I’ve heard many a “positive” person use the most negative reinforcement possible. People like this claim that it’s to help. It’s called “misery motivation” in some circles. It very rarely works. In fact, in most cases it backfires. Why does it do the exact opposite? Because it’s not really about the person receiving it, it’s about person spouting it off. Think about it, most people would never want someone to speak to them they way the speak to others. And for good reason, it does more harm than good. It also breeds resentment.
So why are people so good at judging others and not able to withstand the very same judgment themselves? That’s easy: entitlement. Entitled people naturally feel superior to others. Think of this way, they think higher of themselves then they should. And, they have no qualms about expressing it. After all, if I’m better than you, I have the right to let you know so. Yes, that’s their motto.
They usually lack: humility, tend to be proud, and would not allow the other person to save face. That would involve empathy, compassion, and a willingness to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Who in their right mind would ever want to do that? That would mean thinking about the other person first. Are people still able to even conceive that notion? Not sure these days. It’s starting to become extremely rare.
Our society isn’t setting people up for the real world anymore. You have to be able to get along with others. Some people really don’t know how to play well with others. In fact, there are adults today that still love to play games. They don’t realize that adult games have a different set of rules. And, more often than not, they don’t like those rules. They fight them. You have to get along with others to have a happy and fulfilling life. It’s a shame that so many of our fellow human beings don’t get that.
When life is all about me, it becomes self focused and small. There’s only room for you in it. What a way to live. It may be a small world, but there are billions of people living in it. Too bad so many can only see themselves, they don’t realize their impact on others. What you do really does affect others. Whether you want to believe it or not. It really does.
Being a positive person is easy if you just make sure you bring out the best in people by looking at the good things that they do. People appreciate hearing good things about themselves. As long as it’s sincere, it’s all good. If you do have to say something negative, make sure you could take hearing it yourself. That’s the true test. If you can take what you dish out, then go ahead and share. If not, then ask yourself why you’re really doing it. Are you doing it to make yourself feel better? If so, then don’t. You want people to trust you, and being positive helps. People want to know that you’re for them, not against them.
Also, if you have to do it, praise the person first. Then gently tell them what you need to tell them. There will be times when you have to tell someone something that they need to her, not necessarily what they want to hear. So do it with respect, and don’t rob someone of their dignity. They will not only listen to you the next time, but they will welcome your rebuff. Mary Kay Ashe said it best, “Learn how to tell someone to go to Hell, and make them enjoy the trip.” Stellar advice.