Bad Attitudes Can Make Everyone's Life Miserable
Bad Attitude Defined
Attitude is, according to Wikipedia, "an individual's predisposed state of mind regarding a value and it is precipitated through a responsive expression toward a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object) which in turn influences individual's thought and action."
This means that a 'bad' attitude is your thoughts and responses based on a negative state of mind. If we are all negative on a daily basis; and I believe many of us are, then harboring that negativity is what creates a bad attitude.
Is this you?
Bad Attitude Affects
When you have a bad attitude, those around you become sad, angry or hurt; in other words--- negative. We can take whole groups of people down with our bad attitude. Wouldn't you be angry or negative if the tables were turned and:
- Someone was crying next to you in a loud, almost fake, manner.
- Someone told you "no" using an angry tone; especially if it was for something you needed badly.
- Someone snarled at you just because you asked for help with something.
- You hear negative things from someone all the time like your hair is awful or you always wear ugly clothes.
- Your spouse always complains about something, anything, everything.
- Your boss always complains about something, anything, everything.
- There was always negative tension in the air for some reason.
- No one smiled.
- No one seemed to care one way or the other.
There are more, of course, but this can give you a general idea. When we are negative, we bring others down by making them negative. If we are always negative, our environment is always negative. Thus our 'bad attitude' gives others a bad attitude. Even one person can make a difference in the tone of the environment around you. This means that your bad attitude makes everyone's lives miserable (or at least negative).
The Difference of Negative Attitude VS Positive Attitude
Someone smiles, and you smile back.
Someone is angry making you feel angry.
Boss compliments your work and you feel good.
You get fired because the boss didn't like your last report; the one your co-worker wrote and put your name on.
Driving to some destination.
Everyone enjoys the ride before you arrive at your destination. There is no tension.
Everyone is grumpy and yelling at one another. Tension fills the air.
Raking the leaves.
Playing in the leaves before bagging them. This makes the job a breeze.
Complaining about having to rake the leaves. This makes the job drag on for what seems like an eternity.
How It Affects Others
Different aspects of one's environment make the difference in how one responds. That means that you, by having a bad attitude, are affecting the environment around you in a negative way. This, in turn, affects the environment by making it negative; and thus, the life, of those around you negative. So by being miserable, you make them miserable. By being negative, you make them negative.
Changing the environment of others to a negative state is simple. All you have to do is:
- Anything Negative
Are there exceptions to this? Of course there are. There are exceptions to everything. However, even the strongest positive thinker will begin to fail if they are constantly surrounded with negativity.
Toilet Tissue is how much?
Is stress the underlying cause of a bad attitude?
What Might be Causing the Attitude Around Us
I could blame it on the economy, you know--people are in a hurry to accomplish their tasks because they have so little time. Why? Because a tight economy means that items are too expensive for the 'little guy (and girl)' to afford on their own. For example:
- A car to get back and forth to work.
- Gas and insurance for the car to get back and forth to work (sorry couldn't resist).
- A refrigerator to keep food cold and fresh
- Food for the table
- Clothes for the kids (and yourself).
Is this the reason? It is part of it, certainly; however, it is not the whole story. These things were much less expensive years ago and truly are now above the heads of many households. This means that even with two adults working the household struggles. So, they work two jobs, or three, to keep up.
But, tired from a long day at work and the stress of keeping up a household, people take their anger and frustration (and tired irritability) with them wherever they go.
- They bring it to the grocery store while they are trying to buy food for the house and decide what they can and can't afford.
- They bring it to the work place as they try not to admit their petty mistakes by putting the blame on the new guy.
- They bring it to the department store where they are trying to pick up a present for someone while it is on sale only to discover that the store only has three of that item and everyone is fighting for it.
- They bring it home where everyone should feel safe, but don't because of all the stress.
So, yes it is a large part of the equation. What is the rest of the equation? Let me lay it out like an actual mathematical equation:
- Economy woes + negative energy + ______________= Negativity = Bad Attitude, but what is the blank spot?
- Economy woes + negative energy + stress = Negativity = Bad Attitude.
Other causes of stress and thus bad attitude:
- Trouble at work.
- Family crisis such as a divorce or death.
- Keeping up with personal obligations such as planning a party.
- Keeping up with the Jone's.
- Car trouble.
- Stress of a family get together.
- Too much to do.
- Physical health.
These factors, and many more that are too numerous to list, all cause stress. Stress means you are dealing with negativity by building more negativity for yourself. This circle will continue to mount causing others to be negative even if they weren't when you approached them.
We all struggle at one time or another.
