Everyone is positive (from their perspective)

October 1, 2015 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nonjudgment, Perception, Relationships

I heard yet another person saying “I don’t have time for negative people. I’m a positive person. I can’t let them bring me down.”

Oh, how perfect they sound! High and mighty!

He blithely and ironically didn’t notice the negative start to what he said, “I don’t have time for…”

Sometimes they’ll outright say so-and-so is a negative person.

People who talk about others being negative are judging others by their values—the opposite of compassion, empathy, and understanding. To make themselves look better at others’ expense, no less.

People may disagree with you and negate your beliefs, but that doesn’t make them negative any more than it makes you negative for the same reason. Nobody is negative. What would that mean? They just negate people and things around them? That doesn’t make sense. The guy I quoted above wasn’t talking about negative people, despite how he said and misunderstood it. He was talking about people who disagree with him.

Excluding people who disagree with you is hardly something to brag about.

Everyone does well by their own values. In other words, everyone is positive and nobody is negative from their perspective.

Why does this matter?

It matters to you because judging people by values they don’t agree with undermines your credibility with them. You don’t like when others judge you. If, on top of judging you, they impose their values, that you disagree with, how much do you care what they say? Do you want to listen to someone judging you by their standards? Do you value their standards?

You push people away when you judge them.

If you’re with one person who shares your views and judge an absent third party , you might think you’ve gained an ally or friend by putting down that third person. That’s what the guy I quoted above did. The person you’re talking to might feel included in putting down the third party, but they know if you’re judging someone else behind their back, you’ll judge them soon enough.

On the contrary, if you work to understand people from their perspectives, you’ll see their positivity, at least by their beliefs. You don’t have to agree to those values. Just understanding them well increase your credibility with that person.

You create community and followers when you make people feel understood.

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