Don’t Confuse Having A Positive Attitude With This — Part 3

You do no one a favor when you tell them they’re good at something they’re not or have a quality they don’t. Even if you’re driven by a desire to be positive, giving someone a compliment they don’t deserve, isn’t serving them.

For instance, telling your teenage daughter she’s the next Mariah Carey or Céline Dion when the reality is that she would lose a head-to-head singing contest against a duck, isn’t doing anyone a favor. It’s not helping your daughter and it’s certainly not helping the people who have to endure her singing.

You’re not doing your son a favor by telling him he played a hockey game that would make Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky proud when in fact he barely touched the puck and would have been better off staying home eating chips and playing video games.

Wanting to be positive, some people distort the truth. Afraid of saying something that could be perceived as negative, they opt for misrepresenting a situation.

Cultivating a positive attitude doesn’t require that you be dishonest. Don’t confuse “positivity” with “dishonesty”. Distorting the truth is called lying. And there’s nothing positive about that.

When you see vomit on the floor, you don’t say it’s pretty just because you want to be “positive”. You say, “Oh my gosh! This is disgusting—and it stinks…” Whether it’s yours or someone’s else, it’s not “pretty”… And saying it “like it is” doesn’t make you a negative person.

Cultivating a positive attitude doesn’t require that you misrepresent a situation. Telling people that they are great at something they’re not, doesn’t help you cultivate a positive attitude—even when done with the best intentions. A positive attitude doesn’t require that you lie to people just so you wouldn’t hurt their feelings and bruise their ego.

Similarly, lying to yourself isn’t to be mistaken for a positive attitude. Telling yourself that you’re great at something you’re not is more “delusion” than “positive attitude.

The truth is liberating. Thus, it’s positive. Results don’t lie. Recognizing your weaknesses and shortcomings doesn’t make you a negative person; telling yourself the truth puts you in a better position to grow.

You don’t have to lie to cultivate a positive attitude. However, a positive attitude does influence the way you tell the truth. When you have a positive attitude, you say the truth in a spirit of positivity: you speak the truth with the intention of uplifting people (or yourself) not bringing them down, of helping them not hindering them, of developing them not destroying them, of supporting them not shaming them.

Honesty is still the best policy. And it mustn’t be perceived as an obstacle to positivity.