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A friend of mine posted on Facebook about a bumper sticker he’d seen that read “If you’re anti-American, I’m anti-you!” It was interesting reading the comments that followed including another one by the original poster. He mused about the negativity and wondered if the bumper sticker might have had more of an impact if it had read “If you’re pro-American, I’m pro-you!” So simple! The shift to a positive statement is not that difficult. Even if you don’t like something (or someone), there’s a better way to make that statement that doesn’t incorporate negativity but rather protects your opinion. Let’s say you don’t like chocolate sauce on your sundae, rather than responding with an “Ick, gross, I hate chocolate sauce,” you can simply respond with a “No thank you, I prefer my sundae’s to be completely plain and boring.” Let’s say you meet someone who likes listening to Justin Bieber. Rather than say “You freak, you lack a complete sense of musical appreciation and we could never hang,” you could simply say “You freak, you lack a complete sense of musical appreciation and we could never hang.” Yeah, there’s no way out of that one actually. Ok, here’s one more: If someone offers you a cigarette perhaps, rather than say “Smoking is disgusting and it will kill you,” you can say “No thank you, I prefer not smelling like an ashtray and my lungs to stay clean.” Getting the picture? Just try reframing your responses so that they are not shooting anti-vibes at everyone but rather pro-vibes about you! It’s an easy shift, but a difficult task. Make an effort over this long weekend to just be aware of other people’s responses and statements and how you react to them. Rather than say “I can’t believe I just spent two minutes reading this piece of self-indulgent crap,” you can say “How brave that someone has the courage to write such self-indulgent crap.” Thank you, I’ll be here all week!!

Stay well.

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