I've also found that it's contagious. Unless we are Optimal Optimists, then it's easy to get caught up in the pessimism that surrounds us and succumb to the pressures of negativity. It's easy because we don't do it consciously....reacting negatively in jest, I have found, is common.
As a society, we tend to dwell on the negatives, and converse about all of the bad things that are going on in the world. When there is a lull in conversation, more often than not we turn to the hottest stories in the news to break the silence, and we can almost always agree on the degrading state of the economy, the shame that the "youth" is bringing on our community, the terrible fact that we can't leave our doors unlocked because of the rash of burglaries throughout the neighborhood, or the traffic jams and accidents that litter the highways.
Is this in an effort to make ourselves feel better? That doesn't make sense to me.
So when we find ourselves surrounded with negativity, there are a few things we can do to be positive. Here they are:
- Acknowledge the shortcomings/tragedies/disappointments for the topic at hand, but point out the good in the situation.
Ugh, I know things aren't going so well right now, but on the bright side, only better things will come!
- Change the subject to something positive.
So anyway, did you hear that last week's food drive fed 500 people for the holiday?
- Call out negative rants.
Gosh, I feel so weighed down when talking about all of this depressing stuff. Let's focus on some good things from now on, ok?
- Propose a positive solution.
I heard Sam's been singing the blues lately. What do you say we go cheer her up with a fun night out and remind her that things aren't so bad after all?
- Walk away from the negativity. Escaping sometimes is the best tactic.
Sorry guys, I'm gonna skip out on this one. Too many good things happening around us to focus on the bad!
Staying positive takes some work, but it's definitely worth it. Try to think positively when negativity creeps into your life - you will feel so much better!
You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination. -Ralph Marston