Attitude is everything
Attitude is everything. As parents, spouses and friends, we know that it’s true, but, how many of us use this philosophy for the positive? Often, I hear from clients, that if just “so-and-so in their lives/families/office would have a better attitude,” then everything would be just fine (insert exasperated sigh here).
What I challenge my clients on, is how often do they try and hold themselves up to the positive attitude challenge? I once heard someone say, “Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you handle it.” Think about it, it’s really true.
Ever been in a bad mood, and your mood was lifted when your spouse thanked you for the errand you took care of, your best friend called you up to share a laugh, or a child just gave you a big hug for no reason? Then, you can appreciate how other peoples’ attitude can affect yours. The question becomes, how can you channel that into affecting others as well?
Humor is a powerful tool. Tap into your own resources of corny jokes, or clever comebacks to help alleviate a companions’ bad mood. Helping someone see the lighter side of a situation can really help lighten a dour mood.
With our kids, sometimes ignoring is the best avenue to help change the course of grumpiness. When I say ignore, I don’t encourage ignoring to the point of apathy. But rather, separating their bad attitude from yours, and not allowing it to seep into your consciousness. An example would be, the grouchy teenager asking for food or drink in a tone of voice that you less than appreciate. Answering in a cheerful, or ‘normal’ tone, can do many things. First, it does not add any fuel to the proverbial fire. Their bad attitude will gather strength if you respond in kind. By ignoring it, your teenager may lose their desire for their attitude, as they respond to your unflappable attitude. Second, you will also be modeling patience and skills for them to help them learn how to deal with grumpy people in their own lives. And, third, it actually takes less energy to remain patient and pleasant, then to freak out.
Another powerful tool is the “preemptive attack”. If you know that you are going into a situation that has caused bad moods, heated exchanges, or, just a general overall sense of “yuck”, then look for the good, and tell everyone else how much you appreciate their hard work, or, how nice they look, or, even how much you are enjoying everyone being together. This way, you are setting the tone by re-shifting the focus to something good.
Try it and see if you can tap into your own good attitude—it’s contagious.