We Choose Our Attitude

By Donny Winter
© 2013 Diversity Rules Magazine and Donny Winter.  All Rights Reserved.

donny_winterDonny Winter is a gay rights activist on YouTube and recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Anthropology. He’s aiming to publish a manuscript of LGBTQ-themed poetry and write a memoir of his high school days where he was a victim of frequent bullying.

I had a customer at work the other day tell me that I’m too much of a ray of sunshine when it comes to customer service. Of course, being the inquisitive person that I am, I had that comment on my mind for the rest of the day. Am I really that obnoxiously peppy in a world of retail gray?

The next day I carefully examined how I was treating people and realized that I tend to be a positive person when interacting with the public, regardless whether or not I know them personally. I began to recollect the choice I have regarding whether or not I act positivity or negativity and realized that so many people choose to inflict their own negative emotions on everyone else.

Of course being civil with people is easier said than done especially if you were bullied throughout childhood and adolescence like I was — a significant amount of the LGBTQ community has faced such negativity. But now that I’m older and have faced many of those demons destroying my sense of conviviality, I’ve come to realize that I’ve gone through a process that’s made me the person I am today. A process I think every person can take to heart when dealing with negative people on a day to day basis. When you’re faced with someone aiming to dislodge your day follow these steps before you do or say anything:

1. Determine what’s making them feel negative. Never assume how someone’s feeling or reply to someone unless you’re aware of why they’re feeling that way.

2. Try to smile. Sometimes smiling helps ease up a situation especially when the person is open to indirect support.

3. Deliberate with yourself and try to ascertain if reversing their negativity would accomplish anything in the situation. There’s a right time and place for everything.

4. Don’t let any harsh words or negativity they spew influence your mindset. They are likely doing it to either get a rise out of you, or share their misery.

5. Just listen. Sometimes all people need is someone to listen to their problems without any criticism.

We all face pain and negativity every day, but we all can choose how we let it affect us. I feel more successful and satisfied in life knowing that I can have a positive influence on other people — and the beauty of it is that it’s just as easy as being negative to someone.. Any person can do this.

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