One way to look at gratitude is to always look for that silver lining. You know how your mom might’ve said, “Look on the bright side?” She may not have realized just how wise she was!
It’s easy to get stuck in the complaining rut as I pointed out in the last blog post. I didn’t elaborate much on the gratitude part because I felt this, part two, coming.
As I said in the previous post, it’s easy to do a gratitude list but it quickly can turn rote. It’s just something you do every day without a lot of thought or emotion. It’s a habit so you do it. It’s a great habit, but it really only works if you put some feeling into it and really feel each statement as you recite or write it.
Use this Easy Tool
The quick way to shift your perspective so you don’t complain so much is to look for that silver lining, which is akin to gratitude. It’s an easy tool you can use to shift your outlook. It’s like I told my client who was upset with her sister and brother-in-law for not helping out as much. Look for what he does do, not what he doesn’t. That’s the silver lining. There’s always something good, always something to be grateful for, if we just look for it.
When we’re caught up in the moment of being ticked off because someone doesn’t do such and such or does such and such, it’s easy to forget what they might do that’s good. We want to complain because we feel justified. And most times, we probably are justified in our beef. But does it feel good to stay stuck in your complaint?
Right or Happy?
You know the saying, “Would you rather be right or be happy?” Being right sure feels good, especially if you feel wronged a lot. It feels good for the moment, but long term does it really? IDK about you, but I’d rather be happy than right. There are often two sides to being right, unless you’re dealing with facts. Everyone has a different way that they see things so who’s really right in most cases?
Part of wanting to be right is caring about other people’s opinions. What other people think of us really isn’t our business. I know that may seem odd. It isn’t our business because we can’t change how they feel. Yes, we can make reparations or whatever, but it’s still up to them if they want to change their mind about us.
At the end of the day do you really care what others think of you? Yes, we want people to like us (especially the people pleasers out there!), but as I just said, we can’t make them like us or make them have a favorable opinion of us. They’re going to think what they’re going to think.
The best strategy, then, is to always be and do your best. If you’re living by that, then you should feel good about yourself. If you feel good about yourself and give your best, then chances are good that people will like you. Problem solved!
If you feel good about yourself, then you’ll be happy. If you’re happy, then who cares if you’re right?
It’s Not Worth It
I know someone who always has to be right. Even if he’s not. He’ll argue with you til the cows come home to prove he’s right, even when you know for a fact he’s not. If you correct him, he’ll either go silent (because he knows you’re right) or argue some more to prove he’s right. Usually, he chooses the latter. When he is right, then he likes to gloat. Quite frankly, that gets exhausting. This isn’t a “p*ssing contest.”
What’s my strategy for dealing with him? Ignore his comments. Don’t try to prove you’re right or he’s wrong because it’s just not worth it. If I come back with a snarky comment like, “Do you want a gold star for being right” that won’t meet with a very good rebuttal so I leave it alone. Besides, I don’t want to be snarky. Snarky breeds snarky.
It’s.not.worth.it. Remember that when dealing with those type of people. Oh, and needless to say, he’s not a very happy person. He’d definitely rather be right than happy. His choice, not mine.
If we continually push that we’re right then we’re probably exhausting other people too. No one likes a “know-it-all” which includes always being right. Sure, sometimes you are right and it needs to be pointed out. If you’re fixing an appliance and you know that the other person is doing something wrong, yes, it’s important to have it work correctly so point it out. In most cases though, is it worth it?
Looking for the silver lining takes the pressure off to find a solution where this is none. Instead of channeling all your energy into a negative situation and trying to fix it, you found something positive to focus on. As we’ve said many times, we can’t force people to do something or change so complaining about it won’t alter the situation. Harping on them to change won’t motivate them.
Give the Dog a Cookie
If you want someone to change their behavior here is one strategy that you can use. I call it the “give the dog a cookie” technique. That’s not meant to offend anyone or dogs. Rather, I’m looking for the humor in the situation. If you’ve had a dog, then you know treats are generally for rewards. If they do something right, they get a treat. If they don’t, no treat.
If someone isn’t doing something you want them to do, like in the case of my client’s sister, then compliment her for something she does. Every time my client complains about it, I remind her of “give the dog a cookie.” She generally groans but then she laughs because she knows it works. She doesn’t like having to always be the bigger person, but hey, it pays off. I know it gets tiring but it brings me back to – do you want to be right or be happy? Do you want to find a way for her to be more helpful or would you rather complain that she isn’t?
Let go of your complaint for a moment and compliment the uncooperative person. Surely there’s something positive you can say about them or their behavior. Even if you have to stretch it. Let’s say they have nice eyes and that’s about all that you can come up with. Try this: “You have the nicest, kindest eyes.” If you want to lay it on thicker add: “You have the nicest, kindest eyes that say to me that you enjoy helping people.” Boom. Now maybe they’ll be more helpful because you pointed out that they seem to be.
That’s not lying. Maybe it’s embellishing but it made them feel good. Are you being manipulative? Yeah, maybe, but for a good cause. Not all manipulation is bad. In this case I prefer to see it as a technique or strategy rather than just BS-ing someone to get your way. Your intentions are good. You’d like some additional help and you know they’re capable so you’re just urging them along in a pleasant way. It’s nicer and gentler than coaxing, complaining, name calling or yelling. Call it a form of cajoling, if you will. You’re not blowing smoke up their skirt just to get your way. It’s a subtle difference but hopefully one that you can see.
Try it. You might like it. And more importantly, get some cooperation. You found the bright side in them so use it. Remember, give the dog a cookie! Always look for something positive. Your attitude, your day and your life will go better. You’ll be happier.
If you’re not sure how you feel about what I wrote and want an honest answer, ask your intuition. Find out how to identify your intuition, how to listen to it, how to talk to it and how to trust it by CLICKING HERE.
Once you start listening to your intuition, you’ll be amazed how well much you’ll feel better. Then you can truly start enjoying yourself. CLICK HERE to find out more!