I can’t stand it! It’s October already and it still feels like the middle of winter.
Oh, so you prefer summer? It’s great to spend those lovely hot days on the beach!
Oh, no. I hate the heat! I can’t bear being all sweaty!
So . . . Did you have a good weekend?
No, not really. There was nothing good on TV
Well, it was perfect weather to do some gardening
You’ll never catch me getting my hands dirty like that – I hate the feeling of sand under my nails.
Don’t you just love negative people? The kind of people who think that it is their purpose in life to sit in judgement upon anything and everything. The kind of people who are hard-wired never to respond to any request or suggestion with a YES?
Almost before you have asked whether they could give you the names and contact details of folk you need to get hold of, they have already found two valid reasons NOT to do so. ‘Oh, no. I really couldn’t do that. You see . . .’
Doom and gloom is their preferred state of being. One gets the impression that they actually get a kick out of shooting every suggestion down or of seeing the worst side of every situation.
Gordon MacDonald, Christian author of such books as Ordering Your Private World and Rebuilding Your Broken World refers to these people as VDPs – Very Draining People. Just spend twenty minutes in the company of such VDPs and you will find your usually sunny or positive outlook changing. Even worse; work with VDPs and they can have a really damaging effect on your life. Just think about your own situation: identify one or two VDPs in your life and consider the effect they have on you. Now multiply that by two or three and the detrimental result can be quite considerable.
In contrast, I want to tell you about a man who is certain to give my state of mind a lift every day – and I have never even spoken a word to him. This man walks his dog on the slipway alongside the Main Road every morning when I am on my way – half asleep – to work. He always has a smile on his face and he always waves enthusiastically when I pass – just because I once smiled at him as I drove past.
If you can lift the spirits of a stranger with a mere smile and a wave; just think what you could do if you were intentionally positive in every situation. Thank people; smile at them; be polite when you encounter those in the service industry – even when they are rude.
I am reminded of the tear-jerker movie Pay It Forward, featuring child star Haley Joel Osment. Despite the tragic outcome of the movie, the concept of paying good deeds forward instead of waiting to repay good with good makes sense. This kind of positive outlook has to grow – and as much as the VDPs can affect you negatively, so you can be a force for good.
It makes you think, doesn’t it?
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