People are liars.
Why do I say that?
In general, people will NOT tell you what they really think.
Let me give you an example.
One of my sons tends to be negative by nature.
His default style of communication implies things are bad or wrong.
It’s so ingrained in him that he naturally starts many of his sentences with “The problem is…” or “No, it’s…”
Even the most benign issues are subject to his criticism and judgement.
Which is fine except Kristen and I find ourselves reacting his negativity all the time.
For example. Kristen will say “Hey let’s take the boys out to dinner someplace special” and I reply “He won’t like where we want to go, and I don’t want to hear him complain, so let’s just stay home.”
This happens at our house all the time.
We want to go to the movies, to the store or out on an adventure but we stop ourselves because we don’t want to create a situation for this kid to bitch.
Now, if you are parent, you are asking yourself “aren’t you giving this kid a lot of power?”
Well, yes, and no.
In the end, we do everything we want… just not with him… and often without his brothers.
If I am being honest, it’s a bummer for our whole family.
It breaks down like this:
A. We don’t want to set up a situation where he is a no, and then have to deal with his resistance to what we suggest (a restaurant, for example).
B. We don’t want to set up a situation where he gets to dictate what the family does, and further reinforce that his instant “no” is OK and should be accommodated.
So, everyone loses.
AND THAT BRINGS ME TO MY POINT.
Where are you an instant no in your life?
Where do you naturally say things like “oh, I can’t” or “it shouldn’t be that way.” or “I don’t like that”?
Where are you subjecting others to your criticism and judgement without thinking?
Let me tell you a monster secret: Even positive people have negative tendencies that others don’t really like.
Of course, people will listen to you.
They will pretend to care.
They may even act like they agree with you.
But in the end, when you are even a little negative, people will naturally avoid situations that evoke your negativity.
So, you miss out on all kinds of things.
How do you know?
When was the last time someone called you up and said, “Hey, I’ve got some time, what do you feel like complaining about today? I am all ours.”
Look people will never say “you know what, I am so happy you don’t like what I’ve suggested. Thanks for cutting my idea down.”
And, I promise no one has told you “I love it when I make a offer a solution, and you tell me all the reasons that it won’t work. Awesome. I love that part of you.”
Look, you are training the people around you.
They know if you are generally a yes or a no. They know what you like to criticize and judge.
They know if they should risk telling you something that you will bitch about.
And they are lying to you… because they aren’t being honest that they are holding back, and not including you in opportunities, or events, or in business dealings because they know that you love to voice your objections.
Look, I want you to achieve your biggest goals.
Today, I am inviting you to look around your life, and see where things are stuck.
Where are you unhappy? Where do you wish things were a little different?
When you have the courage to do that, then you will have the courage to notice were you are the one being negative, being a no, or relating to that thing like it’s a problem.
Once you see it, you can do something about it.
So, here’s my request. For the next 24 hours count how many times you are a “no”… just count. And then send me an email.
Let’s do this.