I turned on NPR this morning just in time to hear a gentleman say that you will never get someone to change their mind by yelling at them. That comment tied in perfectly with this blog that I was already planning.
So would you click on a bad news link? Maybe and maybe not, but don’t we all have enough negativity in our own situations without getting more of it from others?
Life is too short to be constantly focused on the bad stuff but unfortunately it’s human nature to obsess over the things that go wrong. It takes effort to focus the mind on the good stuff. It takes effort to count your blessings. The reward from that effort is that you eventually train your brain to see the good without effort and you train the people around you to think of you as a source of inspiration and positivity.
When I became a stepmom I did a lot of research on child rearing and one of the suggestions I came across repeatedly was to not overuse the word no. Instead of constantly harping on what the child is doing wrong and the dire consequences that will follow their mistakes, try to tell them what the right thing to do would be and the positive consequences that result from good decision making. If you are only telling them what not to do, you leave them with no way forward, they are stuck knowing that what they did was wrong but with no information on how to make it right. This same principle applies to every sort of human communication in our lives. It would work quite well in romantic relationships too. So don’t be a nag, be a cheerleader!
The take away is this: if you have a message that you want to get out there to the world, if you want to change peoples minds about an issue, I would suggest you take the advice of the quote above. Don’t lead through fear or righteous indignation. Don’t tell people what they shouldn’t do. Tell them what they should do and why it would be better for them if they did! Never underestimate the power of hope!