Times are tough right now, that is true. But let's face it, at any given time, times are tough for someone. To say that the cause of all your negativity is because times are tough just doesn't make sense. Sure negative things happen, yet millions of people manage to put on a happy face and get over it. Sadly, a million others do not. They wallow in their negativity because:
- Job issues
- A death of a loved one
- Money issues
- Debt issues
- Car trouble
- Legal trouble
- Neighbor problems
- Landlord trouble
- Health issues
- Pet problems
- Home repair issues
- And whatever else may come
These items will affect hundred's of people daily, making their lives difficult and their attitudes, well, bad. No one is left out of the circle, which means you, me and the rest of the world are also bringing bad attitudes with us wherever we go. True we are not always negative, but we do become negative.
Maybe this will help you see the distinction. You are thirsty (negative) so you go to the well to get water (positive); but the bucket you need to use has a hole in the bottom (negative) so what do you do? Your answer will determine if you are negative or positive.
Positive would find another vessel or try to use leaves to seal the bottom long enough to get a drink. Negative will walk away complaining, kicking and slamming things and generally be unhappy. Which would you do?
Do you believe that it is up to the other person to change their attitude not you?
Can we change the attitudes around us?
We have so many ways we can affect those around us. But, can we change their attitudes? We can try; but, ultimately, only they can change their own attitude. We can try to change the surroundings a bit, but there is no fix for those with a bad attitude. This means only they are responsible for their own attitude and we should just walk away right? Well, yes and no.
Maybe this will help: If you put an ice cube in hot water, what happens to it. Does it remain a frozen cube? No, it melts into the water around it. It is affected by the environment in which it was placed. What does this mean for bad attitudes? We do as our environment predicts. We change as our environment changes. Now put two ice cubes in the water. Does two make a difference? Yes, the cubes melt at a slower rate. Try three. Even slower rate, right?
If you are the first ice cube and you try to freeze the water without help, you might not succeed. But, if you try hard, others might join you--more ice cubes in the water, and the environment slowly changes. This means that with a more positive attitude towards those around us, we can change their environment, slowly but we can get the ball rolling, and this will, hopefully, help them to change their attitude. Unfortunately, there are some people who have a bad attitude no matter what. I just smile at them and move on.
Change the Environment
We all have bad attitudes at one time or another. When things keep going wrong, our attitudes get worse. When holidays arrive they can often get out of hand. When we need something that we can't afford, our attitudes get awful. And, sadly, we take our attitudes out on our loved ones and those around us. This increases everyone else's bad attitude and creates a vicious circle that never ends; it just keeps getting worse.
To stop this circle and shrink it down to a workable size, we need to STOP! That's right, stop.
- Stop moving.
- Stop talking.
- Stop thinking.
- Take a moment to just look around you!
- See what is there before your eyes.
- See what you couldn't see because of the attitude.
- See the flowers.
- See the trees in their fall gowns of yellow, red, and gold or their summer shirts of green and brown.
- See the children laughing when they play.
- See the cat chasing a butterfly.
- See the simple things that we all seem to miss as we race through our daily lives.
By stopping, we lift the veil for just a moment. Just enough time to see something else that is positive. Grab that sight! Let it get rid of the negative things. Let it change your environment.
Pay it Forward
Now take that happy feeling and 'pay it forward'. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply smile. It makes others smile because it is catching. It gives others the feeling of warmth and happiness that they have been missing. It makes people feel better inside. And it uses more calories than a frown! Or you can buy a coffee for a stranger, or help someone who has fallen. By helping strangers, we not only make ourselves feel better inside, but we give them a feeling of happiness that they will, usually, use by helping someone else.
I know it is hard to think of something good for someone else especially when things are going so bad for you. But by doing something for someone else you will feel good. Feeling good can help you to see things differently. Seeing things differently might help you to see what you couldn't see before, maybe a solution. A solution that changes the environment around you.
Now When Things Begin to go Wrong
- Help someone
- Look around you and see what others might need.
- Be calm.
- Use positive energies to turn the environment to positive.
- Let your positive energy help you at home, school, work and wherever you go.
By using positive energy in your attitude, you will be very surprised to see that you are not alone in your battle. You will also be very surprised to find that the tough times will be easier to suffer through and the good times will come faster. It won't happen immediately, but it will happen.
One last note: positive attitudes draw positive responses and negative attitudes draw negative responses. If you are positive, those negative attitudes of today will be a thing of the past tomorrow!
Okay everyone, ready, set, .................SMILE!
© 2011 Cheryl Simonds