When my children were preschool and elementary age, I read somewhere that it takes 5 positive comments to override just 1 (ONE) negative comment. That’s 5 to 1, friend!
When you think about that, it kind of seems unreal. But being the good mom that I am (hear the sarcasm there!), I didn’t want to take the chance that my young kiddo’s would be left with negative thoughts at the end of the day.
So as sibling squabbles would break out and negative comments would fly from one to another I decided to put an action plan in place. I sat the cute-little-things down and explained positive and negative comments. I’m not sure how much of that registered, but . . .
I do know I got their attention when I told them that from here on out for every negative thing they said to each other they would have to replace that comment with two positive ones. They hemmed and hawed and weren’t too crazy about this positivity thing mom was in to . . .
The next day rolled around and they were doing pretty good. Then sure enough an afternoon sqwabble broke out! Urgh . . . here we go again. Words like stupid, dumb, and ugly were flying. I called them in and sat them down. Once again explaining negative comments and how they hurt whether they were true or not.
Next came the most painful thing I could have done to them. I had two of them stand face to face, look each other in the eyes and told them they had to say two positive things about their sibling.
Let’s just say TORTURE!
Oh my word — we sat there FOREVER. They squirmed. They balked. They looked down. Then finally one of them squeaked out, “I like your tinny shoes?!” I think the rest of the comments that day were just as superficial. But HEY – we were creating new habits and you have to start somewhere, however clumsily it may be.
I’m remembering this story today, because I experienced the 5-to-1 ratio yesterday. There are some negative things that people have spoke in my life over the years. The funny thing is that some of those things were spoken when I was younger, yet they still ring ever-so-loudly in my ears. I didn’t even realize how loud they were, until a friend began speaking positive words to me yesterday.
I literally felt the wall begin to crack and break. Those negative comments aren’t truth most of the time, yet we build upon them, and repeat them in our minds over and over, until we have this huge wall built up inside of us. What a moment to feel that wall begin to shake yesterday.
I want to encourage you today to let those negative comments spoken into your being GO! They aren’t truth. You might not have a friend close by today to encourage you, but you do have the best friend ever who is eager to impart TRUTH into your being. That friend has left you a love letter full of TRUTH and positive comments.
Pick up the book of TRUTH, God’s word, today and begin replacing those negative comments with truth. You will feel the walls shake, crack, and begin to fall.
Just like in my children’s lives — why is it so much easier to speak and impart the negative into others and even ourselves? That habit has to be broken. It doesn’t do anyone or ourselves any good!
Today, I am amazed at how a friend’s simple and positive comments changed me.