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SOS…Just A Different Day

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Same song, different day? “Same old sh**…just a different day!” is a crass way to express this cross sentiment: “I let my negative attitude be in the driver’s seat, and drive away with my mood, and drive people away from me to boot.” A person with a bad attitude isn’t aware that his or her bad attitude is the stink in the room that makes everyone’s nose sorry to be in the business of smelling.

WHAT MAKES YOUR ATTITUDE STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN?

A person with a negative attitude doesn’t think of him- or herself as being negative at all, much less too negative for the good of your relationship. Here are communication instances of “negatalking” that are instant energy drainers and mood downers.

1. IT’S NOT MY JOB. A negative attitude that rationalizes being lazy and fearful of going the extra (s)mile.

2. I DIDN’T GET TO IT. Preferring procrastination to productivity. Inwardly smiling when someone gets exasperated who was needing your help.

3. I EXPECTED MORE FROM YOU. Blaming another person for refusing to do what you typically don’t gladly do.

4. I DON’T HAVE TIME TO TALK RIGHT NOW. Skipping out of the town of Talk because you are too important and too busy to find time right now to.

5. WHY CAN’T YOU THINK OF THE GOOD STUFF? Making someone feel bad about feeling bad. Kicking someone who is in the middle of being angry at the self.

6. WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO CHANGE WHEN YOU DON’T? Forgetting about good personal changes you are wise to make, because your nemesis unwisely prohibits making personal changes.

7. WHY DON’T YOU CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE? Declaring that changing one’s attitude or mood altitude is as easy as snapping your fingers to adjust your in-flight course.

8. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST FORGET ABOUT IT? Verbally punishing someone for failing to forget what was done to them that they didn’t like then or now.

9. YOU’VE GOT TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF. This is a one-up put-down of the personal struggle of another who is trying to manage a mood without resorting to compulsive use of yelling, alcohol, overwork or a obsessively negative attitude.

10. YOU’RE THINKING TOO MUCH. Translated, this means that you aren’t thinking the way I want you to think, so I am uncomfortable with your “free thinking style” that leads to anarchy and mayhem.

11. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING. This is an accusation that you can’t understand the musings of really intelligent people who comprehend all.

12. NOW, I’M NOT BRAGGING BUT… This is the beginning of a boring string of braggart statements that indiciate a person has a supersized ego and excessive self-esteem.

13. WHY DO YOU SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT? O.K. you’ve got me here. You may have shot yourself in the foot, but did this speaker give you the loaded gun to do the dirty deed?

14. YOUR TRYING TO TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT. Shoot, just getting out of a relationship with a difficult person is really hard work and can take years.

15. YOU’RE OBSESSED. What’s wrong being obsessed with the truth, and for standing up for non-hurtful emotional honesty in relationships, for God’s sake?

16. YOU’VE GOT TO DO BETTER THAN THAT. If you’re a difficult person people pleaser, “You’ve got to do better!” will really make you a goat on a rope who’s humping hard to please.

17. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO OVER-REACT? You could as easily say, “Why do you always have to under-react? If you react more…I’ll react less.”

18. NOTHING MAKES YOU HAPPY. Now that’s the truth. No-thing makes you happy because you are the only one who can make yourself happy. And you make yourself happy by being you in spite of all the pressures trying to twist you into a human pretzel.

19. YOU CAN’T WIN FOR LOSING. Well, you win sometimes, lose sometimes and break even much of the time but that has nothing to do with feeling like a self-respecting winner.

Are you among the in-group of died-in-the-wool super-realists who can’t be taken in by the utter foolishness and mindless frolic of optimists? Bully for you!

YOUR ATTITUDE IS YOUR JOB

Now in my experience as a keynote speaker and professional psychologist, positive people really do feel sappy and crappy. In fact, being mind- and heart-open means you get hurt far more deeply and completely…and the same goes for love. But I know that you have a positive place of compassionate understanding in your heart for YOU, too.

  • Your attitude is your job because …
  • You have time for whatever you consider important to do…
  • You get around to all things important…
  • You expect little of others and most from yourself…
  • You are trustworthy and believable and caring…
  • You freely change what isn’t working for you…
  • You follow through on your promises…
  • You daily change your attitude from negative to positive…
  • You are taking better care of yourself as we speak…
  • You don’t worry too much about nothin’…
  • You think plenty of the good stuff to get your happy back…
  • You forget about people and painful situations you can’t change…
  • You deeply understand and comprehend what other people are saying…
  • You have common sense and uncommon wisdom…
  • You’re thinking and feeling in just the right amounts…
  • You don’t play with loaded guns much less shoot yourself in the foot…
  • You keep it simple and don’t eschew taking an easy street to travel to your destination…
  • You’re obsessed with improving your communication skills…
  • You are responsive instead of reactive…
  • You respect yourself and others equally.

WHEN THE BATTERY IN YOUR COMMUNICATOR CAR NEEDS RECHARGING

As a great communicator, you realize that the positive attitude battery in your communicator car needs to be recharged when times are tough and fear makes you feel wound tight. Especially when you turn the ignition over and your car doesn’t start…talk positively to yourself using the positive affirmations above.

