Overcoming Your Negative Attitude

There is plenty of advice on how to avoid the people with a negative attitude. But, what if YOU are the negative person others are trying to avoid? It’s easy to get stuck in a pessimistic mindset. Overcoming your negative attitude is possible!

A while ago my son told me he always looked forward to visiting his friend’s house. When I asked him why, he said, “his house is happy”. After further questioning, he didn’t perceive our own home environment to be unhappy, but it wasn’t happy either. That made me sad. After much reflection, and for no good reason, I realized “I” was the grumpy culprit.

I began to investigate some of the attributes of negativity. One HUGE contributor is thanklessness. Gratitude, or lack-there-of is a contagious attitude.

It’s no fun living with people who steal your joy. It’s worse to live in a perpetual state of negativity. By far, it’s sobering to become aware that you are the negative person others are trying to avoid. How do we overcome?

Recognize your ungratefulness.

  1. You find yourself completely underwhelmed when you receive gifts from others.
  2. You notice others are awestruck by creation – beautiful sunset, for example – while you remain unaffected.
  3. You are more aggravated than appreciative by others acts of kindness toward you.
  4. You live in a constant state of perceived lack, rather than feeling content.
  5. These are just a few ways a No-Thanks-attitude is manifested.

Understand the lies that contribute to negativity.

  1. We believe we are undeserving of anyone’s extravagance.
  2. We believe we should be independent, and don’t need to rely on anyone for help.
  3. We are suspicious, believing there’s always a hidden agenda behind every gift or act of kindness.
  4. Eventually, we’ll be required to pay-back the favor, and then some.
  5. We believe others are more blessed because of what they have.
  6. We believe gratitude is a feeling.
Overcoming Your Negative attitude begins with truth.

Did any of those resonate with you? If so, there is a simple, yet, profound solution. Perhaps you’re becoming aware of your thoughts. That’s good. However, awareness doesn’t solve the problem. You need to destroy those thoughts by teaching them to obey the truth. 2 Corinthians 10:5. So let’s start with some truth.

  1. You are undeserving. We all are.
  2. Receiving a “gift” or an act of kindness has nothing to do with what you or I have earned.
  3. You and I were created to be interdependent. Whether we like it or not, we need others in order to survive.
  4. God can and does give others great ideas, and inspires their generosity toward you. Without the expectation of something in return.
  5. There will always be someone who has more than you and I. Conversely, many people happily live with a lot less.
  6. Comparing yourself to others will restrict your ability to appreciate what you have.
  7. Gratitude is a choice not a feeling.
Practice gratitude

Several months before my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she wanted to give me a gift. I rejected her offer. However, she was persistent. I could see her getting frustrated. That was a pivotal moment for me. She really wanted to bless me. Instead of arguing about it, I decided to be grateful and receive the gift.

Later, I told her how I was using her gift, and how much it blessed me. She beamed. Now that my mom is gone, I have that awesome memory to hang on to. I’m glad I chose to be grateful in that circumstance.

The more you practice being thankful, the more you’ll find you have to reason to be grateful. The more grateful you are, the more others will be inspired. Give it a shot. Friend, you can overcome your negative attitude

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