What do you first notice in people and situations?
Many people seem to have a "negativity bias", we're more likely to notice bad things than good things — things that worry or annoy us, or shortcomings and imperfections. What if we ceased our relentless habit of always seeing what's wrong with everything and everyone? What if instead we focused on what was good about people and situations and made every effort to forgive and encourage rather than to judge and criticize. What if we made it a habit to focus on the positives and the potentials in everyone and every situation and tried to contribute constructively in some way, however small?
It's hard to see the good in people, when you're only looking for the bad.
I am not suggesting that we deny the existence of things that are less than optimal or undesirable. I'm simply suggesting that focusing on what is right rather than wrong, on possibilities rather than limitations, on forgiving and encouraging rather than judging and condemning is a more effective approach. By replacing our "negativity bias" with a "positivity bias" we'll find that we'll automatically start responding to people and situations in much more constructive ways, and, in turn, they will start doing the same. And pretty soon we'll find that everybody is happier, and everything is working out a lot smoother.
How to Kick The Negativity Habit
Slow down, don't rush into making judgments — take your time and keep an open mind. Be curious and explore the people and situations you encounter to a deeper level — beyond labels and stereotypes. Nurture the habit of looking for the positive aspects in everyone and every situation.
Beware of labeling and stereotyping. People and situations are always far more complex and multi-faceted than any label, any word or phrase could possibly represent. Make an effort to go beyond labeling and strive understand more deeply.
Look for the positive intentions — strive to understand underlying intentions before judging actions. If you dig deep enough, you will often find a positive intention behind every action. By identifying positive intentions, you will find that it is easier to forgive and encourage rather than judge and condemn.
Look for the positive aspects — there are pros and cons to everything. Build a habit of looking for the positive aspects of people and situations. You will find that by doing this, you will automatically be more forgiving and constructive with the way you respond to people and situations.
Forgive and Forget — To be able to see the present moment clearly all prior baggage related to the present person or situation has to have been released otherwise you will be seeing through lenses colored by those past experiences.
Don't Forget Yourself
Remember to apply all of the above to YOURSELF. If you can't be positive, kind, and forgiving to yourself how do you expect to be able to do the same for others?
Do this, all of us, and we will soar!