Attitudes: What are they and Where do they come from

Have you ever wondered about attitudes? How they can influence your actions and reactions ? Attitudes define how we think and react to words spoken. Do you ever have a day when you wished you had kept your mouth shut? Boy, I have. It seems as though you started an unofficial debate and you were not prepared with proper facts to back you up.

I grew up in a small house that contained parents, five girls , two boys and assorted pets. Our house was full of noise, laughter, fights, debates, arguments, discussions and attitudes. Everyone would would be yelling their opinions loudly and and calling for mother. Mother would not let whatever was being discussed develop into a full blown chaotic situation. Mother was referee and judge. You did not argue with the judge’s decision. Any comments were muttered under your breath. If we ever said what we wanted to out loud, we would have to suffer the consequences. Mom was great at defusing situations without showing favoritism. Although I personally thought she had favorites and I was not one of them. I remember that I did complain a lot about all the chores I had to do and mother would always respond with a saying. Her favorite was you can only do what a mule can do. I didn’t even try to figure that one out but I decided that a mule only works when he wants to. But that did not work for me. I do not remember mother having negative attitudes. She was such a positive person. Her decisions were fair and just for all concerned. She always looked for the positive in people.

Eventually we grow up and develop our own personalities. And then we had friends who would influence the way we acted. Before long, you begin to develop your very own opinions and attitudes to whatever was going on in your life. Attitude adjustments are necessary at all times of your life.

I got married, had children, helped my husband in his business, cleaned house, became a part time chauffeur and room mother. I became a referee trying to please everyone. Every day had a crisis and it started with a bad attitude that was negative. I was always trying to stay calm but it only lasted a short time. You usually had a family member who had one attitude and it was negative. You couldn’t even have a conversation with them. I would try to find something positive about this person but failed to do so. Bad attitudes create a negative atmosphere and before you know it you are positively negative. It is true, negativity causes negativity.

One day at Barnes and Nobles, I found myself in the self help section. Over the years I bought a lot of self help books and journals. I started writing about how the negative atmosphere was effecting my outlook on my life. I was not a happy person. Eventually, I had to destroy my journals because they contained personal expressions and feelings I did not want to share with my family. I will admit writing my negative thoughts helped me to change my attitude. It was a slow process but in the end it was good for my mental health. I was becoming the person I felt comfortable with.

Websters dictionary defines attitude as a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition, opinions, etc. WOW! This described me to a tee. I managed to use all of the above at one time or another.

Everybody responds to others attitudes or opinions. Something in the voice or the manner of speaking can trigger our response. What causes negative feelings that suddenly pop up? Is it the circumstances happening to you at the moment? Is it a feeling that you don’t want to deal with right now? Are you allowing others to influence your attitude? You need to search your feelings to find out what triggers your response to what is being discussed and your feelings of defending your opinions. I personally feel that people with negative attitudes or opinions have a knack for making everyone miserable. Bottom line, negative attitudes and opinions are a waste of time and will get you nowhere.

How do you go about changing the way you think and act? You start by changing your thoughts. Try to spend time with family or friends who have a positive attitude. This will help you to get a better idea of how nice it is to be a positive person. You can choose people who like to listen to you without trying to change you. Our attitude or response is a way of expressing our self. We have a choice of positive or negative. When you allow your thoughts to dictate your actions, be prepared to accept the consequences. There is a popular quote about accepting what you cannot change and change the way you look at them. When you focus on being positive, you are changing the way you act and feel. Having a positive attitude makes me feel better. Did you know it is easier to smile than to frown? When you frown you get wrinkles. When you do have a negative view and you will, try to find something positive about it.

I am not saying I do not have negative thoughts, attitudes or views because I do. The negative part of your personality is always with you. Every morning I ask the Lord for an attitude adjustment. It is important that I set the tone for the day. My days are better if I maintain a positive demeanor with a smile. But, there are days when that negative attitude pops up and makes everybody miserable, including me. Nothing happy about that. One more thing about being negative, it takes up energy and makes you tired and mad. Being positive does make your life easier and happier. Do you know laughter is contagious?

It was time for me to make a commitment to myself. I am going to have a positive attitude all day. I am going to be a positive person all day. If I have to bite my tongue from verbally answering in a negative way, I will. If I want my day to be pleasant and productive, I have to be positive. Enjoying your life begins with the thoughts and actions you choose. Remember to breathe, to think of something that makes you smile, tell yourself this is going to be a good day, thank the Lord for all his blessings, and keep your mind, mouth, and thoughts positively positive. Did you know positive people enjoy life and have more fun.  Shirley Sadocchi

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