Someone once said, “Having a bad attitude is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing things wrongly, and applying unsuitable remedies.”
I have also seen people wearing that wonderful shirt, “I love my bad attitude!”
If I am honest, there are times I really want to wear a shirt like that. I don’t know what it is but sometimes I can just be in a "mood," and, sometimes, I like it. I know, how unhealthy is that?
There are also times I can recognize a bad attitude in others yet fail to see the bad attitude in myself. Somehow I justify my bad attitude but hold you accountable for yours! I know, how unhealthy is that?
So, Why The Bad Attitude?
And More Importantly...What To Do About It!
Reason Number 1: Unhealthy Comparisons
“Comparison is the root of most inferiority.” It’s true. When we compare ourselves or our work to others we can feel like we are the best or the worst. On a number of occasions I have told myself, “Craig, that wasn’t good enough. Look how much better Jay did. Look at how awesome Martin is. Everything he does is top notch. Why can’t you be like those guys?” My inner dialogue, when I compare myself to others, effects my attitude in a negative way.
What To Do About It: Remember Your Value
“You know that in the past you were living in a worthless way. You got that way of living from the people who lived before you. But you were saved from that useless life. You were bought, but not with something that ruins like gold or silver. You were bought with the precious blood of the death of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb.” 1 Peter 1:18-19 ICB
Reason Number 2: Unending Hurriedness
We live in a culture that says, “If we don’t get our food in under a minute we have the right to get angry.” After all, it’s called “fast food” for a reason. We have evolved in our thinking and believe If we don’t get what we want when we want it we have the right to a bad attitude. When we live in the future instead of in the moment we get frustrated and when we get frustrated our attitude begins to slip.
What To Do About It: Slow Down And Rest
“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” Psalm 127:2 NLT
Reason Number 3: Unrealistic Expectations
You expected the house to be clean and it isn’t.
You expected a promotion and you didn’t.
You expected to go and you couldn’t.
You expected a raise and they wouldn’t.
You expected the light to be green and it wasn’t.
What To Do About It: : Lower Your Expectations
How much better would your attitude be if, on your next drive around town, you expected every light be red? What would happen when you pulled up to the intersection? You would think to yourself, “well, it’s red, just as I expected.” No need for a bad attitude, right? As a bonus, when you come to a light that is green you would be ecstatic! “Wow! I expected the light to be red and it was green! It must be my lucky day!” The key to a happy life, low expectations! Lol
Reason Number 4: Unresolved Conflict
When conflict goes unresolved, our attitudes head down hill, don’t they? We begin to hyper focus on the conflict and that can cause an attitude spiral in the wrong direction. We go to bed thinking about it and we wake up thinking about it. To put it bluntly we are in a perpetual “funk” that we can’t seem to shake.
What To Do About It: Ask for Forgiveness
I think Paul understood something about conflict and conflict resolution and how it effects our thoughts and attitudes. He reminds us, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18 NLT. Once you have done all you can, it’s time to move on.
Reason Number 5: Upsetting Circumstances
We can’t control our circumstances, they just happen. Someone treats you in a rude manner. You get an unwarranted negative phone call or email. You get a flat tire or run out of gas on your way to an important meeting or event. Or, you are trying to write a blog in Starbucks while the guy next to you has a phone conversation at peak level oblivious to you or anyone else around them. Life happens, how we respond to it reveals our attitude.
What To Do About It: Choose Joy
Life has it’s ebbs and flows. We all can give a testimony. Knowing that upsetting circumstances are coming and, more importantly, why they are here is half the battle. Paul suggests that, “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 NLT. Try reframing the word “problem” as “opportunity.” I find it helps me change my perspective.
Photo Credit: Empowered Living