Accentuate the Positive

Language matters. How you express yourself impacts how you feel and how you make others feel. Some simple changes can help you accentuate the positive and make it easier for other people to support you too.

One of my wisest friends, who committed suicide because of child abuse once told me, “Never ask a guy if you look fat in something. Instead, focus on the positive. Ask him “Doesn’t this dress make my eyes look fabulous?”

Her point was that if you ask for negative, you are probably going to get a negative back. Because even if someone doesn’t want to insult you – you phrasing your input needs in the negative forces the response to respond to the negative, even if the person trying to make you feel wants to help.

If you need to fish for a compliment, it is much better for your ego to ask for that compliment in a way that no one but a complete idiot would disagree with. The benefit of doing so is that you make it easier for the other person to support you!

When you are feeling bad and feel like you are a drain on someone, instead of reinforcing that their support of you is a drag – thank them for their support instead.  See this set of cartoons on the subject. 
I realize that when we are feeling bad we are in our own head and it’s hard to get out of our first person miserable perspective. But ... if you can practice this – turning your negative around into your supporter’s positive, you may find that this gets you out of your head enough to make you feel better while making the other person feel better too.

Is it easy to do? No. Of course not.  But it is something you can practice and see if it helps you feel better.

For more advice like this – check out my book:
·         My book: The Humanist Approach to Happiness and
·         My online course – Living Made Simpler

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