If You Can’t Say Something Positive, Then Zip It!

About 2 years ago I realized the toll that working retail was taking on me.  Without noticing I had become much more bitter, suspicious, negative, negative and negative.  Oh, did I mention negative? I didn’t like going anywhere except home after work and made it my mission in life to avoid

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other retail stores at all costs.  If you have worked retail you understand me, if not, go to Amazon and buy “Retail Hell” by Freeman Hall and it will provide perspective.

Funny side note is I discovered the book Retail Hell while on vacation on Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands over Christmas in 2010. Unfortunately, I came down with a stomach virus and was confined to the villa for two full days. My only entertainment was a television that received two stations and that book.  So as I laid alone in my villa shivering out a low fever, that book was my lone companion!

Anyway, working retail can be a challenging situation especially if you work in a store that is located in a more affluent area.  My experience was that customers treated you like a second class citizen, that is if they noticed you at all.  The grind of being on my feet for 40 hours per week was brutal and when combined with corporate performance pressure and demanding customers…well, you get the picture.  Then under girding all of those issues were the difficulties of living with MS.

Needless to say my attitude was poor and I had to change.  I did not like the person that I had become and the thought crossed my mind that if I realized my attitude was bad, then how bad was it in actuality?  Similar to when the drunk realizes he’s drunk, that means he’s super drunk!!  The question was how to change?  How would I change my mindset to be more positive?

In order to change any habit you must change either the motivation behind the habit or the routine that supports it. Insert definition of insanity here!  If you continue the same action expecting a different result…you must change your actions in order to get different results!

First, I left my job in retail!  Then, over time I implemented brand new actions and thoughts in my life.  I had to start thinking before I opened my mouth, then say something about the glass being half full versus half empty.  I constantly reminded myself about the positives of humanity.

I instilled in my thinking the fact that the majority of people were not out to screw me or with me.  I began a hobby which allowed me decompression time.  I found things to do in life that made me happy.  I began exercising and eating healthier and lost some weight.  And all of these things I still focus on today.  I still have negative tendencies, but I am getting better at recognizing them before they materialize.

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The hardest and most important change was my negative talk.  When you feel negative on the inside it will usually manifest itself as negativity coming out of your mouth.  The thing that I didn’t realize about being a negative person is the people around you get tired of being around you. Listening to someone constantly complain is a complete and total drag.

Sometimes life is tough enough as it is, but combine that with one or two negative people and things just get unbearable! And often times negative people find themselves alone or constantly searching for new friends or hanging with other negatives. My talk was usually about something “getting on my nerves”, complaining about work, what I didn’t like about something, how much money wasn’t in my account and so on.

Negative self-talk and negative talk in general will simply perpetuate a negative attitude.

Do you have a negative attitude or tendencies?  Here are a few characteristics:

-often complaining
-tendency to see the downside in things
-have a negative effect on others/you’re a drag
-tendency to belittle others
-speak negative
-negative internal self-talk
-frequent use of sarcasm
-rude to others

I am sure there are others, but these are a few that I recognized in myself after I started making an attitude change.  Looking at the list still makes me a little embarrassed, but I own the way I acted then and thank my past self now for making changes.

I will say the thing I enjoy the most about working to be a more positive person is noticing the good in the world.  I know it is not realistic to think life is always going to be rainbows, chocolate chip cookies and puppy kisses.  But it is also not realistic to think it’s always going to be cloudy with a good chance of rain and a high probability of ultimate death and destruction!!

Always know this: you control and create every aspect of your life. The more positive your attitude the more opportunities you will see in life.  My new attitude has allowed me to begin things I never thought were possible; like the Dream Big community!

When you see the positive, you see the opportunities.  When you are negative, you see the difficulties.  Which do you want for yourself?




69 thoughts on “If You Can’t Say Something Positive, Then Zip It!

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to give my post a read!! And you are right, it takes tremendous effort to remain positive. It doesn’t just happen!

  1. Trying to be more positive, but it’s definitely a challenge some days. I always try to be super nice to retail workers and restaurant workers as their jobs are super difficult.

