Are you exhausted with the negativity you see in the news and on social media? Do you have to work or live with someone who is negative or critical of everyone and everything? 

As the old saying goes, “A crazy person will even make a sane person go crazy after a while.” The same could be said that a negative person will make even a positive person turn negative after a while.

When you leave the house, the office, the art class, the club meeting, or anywhere you go with a group of people, do you leave the place a little better than you found it?

Hallmark movies take a bad rap sometimes because they have a predictable, romantic plot where everyone lives happily ever after. However, they must be on to something because their viewership in the last quarter of 2018 was higher than any other shows on cable network and they are cranking out more shows this year.

We’re tired of negativity. So how we do change it? That’s like answering the question of how you eat an elephant: one bite a time. Creating a positive environment often takes a lot of work. 

Here’s a good place to start: genuinely compliment someone today.

Mark Twain said he could go for two months on a good compliment. Researchers say it takes at least ten good compliments to replace one negative comment. 

Here are some suggestions:

Their accomplishments – did that person in the cubicle next to you win an award recently? Even if you complimented them once, do it again and let them know they really impressed you.

His or her work ethic – whether it’s a coworker, a family member or friend, patting someone on the back for being a hard worker is like tossing fuel on a fire. In fact, I’ve learned that society will forgive a lot of people’s shortcomings by saying, “Well, he was kind of a rascal but, man, he was a hard worker.”

Their family – if you brag to me about one of my children, I will think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. If you brag about my grandchildren, well, I’ll just go ahead and write you into my will.

Their sayings or quotes – I love a pithy quote and derive inspiration from the quotes of other people. For example, my oldest son, Caleb, once said, “No one ever changed the world by talking about it; they change it by writing about it.” 

Their attitude – Don’t you enjoy a person whom you know is struggling with some major battles, but puts a smile on and faces it with optimism? I heard the CEO of a large clothing company once speak about her cancer and someone said to her, “How can you be so positive?” She replied, “Why would I want to be any other way? Why, on earth, would I want to be negative?”

Their craft/hobby/recreation/avocation – What do people do outside of your office or away from your family gatherings? A thoughtful compliment of a person’s golf handicap, an art project they work on, their volunteer time spent helping others or anything you know they do that means something to them is a great way to make a person feel better.

That thoughtful compliment you give might be just what that person needs to live on for the next two months.

I love the state song of Kansas – “Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,and the sky is not cloudy all day.”

Go, turn someone’s cloudy day into a sunny one. Create the kind world in which you want to live.