Friday, November 28, 2014

Negativity can be contagious

In my part of the country, the weather has gotten extremely cold quite early, earlier than we've become accustomed to in more recent years at least. And I've noticed my tendency, and that of others around me, to complain about the weather almost as a way of greeting each other. After saying, "Hi," often the first words out of our mouths are, "Can you believe this awful weather?" or "I'm sick and tired of this cold."

I've caught myself doing that way too much lately. It's not that the weather isn't a proper topic for conversation, it's more that I would rather not start conversations on a negative and complaining note. Knowing that a negative attitude is contagious, can I stop it before it even starts?

I'm trying to do so. Can I think of something else to say to the person at the check-out? To the receptionist in my doctor's office? To the person on the other end of the phone?

Certainly I could say something good about the weather. Or I could find a different topic of conversation. There are many good things going on all around. I'm going to try to focus on those. It's not that I want to be a Pollyanna. When difficult things need to be discussed, I'm not going to bury my head in the sand. But I wonder if, in these challenging and sometimes difficult times in which we live, we won't do better to focus on the wonder and delight that also fill our days. To focus on the positive instead of the negative.

What do you think?

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