Appreciate the Positive Instead of the Negative

So often we are guilty of focusing so much on the negative experiences in life that we forget to recognize and appreciate the positive. Yesterday, I was privy to firsthand knowledge of just how important it is to focus on the good rather than on the bad during a routine oil change service. While listening to an elderly woman complain that she’d been there for 10 minutes and that her car wasn’t ready yet – when they state clearly that the service takes 30 minutes from the time they start on her vehicle – and how she always has such a negative experience with this particularly location, I was prompted to ask her why she simply didn’t find elsewhere to go for an oil change.

I know she was only in there for 10 minutes because she came in just a few minutes after I did. The employees in the service department were kind, helpful and gracious in handling her frequent rude comments and negative remarks. They handled her with class and grace despite the fact she didn’t deserve any of it. When she responded to my question, this was made even more abundantly clear. She comes here because she always calls the corporate offices after she leaves to complain about the (imaginary) customer service and receives her next oil change free of charge. She even went as far as saying it works every time.

This gross abuse of customer feedback and “power” is disgusting. I was inspired after that to call the corporate office myself to commend the company and the staff on hand for their exemplary service and their exceptional patience with this particular woman; and I had these thoughts.

Give Compliments, Not Complaints

If we make it a point to spend more time focusing on the positive, is it possible that life in general will become more positive? For example, if we treat those who inconvenience us and irritate us with kindness and graciousness, is it possible that their own attitude will change? If we spend more time calling and writing letters of commendation rather than complaint, is it possible those in customer service will enjoy their jobs a bit more and possibly not wake up each morning dreading the rude, obnoxious and irritating customers they’ll encounter, who are going to change their moods for the worse?

It Makes You Feel Good

When you do something nice for someone else, it never fails to make you feel good. In this instance, you can call and give a compliment or ask for a manager to commend an employee rather than condemn one. I’m willing to bet that it’s not something that happens often. What would happen to the world if we all spent our time recognizing all the good instead of complaining about all the negative?

It’s food for thought; and I challenge everyone to try it for once. Let’s stop focusing on the negative because it only produces negative. Instead, let’s focus on the positive and see if we can’t make some changes in the world, starting with ourselves and perhaps extending beyond that to others.



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