This is a great litmus test to put our words through. How many times a day do we let something escape our lips that we shouldn’t? Having these 3 questions in mind would help prevent that from happening. Remember you cannot unsay something.
How do we keep these questions front and center? Use this picture as your screensaver, pertain jot them down on an index card you carry with you. Then, put it into practice. Try doing this just for a conversation here and there. Eventually, it well become a way of not only speaking, but thinking as well.
So you don’t feel too down on yourself when you first try this, allow me to share my experience. I tried this at work and all I can say is “wow!” I never realized how many useless negative things I say there! Even someone who writes positivity for a living! Although a bit taken aback, I was excited. There is so much room for me to improve my conversation skills.
Try this yourself. I’m about to meet a friend for coffee and am going to try again. I think you will notice different people bring out different conversations. I would love to hear your experience as well!
Working with the public both at the Post Office and at the bar I find myself mixed up in many different conversations. Most very intriguing and interesting, but some rather negative and not so pleasing. How many times have you found yourself telling someone about the job you applied for only to hear a 30 minute lesson on how bad the economy is? Now the reality of the financial state of things is interesting. Whenever we complain about something or just talk about ‘how bad it is’ not only do we leave feeling upset which does not help our personal situation, but we also give energy to the very situation we are lamenting. Perhaps you are wondering how can my opinion really effect change halfway around the world? The best analogy I have heard to explain this is place a drop of red ink in a glass of water. As hard as you may try it cannot stay separate. This is how our energy affects the world. The ink will certainly not make the whole glass red, but it will, without a doubt, change the chemical make up. Now imagine dropping three or four drops. Now maybe 10 or 20. You can see how a group of people standing around gossiping or complaining can really put a lot of negative energy out into the world. So what to do about it? Let’s face it at some point in time we are going to find ourselves wrapped up in one of these conversations. Here is 3 things we can do at that point. One, change the conversation to something more positive, or if that is unable to happen excuse yourself and walk away. Two, begin to develop ‘positive gossip sessions’ ask a group of friends or coworkers what their favorite place to go on vacation, or favorite childhood memory. Just keep the talk positive. Start throwing some good energy out there. Lastly, make a point to surround yourself with as many people who have positive attitudes as you can. I had lunch with my good friend Jamie the other day and even in discussing events that many would perceive as negative, she managed to find the positive side of them. These people are worth their weight in gold. Try to schedule as much time with them as you reasonably can. Better yet, try to be one of them yourself. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel and how much better your life and the world around you will seem!