Got a Bad Attitude

When do you have a bad attitude and when are you just in a bad mood? Having persistent negative outlook is one sign, but if you're in too deep to see yourself clearly, these signs of a bad attitude (and ways to adjust) may be the boost you need.

Five Signs of a Bad Attitude

  1. You see the negative first. When someone brings up a topic, do you find yourself ranting on and on about the negative side of the situation? Do you find it easier to point out the flaws in a plan than to look for solutions? Are you the first one to mention the fact that it's too cold/too hot/still raining/hasn't rained enough? If negativity dominates your conversation, you have a bad attitude.
  2. People avoid talking to you. Do people scatter when you approach the water cooler? As you begin to tell your tales of woe, do people find other things to do? Do people roll their eyes are you point out the mistakes of your coworkers one more time? Watch the responses of your friends, family and coworkers. If they avoid you, chances are it's because your attitude is toxic.
  3. People are always trying to cheer you up. Do conversations center around your problems? Are your friends and family always offering you advice as to how to overcome your challenges? Do people plan events around you and your special needs?  Uh, oh… It could be because you've got a bad attitude and your friends all feel the need to help you out of it.
  4. You can't think of anything nice to say. If you can't think of anything nice to say, you probably have a fixation on the negative.
  5. Your mode of operation is sarcasm and making jabs. Are you the queen of sarcasm? Are you known for your cutting jabs? Are people gun-shy around you because you've stepped on their toes before? Your bad attitude may be seeping out whether you know it or not.

Five Ways to Change a Bad Attitude 

  1. Verbalize positivity. Look for something positive to say instead of complaining.
  2. Stay out of it. If you can't be positive, stay out of conflict until you can find a constructive way to communicate. Practice various ways to discuss problems neutrally without accusing or being overly negative.
  3. Get perspective. Talk to someone who is generally positive and solution-oriented. Ask for advice and seek support from this positive person.
  4. Keep the good in mind. When confronted with negative situations, look for the few good things that remain, write them down, and look at the list often. Add to list every time you think of more positive things.
  5. Keep the end in mind. Even if you're in the midst of a nasty battle, you may be able to win the war if you handle yourself properly. Most relationship, school or work situations are minor in scope, but bigger problems can result if you handle minor conflicts with a bad attitude. Try to maintain perspective as you handle yourself in those tough moments.
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