Why do so many of us remember all the negative things our friends, family and colleagues have said? "You're always late." "This place is a mess." "You never listen to me." Why can't a big bouquet of roses or even a bonus at work make up for several things that caused hurt feelings? Why do we remember critical remarks more than positive ones? According to Dr. John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago you can blame it on the brain, as the brain is actually more sensitive and responsive to unpleasant news. That's why personal insults or criticism hit us harder and stay with us longer.
Number of positive/negative remarks
Not only do we have a built-in partiality toward negative information, but negatives cover the positives. Our brain needs a higher number of positive entries to counterbalance this built-in negativity bias. One super-size positive cannot offset multiple negatives.
The right formula
Psychologist Dr. John Gottman at the University of Washington says we need at least two positive remarks to one negative. I believe the best thing is to practice; say at least two positive things about someone every day. Avoid pointing out any negatives for at least one week. Avoid interrupting people. This may be more challenging for powerful personalities, and women may find this especially difficult because the female brain processes facts and emotions at the same time. Compliment family members, friends and colleagues in front of others. Don't overdo it, keep it true and sincere. Soon you're developing a habit. Look for humor in any situation. Be quick to smile or laugh. A daily dose of humor, learning to laugh at ourselves, and laughing together lightens any load. Express thanks and appreciation to people in your environment, for his or her qualities and actions. Again, don't overdo it. Choose the right moment, speak softly, and look deeply into the persons eyes.
The Bible has a lot to say about the power of our words. Proverbs 12:18 says, "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Psalm 64:3 compares the wicked tongue to swords and words to deadly arrows. Negative words have an incredible power to tear down, but positive words can heal and restore.
Before You Speak, Ask yourself the following questions:
Does this really need to be said?
Does the other person want to hear it?
Does it build them up?
Is it wise?
Is it going to better me?
Is it going to better the other person?
Can it be said gently, kindly, and with love?
Does it give a blessing?
Lets make a decision of spreading positive words!