Why We Should Focus on the Positives…But Not TOO Much

So often we humans focus on the negatives. I’m going to tell you why we should spend more time focusing on the positives…but not too much!

Do you ever feel like you are bragging about your life? I mean is that not what we all do on social media all day long? Every time you post a picture of you smiling with your partner or check in at a fancy restaurant…what message are you sending? I am happy. I am enjoying life. And what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.

Then why do I feel at times guilty for being happy? I feel bad boasting about my relationship, my marriage, my life. I mean I think we all know that I have problems as I have voiced them in previous blog posts, but I don’t tend to get negative about my marriage.

I don’t want to bash my husband, and I am careful not to publish anything I wrote out of frustration. If we are having an issue I may write about it to get my thoughts out, but then I will address the topic when I am calm, in my wise mind, and am not going to score keep or focus on his faults. That is not helpful for anyone and simply encourages negativity in my opinion. What do they say negativity breeds negativity?

I have always wanted to be a positive wifey. I have always wanted to focus on the positives of my relationship and my husband. Believe me I am probably not great at this, but ya know… GOALS!

I think, and have seen those women who sit around and bash their husbands, clinking glasses of wine in the process. I don’t ever want to be that woman. Are you that woman? Do you talk shit on your husband about everything he does not do around the house and everything you wish he wouldn’t? Could you imagine how hurt you would be if he was saying those things about you with his friends? Ouch!

I have often even gotten chastised for being so positive and expressing my happiness and how wonderful my husband is. It seems it is hard for people to be happy for you. It seems people hear or see this and think it’s fake. I have even been told that I remind them of someone who pinned over their husband and he could do no wrong. That was hurtful as this person implied there was something dysfunctional about my expressed satisfaction.

Was I really being looked at as dysfunctional because I was talking about all of the wonderful things he does instead of basking in negativity? I choose to be positive about my relationship.

Research states that when you tell an employee to stop being late and to be on time they are less likely to be on time than if you were to compliment them on the times they are on time, this in turn will increase their timeliness.

So friend…be sure to compliment your husband when he takes the trash out. Tell him how much it means to you when he puts the dishes away. He will do it more. Its science.

You may be asking yourself, so what does this have to do with bitching to your gal friends about your hubs?

Well….if you are living in this cloud of negativity…what do you think you are going to focus on when you get home? How great he is? How helpful he is? NOT!!! Linguistic Relativity Theory! The way we speak about things in turn effects how we perceive things.

You want to be careful though for the sake of people hating you and feeling you are unrelatable as well as setting too high of expectations.

Studies show that general optimism results in more positive outcomes such as effective problem solving and a hopeful future for relationship outcomes than if you were specifically optimistic.

What the hell does that mean? That means if you’re placing unrealistic expectations on your relationship such as (insert cheesy smile) me and my husband ALWAYS communicate perfectly! That’s a bit overboard and actually has a negative impact on your relationship and plus your “friends” will be talking mad shit on you when you leave because you’re insane.

References:

Caldarella, P., Christensen, L., Young, K. R., & Densley, C. (2011). Decreasing Tardiness in Elementary School Students Using Teacher-Written Praise Notes. Intervention in School and Clinic, 47(2), 104–112. https://doi.org/10.1177/1053451211414186

Neff, L. A., & Geers, A. L. (2013). Optimistic expectations in early marriage: A resource or vulnerability for adaptive relationship functioning? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(1), 38-60.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032600

Full Disclosure: I couldnt find the exact study that I discussed regarding the employees as this was something I learned about in graduate school in a social psychology class, but did find a similar study regarding class room behavior that is listed as the first reference.

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Stella
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You make a valid point! Yes!