Language is one of the most potent interactive cultural tools that humans have. One mouth can speak both words to uplift and those to destroy. When you use positive words, you have the power to encourage and help build self-esteem and make someone feel good.
Did you know that your brain is hardwired to process more negative information than positive? Scientists call this phenomenon the negativity bias. Humans tend to pay more attention to negative stimuli as a learning experience.
To be an effective communicator, you can overcome this negativity bias by challenging negative self-talk and using mindfulness exercises like meditation and mindful breathing. It can also help when you learn to reframe past events and change your attitude toward them.
Positive vs. Negative Personalities
Think of your favorite people to be around and find their common denominator. You’ll find that these people are often warm, genuine, funny, and use positive language. Their positive conversation and outlook on life influences you and makes you want to be close to them.
How do you react when you are around someone who is constantly spouting off negativity? Regardless of their blessings and the kindness others show them, they always find a reason to be gloomy. Negativity is also contagious and can eventually destroy you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
A negative personality can eventually influence even the most positive person. While you can avoid negative people, it’s not always possible if they are close family or your supervisors. Keep your optimistic attitude by keeping conversations with pessimists short, sweet, and on a surface level.
It’s no big secret that people respond better to positive energy than they do to negativity. Numerous studies with plants demonstrate a link between speaking positive words to plants and their ability to thrive. The plants that were spoken to harshly not only didn’t thrive but some shriveled and died.
If plants thrive in an environment of kindness and positive communication, think how much humans do. Have you wanted to improve your communication skills in your personal and professional life?
Here are ten reasons to use positive words when you communicate with others.
1. Your Words have the Power to Speak Life or Death
The concept of cursing or hexing someone is a lingering superstition before recorded human history. However, your negative words have a strong impact on people’s psyche, especially your children and other loved ones.
If you are a person in a position of authority who uses negative speech to communicate with others, it is bound to affect morale in the workplace or home. When you use positive words in your conversation, you speak life and encouragement to those around you.
Even if you must reprimand someone, you’ll have more positive results if done with kindness and concern. Positive people attract positivity to themselves, such as positive relations and situations.
2. Positive Conversation Creates Gratitude
When you use positive words in your conversation, it’s easier to be grateful for others and what they contribute. Kind words that reflect a positive outlook often show how grateful you are. In turn, you become an inspiration of gratitude to others in your sphere of influence.
3. Upbeat Communication Empowers Others
Remember the pep rallies you attended in high school? The music, cheering, and hype created a positive atmosphere that your team needed to win the game. The gymnasium’s ecstatic charge empowered the players to use their skills and work as a team to beat their rivals.
It’s the same concept when you are conversing positively with others. Let them know how much you believe in them and that you know they can do anything. Employees are much more apt to do top performance work when management is supportive, encouraging, and positive.
4. Encouraging Interaction Improves Brainstorming
When you’re facing a challenge, a positive attitude can clear your brain for fresh inspiration. Naysaying does nothing but hinders the creative thinking process. Have you ever been to a planning meeting that got nothing accomplished?
Whatever positive point you pose, the Negative Nelly in the group is quick to staunch it with a pessimistic spin. It’s difficult to deal with these negative attitudes in life.
Being positive in a brainstorming meeting doesn’t mean that your head is in the clouds. Use positive words to discuss alternatives and other choices that can be made to remedy the situation. If there are some negative aspects of the problem, try to combat it with positivity.
5. Turn Your Negative Speak into Positive Statements
Effective communicators know how to take a negative issue and spin it into a positive light. For example, assume you have an employee who is chronically late with his monthly reports. You can reprimand and say, “You never get your reports in on time. Why can’t you do your job?”
By using this tone, you’ve automatically downgraded his esteem, and you’ve put him in a defensive mode. Now, take the same situation and turn the communication into a positive statement.
Try saying, “I see that turning in monthly reports on time can be a challenge for you. Are there some ways we can rearrange your workload, so you’ll have more time to do them?”
In the second example, you’ve not sugar-coated the situation. The employee still has the issue and a responsibility to fix it. However, your positive approach makes it a team effort and allows the employee to solve problems more efficiently.
Even couples who are head over heels in love still have problems and disagreements. How do you relate to your lover? Do you find yourself bringing up the positive aspects of your relationship, or does negativity overshadow the conversation?
Statements that begin with “You always” or “You never” are not only unhelpful in a discussion, but they do more to undermine your relationship. Instead of using the words “I” or “you,” try to use “we” when you find a solution to a problem. When you say “we,” it becomes a situation that you can overcome together.
7. Your Tone Matters
Did you know that your tone and body language can say as much as your words? If your body language isn’t congruent with your speech, your words will be perceived as dishonest.
Take time to listen to the tone and volume of your voice when you speak with others. If your facial expressions and tone aren’t cordial, you can say the sweetest things, which will all seem negative.
Practice smiling, using active listening skills, and neutral body language.
8. Find Ways to Build People Up
It often said that it takes a little person to put down another human being. Use positive words to uplift people and put a ray of sunshine in their day. Positive communication includes noticing things about others and offering them a genuine compliment.
Offering an encouraging word goes a long way to boost people’s spirits. It costs you nothing to be kind to someone, yet the positive effect can be priceless.
9. Share Your Enthusiasm
It’s hard to be around someone positive and enthusiastic and not have it affect you. Both attitudes are contagious and draw people. Do you create a positive atmosphere when you enter the room?
It’s much easier to communicate with others when you have a welcoming smile that shows that you are willing to hear what others say.
10. Don’t Gossip About Other People
The late Eleanor Roosevelt didn’t achieve what she did in life by being negative and petty. She is credited with saying with bringing others together and encouraging positivity.
Anyone can jump on the bandwagon and gossip about others without knowing the individuals or the facts.
Have you ever felt the heaviness in the room when someone is speaking negatively about another person?
This type of negative communication may appeal to some people, but it eventually makes the hearers feel untrusting and bitter. If you are around someone who is constantly gossiping about others, rest assured that she is probably gossiping about you, too.
When you frame a conversation with positive words, you create an atmosphere conducive to sharing ideas and compromising. Even when you must address a negative situation, you can still use positive tools to find a solution. Remember that your words have power, so use them wisely for the greater good.
Be the encourager that helps lift someone’s spirits today and put a bounce in their step. When you give to others, it helps to lift your mood and make you feel good too. Giving back and speaking love and kind words to others make the world a better place to be.