Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Are you the friend who lifts her friends up or down? Most of us would like to consider ourselves the positive friend who shines happiness on everything and everyone wherever she goes. However, the hard truth is that so many of us allow negativity — whether it be the things we say or how we think — to seep into our lives without even realizing it!
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Here are five of the most common ways you may not realize you’re being negative. See which of these you might be able to work on this week to reduce the gross vibes.
1. Comparing Yourself to Others
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“Yeah, I get good grades, but I’m not as smart as Emily!” How many times have you caught yourself thinking or saying something similar? Comparing yourself to others is never good news. It only inspires feelings of resentment and ‘not good enough-ness’. Plus, if you’re comparing yourself to a friend, it could make her feel super awk. Even if you’d like to improve on your grades, for example, choose to focus on what YOUR goals are. Instead, say something like, “Yeah, I get good grades, but I really want to get better marks in Chemistry to improve my G.P.A.”
2. Saying You Have the “Monday Blues”
When someone asks how you are doing on a Monday, do you often mumble something about suffering from a “case of the Mondays”? Something as simple as how you respond to someone can easily spread a wet blanket of negativity. Instead of going for the dark cloud with your response, try and find just one positive thing about your day and then spread that goodness to the friend who is asking. Keep it simple with something like: “I had an awesome walk to school this morning. How are you doing?” (And this can be used for allll days of the week, by the way!)
3. Not Accepting a Compliment
If someone compliments you on your clothing/performance/attitude — accept it with a smile! Not taking credit for your hard work or negating your awesome personality is not only bad for your confidence levels, but it also makes the person who’s giving the compliment feel uncomfortable. Remember that a simple “thank you” is a great way to keep spreading those good vibes.
4. Playing Devil’s Advocate
Are you that person who has to disagree with someone else just to prove a point? In a group study scenario, are you the one who says, “Yeah, but…” or “I don’t think so”? You might think you are being helpful, but you’re actually just being negative. Discrediting possibilities and other people’s ideas makes it difficult for them to work with you. Be the person who builds people up. If you really don’t like someone’s suggestion, say one positive thing about it — “I really like when you said…” — before you give your own take.
5. You Say “Can’t” A Lot
“I can’t do that because…” “That can’t be done…” If you find yourself repeating the word “can’t” under a variety of circumstances, then you don’t have the winning attitude that you should have, friend. Though you won’t always win the race, you should always believe that you CAN. Expecting worst case scenarios and failed outcomes doesn’t make you “cool” — it makes you pessimistic, which is not really fun to be around. We might not be able to control people or the circumstances around us, but we can control our attitude.