How To Be Optimistic, But Not Annoying

34 comments

Optimism at work

I meet with people in a very intimate space. They show me their hearts, share with me things they do not tell anyone else. It is truly an honor and privilege to be invited into another life in this way. I am so happy doing what I do.

“I love my job, I get to show people how wonderful they are all day long!”

I am optimistic

If you have been following my blog, you might have pegged me as optimistic. Well, you nailed that one on the head. Perhaps it is one of the benefits of my profession. People always wonder how I could hear other peoples’ problems all day long. “Well,” I tell them. “I listen for how they resist them and I am inspired and uplifted rather than bogged down.”

How to be optimistic but not annoying

Here is my secret to optimism: I operate under the assumption that no matter what oppresses people, they enact some resistance somewhere, even if it is in their mind. We hear a story the way we experience the world. I hear the resistance, the skills, and the hope. And then I hold up a mirror for my clients to see it, too. This instigates an immediate change in their perceptions and feelings. And it is not annoying. (Maybe they are just being polite.)

I also get to see people in many stages of their problem. Some just days after experiencing a tragic loss, and others many years later.  I have seen people not comprehend how they could take another step and then experience peace about it somewhere down the line. Witness these transformation gives me faith that the next client can do it too. This hope is contagious. I catch it from someone feeling better who is standing strong for what she believes in. The next person I meet catches it from me. I have confidence in them and in turn they find it for themselves. (Having confidence helps people through hard times.)

It would only be annoying, if I didn’t take them along with me. If I barely listened, nor allowed their pain, playing devils advocate and invalidating them. This would be annoying, hurtful, and mean.

Optimism is seeing the good in a situation. It is an attitude. There is always so many things to notice in a situation, if you are saturated in a problem, it is hard to see anything but the problem.  A good friend, a partner, a loving relative, a coach, a therapist, or a spiritual director, etc, can help you get some distance to see good things about yourself despite the bad.

How to be optimistic

Optimism is not just a way you are born. You can develop optimism! To hone these skills, everyday, think of things you are grateful for. Big and small. After a few weeks of doing this, you will see that throughout the day, you’ll begin to notice ever more things that are good around you. Instead of depressing things sticking out like sore thumbs, the good, happy things will stand out. Eventually you won’t be able to hear any hard story without noticing something redeeming–something loving in it. Then–the best part comes–you’ll stop being so scared of the bad things that might happen. You’ll stop expecting the worst and begin accepting the good with the bad.

Try it and tell me about it!

Please share!


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34 Comments

Kelly Hashway

I wonder if this is why I usually take the “I can laugh or I can cry” approach when something goes wrong. I usually convince myself to laugh, especially if it’s something I don’t feel I can control because at least I CAN control my reaction.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

You are right you can control your reaction! And it is in this choice you are free!

Harleena [email protected] Writer

Wonderfully explained Jodi!

Yes indeed, optimism is an attitude – and a positive one. 🙂

It is what I most connect with as I prefer seeing the good in things around me, even when I know they aren’t all that good. But just as they say, there is always a good in everything. So, if we have that kind of a mindset, we will always remain optimistic and see the positives, rather than the negatives.

Thanks for sharing and making all of us realize to be optimistic. 🙂

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It is important to distinguish that it is not about sugar coating, just about seeing both! great point. Thanks for sharing Harleena!

Lisa W. Rosenberg

Wonderful, inspiring post, Jodi. This is how I try to be with my clients (though I’ve never had it articulated this way), but I don’t always remember to see my own life this way!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It is always easier to see someone else’s life. In our life we are too close. So that is why we must try to take a step back. the view is always different!

Robert

Good post Jodi

I always try and be positive in what I do and I firmly believe that irrespective of how something turns out be it good or bad I can always learn something from the experience.

People who seem to think negative of whatever they do or plan to do annoy me it is a deftest attitude and that’s not me and not how I do business.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It must be so agonizing to see bad in everything. Such a miserable way to be. I feel for them, truly I do!

Tina Barbour

I love this–“you’ll stop being so scared of the bad things that might happen”–wonderful! That would be a lovely by-product of optimism. I am trying to cultivate it in myself, and I feel like I understand it better from having read your post. Thank you!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks, Tina, I hope to inspire people to feel happier in their lives!

Nadine Feldman

I think this paragraph is most key:

“It would only be annoying, if I didn’t take them along with me. If I barely listened, nor allowed their pain, playing devils advocate and invalidating them. This would be annoying, hurtful, and mean.”

It’s a tricky balance. When we are feeling hopeless, we need the optimism of others to get us through until we can find our own hope. At the same time, we need validation of our feelings…and boy oh boy, when we get that, how quickly our troubles can melt away!
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Too true. I feel like validation and acknowledgment is one of the most important ways to healing. We can even do this for ourselves, but it is nice when it is from someone else, too!

