Some people are great about finding the positive in any situation and telling you about it. They are the types of bosses, coworkers, teachers, and friends who will give you some constructive criticism while pointing out everything you’ve done right, even if the project or situation turns out to be a total mess. They are the people that build you up and give you the confidence boost you need to go back and fix things or start from scratch.
Then there are people who can’t give a compliment without also pointing out your shortcomings. They tend to focus on the negative in any situation and are quick to share that with you. These people can be hard to live and work with.
The big question is what type of person are you and how do you think and communicate about your life and your surroundings.
If increased happiness is your goal, I suggest you work on making sure you think and communicate in a positive way. Why is thinking important? Because it is how we communicate with ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend my time becoming my biggest cheerleader, than my worst critic.
Here’s the good news. How you think and how you communicate can be learned and unlearned. That means if you’re a bit of a pessimist right now, you can learn to think, be, and talk in a more positive way. Of course learned behaviors and habits aren’t always easy to change. Step one is that you have to want to change. Step two is to learn to recognize your behavior as it happens. Listen to the thoughts that are happening in your head and stop and make yourself think before you speak. Step three is to practice the new habit and behavior. And that’s really all there is to it.
From time to time I share this no complain challenge post on social media. Since complaining is so natural in our culture, it's easy to lose track of the impact it has on our day to day happiness levels. Focusing on this one simple change helps you have a specific way to address negative talk.
Take a few minutes to reflect on how you have been thinking today. Think back on conversations you’ve had with others and get a feel for how you communicate with yourself and others. Are you as positive as you’d like to be, or is there room for improvement? If so, start implementing the simple three step process I shared with you and keep practicing until this more positive way of thinking and communicating has become a strong new habit. It will have a big impact in your own happiness and that of those around you.