ABOUT DR. DENNIS O’GRADY

Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a keynote speaker, professional psychologist, father of three daughters, President-Elect of the Dayton Psychological Association, Clinical Professor at the Wright State School of Professional Psychology, executive coach and relationship counselor and author of “Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along With Anyone.”

7 Comments »

  1. Same old stuff, just a different day? Or different new opportunities made just for you…to experience your life anew today?!

    Comment by Dr. Dennis O'Grady — December 6, 2006 @ 7:05 am

  2. I’ve discovered a negative attitude takes away my joy. So does a controlling relationship. It’s not intimate. It’s not joyful. It’s at the cost of my happiness. I beat myself up because I haven’t moved on quicker.

    Comment by Karen — December 6, 2006 @ 9:11 am

  3. I don’t dwell in what happened in the past. It wasn’t good, so forget about it. I’ve got to take care of the problems today. I don’t like feeling bad about spilled milk.

    Comment by Connie — December 6, 2006 @ 11:07 am

  4. I’m not quite sure my attitude rests in my hands. My ex-husband glares at me when I pick up the kids. I feel intimidated, then I feel weak. It snowballs and I feel worthless and inadequate. Ultimately, I guess I’m learning that what I think of myself…is VERY much my business. Thinking of myself as weak or inferior, doesn’t work for me.

    Comment by Robyn — December 6, 2006 @ 12:09 pm

  5. My SOS is that I don’t like myself, so I go out of my way to help others. I’m nice to people. I leave my customers laughing or smiling. A negative attitude makes me feel like half a person. I want to accept and like myself more.

    Comment by Sam — December 6, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

  6. My SOS…different day is every time you get ahead a little, you get knocked back. I’d like to see more nice things in the world. Things that lift you up. Things that make you feel better. Now you work from cradle to grave, for what? Your site lifts me up. Thanks.

    Comment by Nick — December 6, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

  7. Attitude is part of the issue people have in life but PMA (positive mental attitude is the starting point). If you dont have some level of PMA it is very challenging to perform anything.

    This I beleive and then it begs the next question:
    “Now in my experience as a keynote speaker and professional psychologist, positive people really do feel sappy and crappy.”

    Saying your happy is easy being happy is often a reflection of the doing going on in a life rather than the sayings going on in a life. When desired results are not being acheived it can lead to unhappiness on some level.

    There are verifiable steps to take to have self induced real happiness that is not from outside of you but from within. Internal reward systems are one way for example.

    You have a PHD. What other SOLUTIONS do you recomend?

    Dear Tom,

    Thanks, Tom, for your earlier question. Could you clarify for me related to “Communicator Type…Positive vs. Negative Feedback” what you want me to comment on? I’m not sure what part of talking positively to the inner self you want me to comment on. Or about something else…can you help me out?

    Dear Dennis,

    PMA (positive mental attitude) I believe can be ceated but the lack of result can lead to NMA (negative mental attitude) of PMA. Wild? Yes. Example. Say you are training someone how to ski. You bring them to the top of the hill after some training and remind them don’t think of falling and think positive and you will be fine. They do both. They break their leg. What do you think the person then thinks of PMA suggestions and advice?

    It is like prayer. You tell a person just to pray etc and beleive. They have a relative that they pray for and they beleive and think positive. The person DIES. How do you think the person then views prayer? This can be the same for negative and positive communicators as well. When negative works for someone they use it more because they are getting something else out of it.

    I think people want results and focus on results and if results are not there then they blame anyone outside of themselves first and foremost. You have some of the best stuff I have read on the net. I can tell you are a pro. I read tons of BS and I really enjoy your articles.

    So a person uses a good communication style a positive one and it doesn’t work. They go right back to the negative style.

    I could go on and on. You are one of the best guys on the net. BTW

    Thanks, Tom.

    Hi Tom,

    You’re great…couldn’t agree with you more that it’s difficult to continue to have a PMA of a PMA when negative results are being received. Although I want to study your comments more carefully…here’s a couple of additional thoughts:

    1. PMA is a term I first came to know through the writings and teachings of Napolean Hill who is the author of: Think and Grow Rich.

    2. Positive people are able or response-able to effectively handle emotions that are both gold and rust.

    3. Emotions are dualities or opposites. Thus, even happiness can be negative or sorrow can be positive…what a mind bender.

    4. All emotions are like a coin and we can’t just have the positive or “sunny” side of emotions without the “darker” side of emotions.

    5. True love and compassion comes from navigating tricky emotions without harm coming to anyone.

    6. Being friends with ourselves means behaving in constructive ways when we feel are emotions are destructive.

    7. You can’t have happiness, unless you are first friends with yourself.

    8. Friendliness means being on friendly terms with your emotions.

    Well…I have more to say but I’ve got a client who just came in for an appointment. I’m enjoying talking with you Tom…where are you from?

    Dennis

    Thanks again!

    Comment by Tom B. — December 11, 2006 @ 2:17 pm

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