What We Share Shapes How Others See Us

What we choose to share defines who we are.” – Costas Voyatzis

In our crazy, fast-paced world have you ever thought about the real impact that your words have? Are they uplifting or condemning?

Think back to the last conversation you had with a friend, a co-worker, your spouse or your children. Were you complaining or gossiping about other people’s faults? Or did your words reflect the good in the people around you and what they do right?

Now think about most of your daily interactions with others. Is most of what you say positive? Or do you dwell on the negativity in the world around you, always expecting disappointment?

If you’re like most people, you don’t spend much time thinking about the words you use on a daily basis. In fact most of us fail to realize that what we choose to share with the people around us defines the person that others see.

This is especially true when we engage with others on social media. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, we now have a voice that can be heard around the world. Yet many people use their voice to degrade complete strangers, making comments that they’d never make to someone in person. What we need to remember is that while we’re judging others, we’re also being judged by the things we choose to share.

But beyond its effect on other people, our negativity actually detracts from our own happiness. Don’t believe me? Notice how you feel the next time you tell a negative story or share a juicy piece of gossip with a friend. If you’re relating a distressing story about something that happened today, you’ll relive the negative event all over again. Is this really what you want to do?

The good news is that we do have a choice about the way we conduct ourselves and what we choose to share with others. The key is staying aware and training ourselves to turn negativity around, right on the spot. It might take some time to catch yourself before you speak, but the rewards to yourself and others can be significant. Remember the age-old adage – If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

But beyond refraining from expressing negativity, you can also choose to actively notice all the good that is going on around you and point it out to others. Catch someone being kind and compliment them, whether it’s the checkout person at the grocery store, a co-worker, your children or a stranger on the street. Choosing to change your focus in this way will likely surprise you. You’ll find that there are literally hundreds of examples of good happening everyday. You’ve just never noticed them before.

So here’s my challenge for this week. Actively choose words that uplift you and everyone around you. Notice the good in others and share messages of joy and kindness with everyone you meet. Get ready to have the best week ever!