If you’re a grouch, you’ll be amazed at how many grouches you meet in this world.
Did you ever notice that on the days you’re the crabbiest, your customers are the most difficult? And did you ever notice that on the days you’re feeling positive, most people are fairly cooperative? Of course you have.
It’s called the “Psychological Law of Attraction.” Simply stated, what you put out there is what you tend to get back.
The problem is–grouches have a hard time seeing themselves for who they really are. They find it a lot easier to point a finger than look in the mirror. And without an accurate self-perception, grouches may not ever see the need to change. They just keep on blaming everyone else for their unhappiness.
I don’t know your exact situation, but I do know this. You’re probably a grouch once in a while. And if you want the “Psychological Law of Attraction” to work for you instead of against you, you’ve got to stop being a grouch.
The first step is to RECOGNIZE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GROUCH. A grouch is “lazy,” “critical,” or “antagonistic.” Do you have any of those characteristics? Are your behaviors less than desirable, and are your words less than kind?
A “lazy” grouch does just enough to get by. He knows the bare minimum, and that’s all he’s going to do. The lazy grouch says, “The trouble with getting to work on time is that it makes the day so long.”
Strangely enough, the lazy grouch is often a “critical” grouch as well. Even though he doesn’t produce too much himself, he’s critical of those that do and those that try to bring about change. He can judge everyone and everything except himself. He’s the person that says, “I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.” Or as one of my speaker friends, Eddie Gossett says, “Such people are so narrow-minded that a mosquito could sit on the bridge of their nose and kick out both eyeballs with one leg.”
Other grouches are just plain “antagonistic.” They seem to have a chip on their shoulder. Their behavior is mean, their comments are mean, and even their humor is mean — when you stop to think about it. One woman asked, “What is the thinnest book in the world? What men know about women!” Another woman added, “How can you tell if a man is happy? Who cares?”
Of course male humor is often worse. A couple walks up to a wishing well, where the man leaned over, made a wish, and threw in a penny. The wife decided to make a wish also, but she leaned over too far, fell into the well and drowned. The man was stunned for a moment but then smiled, “It really works.”
Now I’m not trying to be a grouch and put down all humor. Not at all. Humor is a wonderful gift to be shared with others. I’m just saying that the antagonistic grouch may sound funny initially, but if his humor continually hurts others, it’s not funny, no matter how good the joke is. As Eddie Gossett says, “A chip on someone’s shoulder is just a splinter off his blockhead.”
Once you’ve recognized the characteristics of the grouch, take an inventory. Make sure you’re not one of them. And how do you know? Just ASK YOURSELF ONE QUESTION, “WOULD THIS ORGANIZATION BE BETTER IF EVERYONE BEHAVED JUST LIKE ME?” If your answer is “no,” you have some grouch characteristics you need to address.
But if your answer is “yes,” then your challenge is to keep the grouches from getting you down. You do that when you SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OPTIMISTIC PEOPLE. All of us are extremely impressionable creatures, and we tend to absorb the qualities of our surrounding environment to a large extent. So seek out friends and colleagues who demonstrate visibly optimistic attitudes.
Then USE CREATIVE NEGLECT ON NEGATIVE PEOPLE. In other words, pull away. Don’t allow yourself to sit and listen to them complain for thirty minutes during lunch and for another fifteen minutes during every coffee break. Sit somewhere else with someone else. And if you can’t do that, just say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t listen to all the complaining today. It brings me down, takes away my energy, and I can’t afford that right now.” They’ll learn to stop complaining, or at least they’ll complain to someone else.
You can’t control all the grouches in your environment. But you can stop being a grouch, and you can take some actions to ensure that you don’t come down to a grouch’s level. Now go out and do it.
Action: In the next seven days, try two things. First, think of a very positive person you know and spend twenty minutes with that individual. Second, be on the lookout for a grouch, and excuse yourself if he starts into a negative tirade. Then notice how empowered you feel.