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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 11-Dec-09

 


Friday 11-December-09

Being Positive

In the words of the pessimist, life's a bitch. Things happen. Sadly, God's plan for the universe doesn't have any sub-clauses about your particular prosperity and happiness. The double whammie of such thinking, though is that by dwelling on this we can create a self-fulfilling and very miserable prophecy.

But is the reverse true, can you think yourself happy, if not rich? Actually most of have a good go. As a species, we judge ourselves not against an absolute standard but against each other. And so to prop up our self-esteem we think ourselves more handsome, more intelligent and healthier than others. Most people think they are way above average in most attributes that matter, and so feel better.

We also spend much social time propping each up, complimenting and flattering far more often than criticising. Face-saving can be culturally endemic and the truth may be far from the surface.

A neat trick when you are greeting someone: is to compliment them in some way rather than to say 'How are you?' Asking after their health invites them to think of bad health, and then to suppress bad feelings in a pleasant reply. Tell them they are looking good and they will feel good, and so be motivated to help you feel good too.


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