How to Change a Negative Attitude



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How to Change a Negative Attitude

Two Methods:
Letting Go of Negativity
Focusing on the Positive

Studies have shown that how people react to other individuals and events is largely influenced by their perception and not the actual individuals or events.[1] If you have a negative attitude, you’re more likely to negatively impact everything around you. By taking active steps to cultivate positivity, you can counteract and change a negative attitude.

Method 1
Letting Go of Negativity

    Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. You alone are in control your life and many of the negative situations and negative thoughts you harbor are influenced directly by you. By taking responsibility for your actions, you can begin to remove negativity in your life and create positivity.[2]
        Negative thoughts cultivate negative actions. If you decide to have a positive attitude, you’ll cultivate positive changes.[3]
        For example, if you are passed over for a promotion at work, it is not because your boss doesn’t like you and probably related to your work performance. Instead of blaming your boss, talk to him about how you can improve at your job and actively make these changes.
    List negative things in your life and begin to change them. Acknowledging what is negative in your life will allow you to see what you can control and change. Burn the list to symbolize letting go of negativity.
        On a piece of paper, list anything in your life that you consider negative. Read the list and check off what you can change. For example, you can change negative relationships with others by removing them from your life or you can change bad finances by taking steps to save money.
        Once you’ve thought about how to change the negative influences in your life, burn the paper to symbolize letting go and write a new list with positive things in your life.
    Let go of expectations. Negativity often begins with expectations of yourself or others. Letting go of unrealistic or negative expectations will not only help you change your attitude, but will also create a positive environment.
        Accept that nothing is perfect. Imperfection adds character and letting go of any expectations of perfection will help you focus on the positive in any person or situation.
        Whenever something bad happens, forget it as much as possible and then actively imagine things you want to happen. Likewise, if a person says something negative, consider it briefly and then let it go. Dwelling on negativity will only make you feel negative.
    Forgive yourself and others. Holding grudges and dwelling on your imperfections will only emphasize a negative attitude. Being able to forgive and let go will allow you to focus on the positive in yourself and others.[4]
        The act of forgiveness will remove negative attitudes and create space for positive attitudes. But it will also decrease stress and increase peace and calm in your life.[5]
    Limit or remove negative people from your life. The people with whom we surround ourselves have a significant impact on our attitudes. Limiting or removing negative people from your life will start helping you change your attitude.
        If you can’t remove a person from your life entirely, or you don’t want to hurt him, you can limit your exposure to him. You can also counteract his negative attitudes and viewpoints by pointing out the positive in what he says or does. This way, you don’t get drawn down his negative path.[6]
    Respond to change. Negative emotions often accompany change and the best way to handle change is to respond and not react to it. Make the decision to respond positively in every situation and you’ll be able to keep negativity at bay.[7]
        You can’t control all situations or people, but you can choose how you’ll respond to them. Meeting a negative situation or person with positivity will keep your attitude positive and may also result in a positive resolution to anything.[8]
        For example, if someone sends you a nasty email, don’t react to it immediately. Draft a response and wait 24 hours to send it. Revisit the email the next day and you will likely tone down your response, which can keep a situation from escalating.
        If something bad happens, such as losing your job, thank your employer for the opportunity and say “this is a change to find something better that I truly love.”
    Keep moving forward. You’ll occasionally have negative thoughts, which is normal and acceptable, but learn not to dwell on them. By always moving towards the positive, you will be able to change your negative attitude.

Method 2
Focusing on the Positive           


    See the positive in everything. Negative thoughts and attitudes are draining and if you give in to them, they will become stronger. Seeking out the positive in any person or situation will help shift your mindset to a positive one.[9]
        Even in the worst situations, there is always something positive. It might take some time to recognize, but being able to see the positive aspects in anything will help you avoid negativity.
        One study showed that a positive attitude contributes to success more than anything else, including knowledge or skills.[10]
    Make a list of everything for which you’re grateful. Being grateful will help cultivate a positive attitude. Listing all of the things for which you’re thankful will help you counteract any negative thoughts that may arise.
        In situations where you feel negative, read the list of things for which you’re grateful. This will remind you to stay positive.
    Use positive words. The language you choose significantly influences your attitude and emotional outlook. Using positive words and statements throughout the day will help you stay positive and counteract negativity.[11]
        Use phrases like "I am hopeful” or "we will find a resolution". These will help you—and others around you—stay positive.[12]
        Giving yourself a positive affirmation every morning when you wake up will set off your day on a positive path. For example, you can say to yourself “today is going to be a great day. I feel good and I’m ready to make a difference.”
        Write positive quotes and put them in strategic places. If you have reminders of positive things, you’ll be more likely to have positive thoughts and feelings throughout the day.[13]
    Surround yourself with positive people. Having supportive people around you who can put things in perspective is important to cultivating a positive attitude. Surrounding yourself with positive people will counteract negativity and help you change your attitude.[14]
    Help others. Simple acts of kindness and helping others can do wonders for your attitude. Not only can put things in perspective about your life, but it can distract you from problems and generally make you feel more positive.[15]
        Consider volunteering at a hospital or soup kitchen. Realizing that you are healthy and have the means to support yourself will put your life in perspective. Doing this can also help you to actively choose to change negativity in your life.
        Helping friends and family members can also help you change a bad attitude because you’re making someone else feel good, which in turn will make you feel good.
        Giving and receiving love and support will make your perspective on life increasingly positive.[16]

Community Q&A

    I can't help but lose control and be depressed and full of doubts. What else can help me other than focusing on breathing and appreciate others?

    If you believe you may be suffering from depression, I urge you to seeking counseling through your school, local mental health agency, or by speaking with your family physician about how you’ve been feeling. If you are in a crisis, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

    What are some positive quotes that can change a negative attitude?

    "Do until other as you would have them do unto you." "Live for today not the the past."

    What are good habits to do?

    Good habits are the ones that make you feel better, such as meditation, exercise, coloring, yoga, laughing etc.

    How do I overcome my negativity and find a true friend?

    First, try to be less negative and go to your happy places like parks, etc. Then, be a good person and the good and right friend will come into your life.

    How do I get over the lack of self confidence?

    Get to the bottom of what makes you feel that way and find a way of fixing it. Also, let go of expectations for what others want of you. You just have to love yourself and grow with that mindset.

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