Hello! Me again – the past couple of days I have been reflecting on and realizing the need to give myself an attitude check. So it seems fitting to write about the importance of your attitude and catching yourself when it has fallen into a pattern that isn’t doing you good. This week I realized that I have adopted a negative attitude when it comes to responding to and interacting with Eric recently. And even worse, sometimes Django too! I realized that with certain ‘triggers’ my default response has some attitude and sass behind it, which doesn’t do any of us any good. The person who receives this sass gets a bad taste in their mouth and I don’t like how I feel after dishing it out either. So mostly, I am here to remind myself to check my attitude and respond more positively to those that I love.
I’m back! And you’re probably like ‘wait, she never left – this is the same post’. Well, I fooled you because I wrote that first paragraph last night and didn’t feel like finishing it so it is now the next day and I am finishing it. This is actually good though because after reminding myself to check my attitude yesterday, I did just that today and it made such a difference in my overall demeanor and my interactions with Eric.
So let me start by backing up to earlier this week when I was really caught up in dishing out some hard core sass to Eric. I have felt this tendency creeping up in the past week or so but had chosen to ignore/not address it until Eric did something that I appreciated a surprisingly large amount for how small the act was. I had gone grocery shopping on my own Tuesday afternoon and I decided to purchase some surprise treats for him. This week, it was in the form of graham crackers, which I know he loves to have in the house. Extra bonus was there were on sale for 99 cents at Aldi. When I got back and showed them to him, his initial response was to criticize the fact that I got the ‘honey’ ones when he likes the ‘cinnamon’ ones. Then, he caught himself mid-critique and shifted to respond to my gesture with appreciation and kindness instead. Later than night, before bed, I was reflecting on this and thought about how much I admired him for doing that and it reminded me that I need to be better about it as well.
So flash forward to today – a day that I knew I wanted to go into with a positive attitude and an open heart that was determined not to critique or nag about a small thing that doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. I will admit, I wasn’t perfect – I pestered Eric about how he can’t just have 3 eggs and call that lunch. Then I nagged him again because when we went to drop off the laptop at The Apple Store, we found out that he had to make an appointment online first (something I asked him if he should do a couple of weeks ago and his response was “I’m sure it’s fine and I can just drop it off”). Overall, however, the intention to be better and dish out less attitude resulted in these comments having a less sassy and aggressive tone to them. I found that throughout the day I was able to speak to him more lovingly and focus more on fostering positive interactions. Naturally, this allowed me to feel happier and loved as well – another case for acting the way you want to feel. A bit of a side note, but this is directly related to something I learned from Gretchen Rubin on one of her podcast episodes* – if you want to feel more loved by your partner, act more lovingly toward them and it will create a positive feedback loop for this feeling between you.
We can translate this into other relationships as well. If you show you are excited to see someone, they will in turn be more likely to be excited to see you too, which will make you feel cared about and worthwhile. Even with a pet or child, being intentional about showing your enthusiasm to play and spend time with them will fuel their desire to want to do the same with you. I actually do this with the kiddos I babysit and the amount of times I hear “I am so excited to be with you!” or “we are going to have so much fun today” when I show up warms my heart and makes me smile!
My biggest point throughout this rambled mess of a day-two thought is to assess your attitude. If you are having negative interactions with others (or even yourself) take a step back and reflect on if you are approaching it with a positive attitude or if there is negativity or bitterness behind your words or actions. I know I am not perfect about this and I also know I won’t always be so I’m not going to put pressure on myself to be perfect. But I am expecting myself to be better and that is what matters most because done is better than perfect!
*I tried to find the episode to link, but instead, I found an amazing article on her blog with a bunch of meaningful (and lighthearted) relationship advice!