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Your Attitude is Nobody Else’s Responsibility

Mar 18, 2024

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt 


It may be your default to believe you’d have a better attitude if other people would simply do their part. It may seem like your attitude is influenced by things outside of your control, but in nearly every instance, your attitude is, in fact, 100% your responsibility.  


There’s a theory that goes like this- everything in life simply ‘is’ until we attach meaning to it. That means that nearly everything, every person, and every situation, is neutral until we interpret it and assign meaning to it.  


Believing your attitude is tied to other people or circumstances disempowers you and transfers the responsibility for your behavior onto someone or something else.  


Your Attitude Isn’t Anyone Else’s Responsibility 


It may seem hard to believe, but the rude clerk isn’t responsible for your bad mood. An overbearing co-worker isn’t responsible for your diminished self-esteem. In both cases, you are the only one who can allow them to affect your mood.  


Your mindset about other’s behaviors will determine your personal attitude. For example- 


Encountering a disgruntled sales clerk- Depending on your mindset, you may take a rude sales clerk’s behavior personally and allow them to infect your day by taking it personally, or, you might shake their attitude off and imagine they are dealing with their own pressures that have nothing to do with you directly.  


Managing an overbearing co-worker- If you work with someone who has poor boundaries or uses intimidation or has inappropriate social skills, you could allow yourself to feel victimized by them or hold clear boundaries for yourself and not allow them to affect your personal experience.  


 Stop the Blame Game and Change Your Attitude 


As long as you cast blame outward for your attitude, you’ll never be satisfied. Waiting for the economy to be better, your kids to stop fighting, or people to treat you with unending kindness before you can feel better about life only leads to continued dissatisfaction. You must seize control of your attitude and reclaim your power. Focusing on building your self-esteem helps. The happier you are with yourself (the only one whose attitude you can truly control) the less likely you are to be affected by other people’s negativity.  


Sometimes people feel safter believing they can’t control what happens to them or how it makes them feel, but the truth is while you may not be able to control other people, or some of the things that happen, you can always control how you react.    



Attitude Swaps That Improve Your Mindset 


If you’re in the negativity habit, it can be hard to stop the doom and gloom mindset. Operating from a place of lack, disillusionment, or generalized dissatisfaction makes being open-minded and positive nearly impossible. It requires intention to shift your mind from seeing the glass half-empty and draining to half-full and filling up.  


If you’ve determined to shift your mindset and overhaul your attitude, it helps to have swaps that replace negativity.  


Attitude swap: exchange blame for taking responsibility- When you feel the urge to blame someone or something, take responsibility for your feelings. Ask yourself what your role in the situation is. What can you do to keep your peace or have a positive attitude despite what’s happening.  


Attitude swap: exchange rigidity for flexibility- If you tend to have black and white thinking, ask yourself what the more flexible response could be. Negativity leads to controlling behaviors or an unwillingness to go with the flow. What can you do to make it easier going in this moment. What is really lost by being more flexible?  


Attitude swap: exchange closed mindedness with being open minded- When you are steeped in negativity and doom, it’s harder to be open minded to possibilities. Negative forecasting is often a by-product of a negative attitude. What can you do to look at positive possibilities rather than what could go wrong. What can you do to try something new or allow for multiple options?  

Attitude swap: exchange forecasting for being present- Worry can cause fear and anxiety. If you’ve had negative things happen in the past, it can be easier to stay caught up in the fear of history repeating itself. Rather than forecasting negative outcomes, consider the precise moment you’re in and experience the here and now. Worrying about what may go wrong tomorrow makes it impossible to enjoy what’s great about today. 


Attitude swap: exchange a negative focus for a positive one- What you think about, comes about. That means whatever you give the most attention tends to be your greater experience. Instead of nit picking and finding fault and blame, focus on what’s right with a situation and train your eye to see the positive in even the most negative circumstances.  


There’s a swap for every negative thought, feeling, and behavior. Ask yourself the opposite reaction is for every negative attitude you have. Focus on swapping them out so you can begin to have a more positive experience. 

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