  2. I worked retail and I worked in a call center for a bank that screwed up majorly when it merged with another. You think retail is hard? Try that one on for size.I could put on the happy face and smile in my voice the whole time I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle them. I have good customer service skills and I treat others in customer service and retail the way I would want to be treated.

    1. I could never work at a call center. I would 100% end up in jail! I have always said that everyone should have to work retail or serving tables during college as an internship. I did both and customers treat you like garbage in both jobs. Thanks for the tidbit on the call center!

      1. I have worked restaurants too. One was an Officer’s club in the Marine Corp. Talk about disrespectful for us pure commoners. The enlisted men were much nicer, the officers, most of them, were jerks.

      2. The restaurant business is tough all around. I worked in catering at a hotel, bartended at the same hotel and then bartended at a country club. All 3 jobs were good cash payers but the customers were usually demanding and rude. Glad I do not work in the industry anymore!

  3. I can relate to your experience working in retail. I was at the same place where I didn’t like who I had become and dreaded going to work each day. My goal right now is to stay out of retail if I can avoid it but I do think everyone should have to work some kind of service job (restaurant, retail, fast food, grocery store, etc) for at least a year to understand what it’s like to be in that type of position.
    I do value some of the skills I learned such as patience and how to stay calm even when someone is screaming at me about a situation over which I have no control or when I’m offering them a solution and they’re still yelling at me….yeah, I definitely want to avoid going back to that type of job, lol. I’ll have to check out that book, sounds like a good read 🙂

  4. the action is in the reaction. you can laugh or you can cry, but when you realize that they are just words and the person is really hurtin in some way it is so much easier to let it slide and have compassion. Which makes you feel better.

    Nothing worse than going through hell and being upset too.

    Clifford T Mitchem
    Advocare Distributor
    Nutrition + Fitness = Health

    1. I “scream” sometimes also just to get it out! lol But I have learned that most people get annoyed at too much positivity so I mask it in being supportive in the right ways.

  5. Hi Danny!!! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Eve had talked so much about you and your overgrown success with your blog. I loved this post & am so happy that you reached out. I would absolutely would love to be featured on your blog, it’s such an honor. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you as well. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to read more of your posts!! – Aya, Diary of a Fashionista

    1. I included you in my general post last night, but am doing a Featured Blogger segment tonight for you and a couple other self-hosted bloggers to help get you some more readers. It will post at 6pm.

  6. positivity can change your life, other peoples lives and can be a domino effect. I am definately trying to be a more positive influence and role model to those around me xx

  7. Omg. Retails isn’t that bad if you have loyal management. Mine did some mistakes with the till and blamed me for that. So, even I didn’t any mistakes, I had to pay from my pocket. Negative thinking was all over me and it blocked all the good things in life. I get rid of people who never believed in me and added more negative thoughts and didn’t give up on my dreams.

      1. Yea, very true. I was just so scared to say anything to them. New me would do proof them, old me was so scared of everyone and couldn’t say anything to defend herself.

  8. Love this post, Danny. the headline of your post, is something I always say. “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
    The world, especially the blogging community (where people tend to forget their manners even more) need to practice this. Thanks for sharing this, Danny.

  9. Well done for making such great changes to your life, not many have such courage. Or insight. The positivity was there all along, it just needed a bit of help before it could shine through.

    1. Thank you Rob!! People these days are so fast to talk negative, speak ill of others, use foul language. It makes me wonder if anyone truly understands the power words have in our lives.

      1. Or they understand that power and decide to use it selfishly. Our greatest myths tell the same story: there is a force that binds everything in the universe together. It can heal or destroy depending on how its used.

      2. We use language to construct the inner worlds that we privately inhabit as we go through our days. These worlds inform our social and political decisions in ways that may not be connected to reality.

      3. I like how you said “might not be connected to reality.” It reminds me of the police officer who interviews 10 witnesses and gets 10 different stories of the same event. Perspective is an interesting subject. What we perceive to be reality is often not reality at all.

      4. Exactly. This lack of connection to reality is what makes the assertion that all things are equal so dangerous.

        A demonstrably ignorant opinion is not equal to an informed opinion. A demonstrably corrupt government is not equal to one that screws up and takes corrective action.

        A chaotic and flawed democracy based on the rule of law is always better than a corrupt tyranny. Always.

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