Six to one. According to a message I heard the other day, that is the ratio of negative to positive comments we say and hear each day – six negative to every one positive.
six times this…
That’s not right. You could have done better. I don’t like that. Why did you do that? Did you have to do that? Can’t you remember anything? You never _____. I’ll just do it myself. Don’t even try. You’ll never amount to anything.
for every one time of this…
Great job. Thank you. Well done. So creative. That’s excellent work. I like that. Awesome. I appreciate that. I’m impressed. You have real talent. That’s a good idea. You’ll go far. I love you.
That’s not good for anybody. I know that I am highly reactive to negative comments. I have to work really hard not to take criticism personally – even constructive criticism. Negative comments tend to discourage me and diminish my normally optimistic attitude – sometimes for days.
On the other hand, positive, encouraging comments lift my spirits, energize me, and motivate me to try harder. I want to encourage, energize, and motivate others.
So what can I do? Being aware of this reality and being willing to change my words are the first steps. I can also work intentionally to find something positive in people and situations. There is usually something good there, I just have to see it… and say it. I am so quick to mention what I don’t like, but I often hesitate to verbalize what I do.
I want to turn that ratio around this next year. It’s not that complicated… just a few words. Maybe it will become a new habit for me.
How are your words?