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5 Tips on How to Change Your Attitude for the Better

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5 Tips on How to Change Your Attitude for the Better

John N. Mitchell said it best when he said that, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” We’ve all heard about the power of our attitude, and that it’s our attitude that determines how much we succeed in life.

If you look around you, you will see that people with a positive attitude enjoy life more and are generally happier and more successful than those who walk around grumpy and pessimistic. Our attitude is the driving force in our lives—it can either push you to do great things or pull you down to your demise.

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While it’s true that humans are born with certain tendencies or orientations, our personalities and attitudes are developed through our relationships and experiences. Our attitudes begin to develop in childhood and constantly evolve and change over the years through day-to-day interactions and experiences.

All the things that you have been through, all the people you have met and interacted with can have an impact on your attitude. If you think that all these factors have molded you into a person with a poor attitude towards life, there is no need to worry as there is always an opportunity for change. Let me share with you how I did it.

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5 Simple Things That Can Help Change Your Attitude

1. Identify and understand what you want to change.

The first step towards change is clearly understanding what needs to be changed. Setting clear goals is the key to success in any endeavor. When it comes to changing your attitude, you need to do an honest and in-depth self-evaluation so you could point out exactly which of your traits need to be improved or totally changed.

2. Look for a role model.

We all need to know that what we’re trying to accomplish can in fact be achieved; that we can be more optimistic, more social or more patient. Find someone who has the kind of attitude that you want to have, and let his or her life give you inspiration and encouragement to move beyond your temporary failures in your journey towards becoming a better person.

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3. Think about how your attitude change will affect your life.

To be able to hurtle through all the difficulties that lie ahead of you in your journey towards self betterment, you need to figure out exactly what this supposed change could bring to your life. Will changing your attitude mean a happier family or social life? Will a change in your attitude mean a more successful career or business? Fix your mind on the things that would come as a result of your attitude change and you will have a greater chance of reaching your goal.

4. Choose the right company.

As they say, “Bad company corrupts good character.” You don’t expect yourself to be able to change if you go on surrounding yourself with people who possess all the negative traits that you want to change. Consider befriending new people, especially those who are optimistic and have a healthy attitude towards life. You will see that your effort to change will be easier with these kinds of people as friends.

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5. Believe that you are able to change.

Often, the greatest obstacle between us and our goals is ourselves or our inability to trust in what we are able to do. If you don’t believe in yourself or believe that you or your life can change, it just won’t happen—you will either never start, or give up quickly so you won’t  have even given yourself the opportunity to succeed.

It cannot be denied that a positive attitude is very important for living a successful and satisfying life, so it is only right to strive to have a positive attitude. I have struggled with reforming my negative attitude as well, but over the years, through persistence and self evaluation, I have managed to change for the better. You can too!

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More by this author

Kara Heissman

Kara is passionate about sharing her self-improvement insights to help more people.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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