion to a receptionist who was rude to me. I tried to point out what she had said that was rude, and suggested that maybe the next time this issue came up, she could handle it better. Well, she was not receptive to my suggestion at all! I didn’t ask for her permission first, and since I was upset, I probably was too blunt. I messed up on that one. All I can do is try to do better next time.
Maybe you noticed that I said, “talk to them alone“. Nobody wants criticism in front of other people. That’s just mean. Also, we shouldn’t repeat the criticism, or make negative comments about someone to other people. That’s mean, too.
I am trying to change my attitude, but I am still working on it. Whenever I catch myself before saying something negative, and then make a positive comment instead, it makes me smile. When we smile, the other person will probably smile back. Then everybody has a better day! So I don’t know about you, but I am going to keep trying to change my attitude,
by being positive, giving compliments, and smiling more.