What would be the effect on relationships if the mutually agreed upon* ground rules were:
1. Before you say something negative or critical to a person, you must say something positive and praising.
2. And before you speak those negative or critical words to a person, you must ask the other person if it would be okay to do so.
I can understand why it would be natural to be more adamantly negative or critical than enthusiastically positive and praising towards another, because negativity comes from a sense of something missing or being wrong within you that compels you to do something about it. Alternatively positivity comes from a sense of fullness and completeness. And just like you’re not too motivated to do anything after a filling, satisfying meal you may not feel compelled to do anything positive towards people. That may explain it, but it doesn’t excuse it.
You might say to me, “That’s hopelessly naive and impossible.” Maybe so, but then what would make it possible?
What would happen if you proposed this to your partner and to your children and agreed to practice it one day at a time, before you slip into the “addiction” that most of us have of being much too quick to be negative than positive? And if they immediately responded, “No way” or “That’s just stupid” what would happen if you said that you were going to commit yourself to doing it anyway?
* BEWARE! If someone won’t agree with these ground rules, you may be dealing with a high-maintenance (easy to upset, difficult to please) person.
TLC, Bringing peace to the legal process