As we start the new year, it seems appropriate to ask how we can make life a happier experience for all of us – let’s make a positive difference.
Keeping your fuel tank filled – see previous blogs – is a good start, because that will help you to be more positive in your outlook on life.
But what about those who have a negative effect on you, and seem to take that positivity away? Not only do they disturb your happiness, they also suffer a lack of happiness themselves – it is the rare person who really feels good when they are causing others to feel bad.
There are ways we can change this effect, to the benefit of all parties involved.
- Don’t give away your power! Remember that we choose to allow something to affect us. After all, what to one person is a disaster, to another person is an exciting adventure – they have obviously made different choices about how to react. So choose to react differently to the person. Imagine their comment or attitude as a brief rain shower which temporarily wets you and then dries up. Even better, imagine that you have an invisible shield which protects you from getting wet at all!
- Even more powerfully, experiment with how you can change their reaction to you, which causes them to behave in a way which affects you badly. Step into their shoes for as moment. From their perspective, what could you do differently that would provoke a different and more useful behaviour in them? We often unwittingly provoke just the behaviour we don’t like and by making a change in our own attitude or behaviour we can change theirs.
- Practise using your invisible shield when someone next seems to want to offend you or upset you in some way.
- Take a person that you always seem to have a negative reaction to. Imagine you are them, and ask yourself, ‘what would make me behave more positively with …?’ Use the answer to guide your behaviour next time you encounter them.
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