Finding the Positive in the Negative

positive negative

Man, don’t people get angry when I do this. They hate when I point out the bright side of things.

When I hear someone say, “What a crappy, rainy day. I wish I never got out of bed.”
My almost, every-time response is, “Yeh, but you did. There are some who can’t.”
The inevitable eye-roll makes its appearance and the requisite, “Whatever, Deb. Why do always have to find the bright side of everything? Jeez.”

I shrug and smile.

I’m not saying I feel all happy-sunny every single minute of every single day, but by finding the good things in life as opposed to focusing on all the bad, makes me put things into perspective. I mean yeh, I have terrible days too – lots of ‘em, but why dwell on them? Those kinds of thoughts will only make me feel worse and that’s not really how I want to go about my day. Would anyone?

How to find the positive in the negative? It’s easy. Rearrange your way of thinking.

Here’s a scenario: You – “I’ve got a shitload of relatives coming over for holidays. What a nightmare it’s going to be. All the grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. Then somebody will probably get ticked off at someone else for some stupid thing that happened a gazillion years ago and everyone will be fighting and arguing. This is sooo gonna suck!”


Instead try thinking like this: “Awesome, everybody’s coming over for the holidays! I haven’t seen so and so and his family in months. We’ll eat food, drink and catch up. I’m gonna let everyone bring their own special dish, we’ll gossip while we clean up. Then we can make fun of one another while we play a mean game of Wii bowling. Maybe a movie to chill out before everyone heads out.”


If you can put a positive spin on things – see the bright side, nine times out of ten, it’ll be a positive experience. We really can talk ourselves into our own way of thinking.

See, I personally have to do this on a daily basis. I work in the public. I’ve been in customer service for many years and over the years I’ve had a lot of practice on how to present the right public persona. If I’m truly having a bad day, my customers will never know it. They don’t come into our place of business to see a sour-pussed, eyes glazed over, bored out of her skin cashier. They want to hand over their hard-earned cash to someone grateful to have their business.

And that takes a lot of effort on my part, to be able to leave my personal business out of my work place (at least to my customers – not so much for my unfortunate co-workers, sorry guys). There are times though, when it really is an challenge to stay upbeat especially considering there are times it feels like my entire life has imploded around me and I think I’m never going to get through another day littered with the minefields of self-doubt and recrimination that I constantly battle. The kind of self-doubt that could easily bring on that loss of sanity that I’ve been praying for (because then I’d have a genuine excuse for the crazies I feel from time to time).

Unfortunately, my sanity stays somewhat intact and I get out of bed, exercise, shower and put on my big-girl panties in order to put on the happy face that I need in order to meet the challenge of another day.

new day

The irony is that once the happy face is in place and I’ve put positive energy to work, I actually do begin to feel better. A smile, a positive outlook, a genuine good feeling towards others and the thought of the possibilities of what the day may bring can really make the day go that much better.

An unwillingness to let negative energy knock me on my ass, usually KO’s that negativity. And that optimism tends to rub off on others. So many times I’ve had people say to me while I’m at work, “I come in just to see your smile.” That’s the kind of comment that makes me realize exactly how important a smile can be. Not only for my own job security, but for the way it made another person feel. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to make another person feel good rather than commiserating with them and joining them in their trash talk about how messed up life is. That’s the kind of talk that’ll make you both feel even worse and in a world that’s already overcrowded with bad feelings and ill will, why make more?

For Christ-sakes (literally and not loaded with blasphemy) be grateful for the day that was given. I feel blessed to get up each morning and see another day. Even if it’s a crappy, rainy day. Cuz, you know, the rain only lasts for a little while – then the sun will eventually come out again and a rainbow will shoot across the sky.

Go ahead, smile…cuz it’s all good.


4 thoughts on “Finding the Positive in the Negative

  1. Aussa Lorens says:

    Very good reminder 🙂 It’s true– life is all about perception. Change that, you change your life.

  2. Pete C says:

    Great thoughts! I feel sad for those who bury themselves in negative thought. I used to get annoyed with them, now I just feel sorry for them. I will say, the practice you speak of is a learned skill, that needs to be practiced and honed. And it can be taken too far. I know people that find positive in EVERYTHING. Good for them, I guess. I think most things can be flipped around and positive can be found, but not all things. Shitty things happen in life. As someone once said, if we didn’t have cloudy days ever, we would never appreciate the sunny ones. I myself, am one of those people that never saw anything positive ever. I changed years ago. Not only do see the positive in things now, I tend shut out those who don’t. Not because I don’t like them personally, but to me being around negative people is like being at Disney while it is snowing. There are so many haters in the world. A great example is looking at youtube videos. All day long you can watch videos of people with unbelievable talent, or experiencing life changing situations. Then you look at the comment section, and it is filled with horrendous hateful comments. Makes me wonder where mankind is headed… Nice piece of writing Deb 🙂 always make ME smile!

  3. debra colby says:

    I like that Pete…Disney and snow. That just doesn’t go together. And learning to think positive is a learned thing. Coming from a home that was filled w/more negativity than happiness, it could’ve been easy to simply carry on that “tradition” and I did for awhile. But being negative all the time is exhausting. It really is easier to smile than frown. Looks better too. 😀 Thanks for stopping by Pete! And I’m glad I make you smile!

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