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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 21-Apr-19


Sunday 14-April-19

Grumpy taxi drivers and the power of positivity

My daughter told me the other day that she got into a taxi recently and said hello, but only got a grumpy response. Most people would take this as a signal that the driver did not want to talk and would just be quiet. My daughter is not that kind of person as she reads grumpiness as a challenge. She said 'Hmm. Looks like you got out of bed the wrong side.' She didn't get an apology, but did get a conciliatory 'Mmm'. She then kept up the positive approach and the conversation emerged. And by the end of the journey she knew a lot about the driver, who had cheered up considerably. Feeling good about spreading a little love and light, she walked into an important customer meeting.

It is so easy to be dragged down by people who are negative. Or, worse, we assume that other people are already thinking negatively and get infected by our own assumptions. In either case, it can put us into a poor mood and a potential slippery slope where we all go downhill and bad feelings just get worse.

When I had a day job, I would deliberately bounce into the office on a Monday morning, smiling and complimenting people. I'd get a 'what are you on' type of comment, but generally I found being positive raised the spirits of other people and gave me some brownie points that led to people being more open to listening and agreeing than they might otherwise be. At worst, I just felt good as the general mood improved.

Being positive is something you can do to yourself. Identify negative thinking before it gets to your body language or speech. Turn it around and see the positive side of things. Or just kick it into touch. Avoid blame, regret and other negative emotions that do no good whatsoever. Even if you don't feel to positive, act positive and the virtuous spiral you create will eventually make you happier.

And just smile! You'll be happy that you do.

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