How to be optimistic, but not annoying on Heal Now

[…] It would only be annoying, if I didn’t take them along with me. If I barely listened, nor allowed their pain, playing devils advocate and invalidating them. This would be annoying, hurtful, and mean.  Read more on Heal Now… […]

Louise Gallagher

What a fabulous post Jodi — and inspiring.

I am inherently optimistic and know that my ‘rosie glasses’ can annoy people — yet, I also know, to give into gloomy would be untrue to who I am. It can be a delicate balance. Love your ideas.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It is a delicate balance, but all of life is. We are walking contradictions, but it is in those contradiction that life is lived!

Monica

Jodi, in a way, you’re preaching to the choir. Perhaps, I got it from watching the Pollyanna film one too many times. But I just love the Glad Game she’d play, which was just that. She’d take the meanest grumpiest people in town and turn them into kind-hearted individuals simply by asking them to look for reasons to be glad. Sappy as it is, maybe, I’m a Pollyanna at heart. 😉
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

We need more Pollyanna’s. She had the spirit. She truly empathized and did not deny people their feelings…

Bella

My dear Jodi, only you can talk about optimism in such a way that you have your readers mentally picturing all the things they are grateful for and discovering they can be optimistic almost instantly! What an insightful post, my friend. I will confess that while I tend to be quite optimistic, this hasn’t always been the case. In the past, I have caved to uncertainty, guilt, and worry. These have negated the possibility of seeing the glass half full. Thankfully, aging has brought with it maturity (if that isn’t optimism, I don’t know what is! hee hee!) and I have realized that life doesn’t come to an end when I don’t get my way. This in turn has helped me realize that there is more of the lesson that needs to be learned. It’s good to be back! I have missed you! 🙂
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Age does bring wisdom. Us women are going to change the world with all this wisdom we have!

Greg at Tiny Bit Better

This post…talk about shifting my perception. Early in life, I always looked at the glass half-empty because I was convinced that I was also half-empty. Later, I learned to see the glass as half-full because I “needed” to be more positive.

After some years as an engineer, I learned to see the glass as 2x bigger than it “needed” to be.

And after 10 seconds looking at the picture on your post…I learn the glass was full the whole time. As if that’s not enough, reading the post several times to make sure I’m not missing something in the elegant simplicity…

…I am grateful for your insights Jodi. I think this is one I “needed”.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Greg, You bring up a good point about seeing yourself as half empty. We do see the world as a reflection of ourselves. We judge harsher, when we judge ourselves harsher. We fear fear when we are afraid of ourselves.

A Tiny Bit More Optimistic « Tiny Bit Better

[…] imagine my surprise at learning a completely new perspective when I read this post about optimism from Jodi at HealNowandForever.net. First and foremost, her post had an illustration that totally twisted my perspective in a good […]

Corinne Rodrigues

I love that you saying optimism is something that can be cultivated. For too long we thought that people were either optimists or pessimists. But now we know how we can choose to be either. Optimism is truly a habit – and one we should acquire for life, Jodi!

Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It’s a hard habit to break once we get into it! (luckily!)

Galen Pearl

I love this post! One of the big blocks we put up against our own joy is the idea that we shouldn’t be happy (or optimistic) when people around us are not. But you have described the nature of true optimism. It is not isolating, it is connecting. It connects us through compassion and allows us to offer the healing light that shines through us to others. It is a balm, not a bludgeon! Well said, my friend.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thank you Galen! You truly get it!

writingfeemail

I absolutely love the ‘glass is always full’ quote. People accuse me of being way too optimistic, but it works for me! Looks like it works for you as well.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

It does work as long as I stay compassionate, but I don’t think these are mutually exclusive, right?

Laura Zera

Great piece, and love Galen’s comment as well. I practice ‘the pivot,’ so that when I have awareness of a sub-optimal thought or approach, I try to turn it around. I think of myself as an optimist, but everybody has their down days, and so sometimes those just have to come and go, too.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Love that! I am a proponent for allowing what comes. it goes away faster that way!

Nikky44

I was reading again all the latest posts. I think this one is my favorite. I’m not optimistic, and not very pessimisict, but I have always admired optimistic persons who can see something good through any bad situation. There is absolutely nothing annoying about it. It’s the opposite. The persons that might be annoying are those who completely ignore the bad side of life and act as it is not real. It annoys me when someone tries to tell me that i shouldn’t feel hurt, I shouldn’t worry or be scared. Everything has a positive side. Being a positive person is to manage and find something nice in any painful situation, not by denying the negative.
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Jodi Lobozzo Aman

Thanks Nikky, I agree. Acting if the bad side is not happening is the annoying part! Life is multistoried, it has all kinds of sides, we live more fully when we see the many sides! xoxox

Solid gold creativity

Great points about optimism and how it’s received.

I think there’s a confusion in this area about being “positive”. Some people have it that it’s about putting a spin on something, kind of like plastering on a happy face, that it’s by definition phoney. And this is what can annoy people.

I think it comes of conflating “what we feel” with “what we be”.
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Anthony

Great


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