Got this article by Toni Bowers at TechRepublic in my inbox today and as a card carrying Optimist Club Member I just had to share the link and some of the recommendations it contains:
Takeaway: Chronic negativity can be a career killer. Here are some ways to know if you’re a chronic complainer and what you can do about it.
Years ago, there was a commercial for Life cereal in which two little boys push a bowl of cereal over to their little brother to see if it tastes good. “Let’s get Mikey. He hates everything,” they say. The little brother is adorable and it’s a cute little ad spot.
But when an adult is known for “hating everything,” it’s not so cute, especially in the workplace. Some people confuse negativity with superior intelligence, as in “I am cognitively able to find the hole in every plan.”
If you think having a problem with everything presents you in a smarter, more discriminating light, you would be wrong. Unless, of course, with every problem you find, you have a solution. But it usually doesn’t work that way.
Negative people get in a groove (or a rut, if you will) and automatically “go negative” in any situation. The human brain can become addicted to negativity and when they criticize something it gives them a “fix.”
I would never advocate becoming a pinwheels-for-eyes Mirth Machine (or this guy), but it’s much better for your well-being (and your career) if you strike a happy medium. And if you are a pessimist at heart, that’s fine. I’m not here to change your world outlook. But I can offer you a few tips for curbing your negative behavior in the workplace: