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Contagious Attitudes

June 15, 2018

 

Do you have a contagious attitude? Of course, you do. All attitudes are contagious.

Years ago, my coworker—let’s call her Kathy—would come into work in the morning and get the obligatory, “Good morning, Kathy! How are you?” from her manager. And every day, she would respond with, “Shitty!”

Finally, the manager took her aside and explained to her that starting the day telling people you are doing “shitty” is, in fact, depressing and disheartening to those around you. Kathy was flabbergasted. She had no idea that her morning ritual affected anyone in any way. But, how would you feel if you were on the receiving end of Kathy’s negativity every morning? Delighted? Optimistic? Ready to start the day with a bang? Doubtful.

Attitude affects everything – from your health[1] to your relationships, and especially your coworkers and your career.[2]  When it comes to emotions, the workplace is a microcosm of the world at large. You are “locked in” with people whom you may not normally associate with, and you have to get along for 8+ hours a day, five days a week. Kathy took that to be a prison sentence, but you can choose to make it interactive, engaging and, yes, fun! How much do we love that cheerful coworker in the office – the one who’s always quick with a heartfelt smile and a genuine compliment?

So why don’t we all emulate their attitudes? Because we’re human and humans have a range of emotions. Cheery coworkers have just learned to accept life on life’s terms, roll with the punches, and face life’s challenges with positive attitudes and acceptance. Yes, life can throw monkey wrenches into even the best-laid plans – but you can choose if you react like Kathy (“Life is shitty!”) or accept challenges as opportunities for growth.

When you get out of bed in the morning, you can choose to think and portray positivity, even if you feel unhappy. Did you have a bad dream? A fight with your spouse the night before? Did the kids wake you up at 3 a.m.? Shake it off! Today is a new day with new possibilities – and you can take that attitude with you everywhere you go. You might even find that consciously shifting towards more positive thoughts can start to make you feel happier.[3]

I have a friend who loves to say, “Just suit up and show up!” That doesn’t mean to put on your best suit for the workplace…it means to put on the best attitude that you can, show up to your office every day with it, and good things are bound to happen.

Good moods and smiles are contagious. So are frowns and negativity. Which do you want to be around all day? Which do you want to feel all day?

It’s your choice and I hope you choose the right one. Not only does a positive attitude help you enjoy your workday, but it also helps everyone around you have a more pleasant day in turn.

 

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-your-attitudes-affect-your-health
[2] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kay-green/is-negative-thinking-ruin_b_2845396.html
[3] http://www.ilanelanzen.com/personaldevelopment/want-a-happier-life-remember-that-attitude-is-everything/

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