Maybe We Just Need to Change Our Focus
by SouthernBreeze - Posted Wed October 10, 2007 @ 10:32 AM
You know, it's strange how much that we can let one negative experience affect us and our view of things. The other day, my mother and I was driving through a town used to live in, looking for a place to eat. We saw a KFC, but I said I didn't want to eat there because they were rude. The moment I said it, however, I realized this analysis was based on one single event. A worker there had been rude to me - once quite some time ago, but that still shaped my opinion of the restaurant.
I think that perhaps negative experiences outweigh positive because the negative is unexpected. When I go to a nice restaurant, I expect got et what I ordered and to be treated respectfully. When that happens, unless there was some aspect that was outstanding, I don't really think about it. I might say I had a nice time or the food was good, but that was really what I was expecting. The moment that these expectations aren't met is when the incident becomes memorable. The food was cold, wrong, disgusting or the waitress was rude, inattentive, etc - those things will stick out in my mind more.
Sometimes it's so easy to fall below expectations rather then exceed them. Besides, I know for myself I don't always thing about the times my expectations were simply met.
Perhaps, we just need to change our focus. I'm not saying to lower our expectations, but mentally note when the expectations were met. If things weren't perfect, focus on the positive. Maybe you had to wait too long for your food, but your waitress was smiling and friendly. I know I'm guilty of dwelling on the negative, but I've noticed how much better a time I have when I take time to focus on the little things that went well.