Speak positively or don’t speak at all
Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. Norman Vincent Peale
Our mothers told us: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”. Over time this message has disintegrated, and more often we are seeing negativity creep into our conversations – socially and at work.
There are several reasons for speaking positive, and they all lead to having a positive impact on our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the people we are talking to. I am also going to give a few tips and tricks for how to speak positively, once you’re in the mindset it can be easy, but sometimes a situation may be going pear-shaped with someone else’s negativity and knowing how to turn that around is a really important skill to have.
Why speak positively – what’s in it for us?
1. It actually takes more energy to speak negatively than it does to speak positively. When we’re negative about someone or something it brings us and everyone around us down, but when we speak positively, it lifts everyone up and builds confidence and rapport.
2. The more positive you are, the better you look to those you communicate with. If you’re dissing someone or something, it only makes one person look bad and that’s you. It will also create a barrier between you and the person you’re communicating with as they wonder if you’ll speak about them in a similar way.
3. It has been scientifically proven that speaking positively will make you feel good, and will also positively impact the person you’re communicating with – double win!
4. The way you speak and the words you choose tells people a lot about you: your attitudes, beliefs, feelings and expectations.
How to speak positively
– Avoid negative thinking. If you think negatively about something in particular, make it off-limits when you’re talking to people
– Think about the good things that someone or something does, or find the positive in the conversation and mention it with a smile. For example, you’ve struggled dealing with a company before and now you need to work with them. Your manager mentions they have new management. Smile and say: “I’ve had trouble dealing with them in the past, but hopefully the new management has changed things for the better – let’s do it!”
– Concentrate on your choice of words. Avoid using negative words such as no, don’t, can’t, won’t, not, isn’t etc.
– If you have something positive to say – say it!
– When someone is steam-rolling with negativity, it can be hard to turn the situation around. The best way to do it is find something that they have said, agree and then go a bit further with why their thought was positive. Always try to speak with a smile, especially if you’re dealing with someone difficult, it will soften the situation!
Remember: speaking positively is a skill – it needs to be practised and constantly worked at – but it’s worth it!