When our son was a baby, we were trying to teach him how to eat, where he could go in the house, what he could touch. You know that age when they’re into everything and you can never relax!
We said things like:
- Don’t throw your food on the floor
- Don’t go up those stairs
- Don’t touch that vase
Guess what he did…threw his food…went up the stairs…and touched the vase! After seeing that this was not working we realized that everything we said focused on what he couldn’t do, instead of speaking positively and telling him what we wanted him TO do:
- Keep your food on your tray
- Stay in the living room
- Keep your hands to down
It was amazing the results that we got when we remembered to do this. But don’t get me wrong, we still couldn’t relax.
Does this ever happen to you? We all speak this way to a certain extent, to our significant others, children, parents, co-workers, and we don’t even realize it. You never help me; don’t run in the house, you can’t do it that way. As opposed to: I appreciate you taking out the garbage, please walk when you are in the house, and here is how you do it.
Those we speak to using the negative verbiage usually don’t realize it at a conscience level either, they just respond by tuning us out or getting angry…but hey, who can blame them? And we have all had someone speak to us that way as well and we have the same reaction.
When you notice that negative terminology entering your mind or slipping off your tongue with others or even with yourself, stop and think or say the opposite. Try it and, hopefully, it’ll become more of a habit. It’s not easy to change how we speak or think, and usually our comments are reactive but at least it’s worth a shot. What the heck it’s those subtle changes that we strive to make that ultimately add up and improve our life, even if it’s just a little.
Just think if we all changed our language to speak positive and focus our words on what we want, how much better off we’d be?