I've noticed that sometimes two people describe the same experience—positive or negative—in two completely different ways Maybe you talked about a “pretty” sunset while your spouse called the natural wonder “breathtaking.” Or perhaps one of your co-workers “needed clarity” after a meeting that left another “very frustrated.”
Imagine how your life would change if you were able to take all the negative emotions you ever felt and lower their intensity so they didn’t impact you as powerfully! Similarly, imagine what your life would be like if you could take your most positive emotions and multiply them tenfold.
Start by writing down three words that you use on an ongoing basis to intensify your negative feelings or emotions. Then, come up with alternative words or phrases that have a lower intensity.
Old word: depressed
New words: a little down, frustrated
Old word: overwhelmed
New words: in demand, full of opportunities
Now, write down three words you use to describe your experiences in a positive way, and come up with three alternative words that amplify those positive feelings. Get a friend to ensure you follow through by having her pay attention and tell you, if necessary, something like, “Are you okay, or are you fantastic?”
Old word: fine
New words: incredible, outrageous, outstanding
Old word: cute
New words: delicious, gorgeous, unbelievable
Here's a game you can play at work to get more of your team aware of avoiding negative language. Play 'Negative Language Bingo' and see how fast your employees start avoiding negative statements. Make up your own 'Positive Language Bingo' game to see how fast you can get those around you focused on the positive possibilities rather than just exclamations of how bad the problem is. Solution oriented not problem obsessed.
Commit to using a more positive vocabulary in 2007!