“The nature of how we are as human beings is that we’re much more interested in being critical rather than praising something.” – Ellie Goulding
Our son, Judson, has entered the “terrible twos” phase of his life with incredible momentum. Dude is on fire right now. Since he was even younger than he is now, we’ve called him a Sour Patch Kid; he is likely to try to smack you in the face and then hug you seconds later and tell you he loves you. These are interesting times in the Moore household. Amber and I have been researching and reading so much on how to handle a precocious young’un so that we don’t all end up on an episode of Snapped. (I’m kidding. Probably.) In our research efforts, we have read time and again this technique: praising positive behavior. He absolutely responds to negative and positive reactions accordingly. If he’s acting up and we meet it with equal negativity, his behavior worsens. However, tonight, as he was playing with his cousin, Bentley, he displayed extremely positive behavior, so I tried an experiment. Every time he would share toys or show affection toward Bentley, I would tell him how proud I was and that he was being a very good boy. His positive behavior continued. It was fantastic. Does this translate to Sour Patch Adults?
As the quote I listed above indicates, we have a natural, human tendency to tear down instead of build up. Case in point, put yourself in the following shoes:
Example A: Making a snide comment behind someone’s back.
Example B: Approaching someone and telling them something specific that you really like about them.
If we’re being honest, and really putting ourselves in those examples, Example A is way easier, unfortunately. Also unfortunately, in my experiences, Example A happens far more often than B.
Example B is intentional, transformational, and elicits a positive response. It just makes people feel good. It makes us feel good to do it. So, as we like to do in these writings, I’m issuing a challenge, this one in two parts:
1: The next time you’re inclined to say something unwarranted and negative about another person, stop. Think about what’s really being accomplished (nothing) and whether or not you’d repeat it with the intended party present.
2: Make a point of saying or writing something nice to or about someone. Try it now. I’ll wait. Okay, not really. Just do it.
I’m sure you’ve heard a million times that positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. Try it out. See if it’s true. I’d bet that it is.
Let’s change that Sour Patch Kid mentality, Batman.
Have an awesome Thursday,