Have you ever caught a bug from a co-worker, family member or a complete stranger? One minute you’re feeling great and the next minute you’ve lost your zip.
Flying back from Philadelphia, I sat next to a woman who blew her nose the entire time. In spite of hand washing and keeping my head turned, by Sunday night, I had that sore throat that precedes a cold.
There may be times when you can’t protect yourself from catching someone else’s infection. And that’s okay, in the case of a cold. It will pass. But there’s another kind of infection you can catch from being in close proximity, and that one is much harder to get rid of.
Bad attitudes are infections you catch if you’re not careful. You know the person who says things like:
- This job sucks
- Our boss is a jerk
- There is no solution
- That will never work
- It’s not fair that…..
- She got a raise
- He got to go first
- They’ve always had it easy
Subconsciously they’d like someone to catch their bad attitude. Because if you agree with them, it makes them right and theydon’t have to change, all they have to do is blame.
So what are your options?
Ask yourself the following:
- Is this person important to my life? The inconsiderate driver, the irate traveler, or the rude clerk aren’t, so don’t waste your time worrying about them, move out and on as soon as you can.
- Do I have to spend time with this person? If the person is a coworker or a family member and you have to spend time with them, there’s a really wild way of taking care of their bad attitude. Try agreeing with them. Once I was working with a group of government employees on planning. They were going on and on about how they had no control. “Well you’ve convinced me,” I told them. It must be very stressful to feel totally out of control of what happens in your offices. Given that you have no power, it seems to me we should cancel our planning session. It would be a real waste of your time and mine, not to mention the cost.” And guess what happened? In just a few minutes, they identified eight areas where they had significant control, and we were able to move forward.
- Do you have many people in your life who are complainers, glass half empty types, pessimists? If so, consider what you find appealing about being with them. Do they express your own complaints so you don’t have to? If so, bring those infections out into the open. Write down your gripes, find out what the costs are for keeping them and write down the pay offs. Pay-offs you say? Yes! Humans don’t persist in behavior that doesn’t have some kind of pay-off, regardless of how painful.
Do you have a cure for dealing with the person with the chronic case of “bad attitude? Or are you trying to cure someone of a bad attitude? Please tell us! And by the way… wash your hands and don’t forget that flu shot!
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!
Check out the Discover Your YIPPEE Retreat in Nashville November 1-2. It will be a real game changer!