Are you a glass half full or half empty kind of person? How do you handle life’s trials and tribulations? Do you pick up the pieces and say, “Well it could have been worse!” or do you wallow and sink lower?
I had a conversation with a friend the other day about his wife, also a friend of mine. She recently had knee surgery. She is a very active person and finds her enjoyment in riding her bike, spinning, running and just moving in general. He told me she’s been very limited in her movement post-surgery. This is making her miserable. He added, “You know how she is, if she’s miserable she wants the rest of us to be miserable, too!” I tried to offer my encouragement. I told him to remind her that in a few months, she’d be back to where she was, doing what she loved, strong as ever. This was just going to be a blip in her past, I added. His response, “Lucie – you see the glass as half full, she’s a glass half empty kind of person.”
I thought about that and realized for all the years I had known her – he was correct. And I thought, how unfortunate to live like that and how this approach has a tendency to push people away.
I had a conversation, with another woman about healing and overcoming chronic pain. She told me she was so glass half empty during her low point that there was not even a glass … just a puddle on the floor! But the wonderful thing is she can joke about this now and she’s not that person anymore.
While I believe I tend to be ‘glass half full’, I’ve had my moments with an empty glass, too! When I was in a job I hated it was hard to be positive going to work every day. I could not see how my situation could improve with that job or company. I felt stuck – I needed to work but working there made me miserable. It wasn’t until I left that job that my glass begin to fill back up. Our glass half empty moments may be indicators, that something needs to change. For me, I couldn’t fix my job or change the company – I needed to find something else better suited for all I had to offer. For the gal with the chronic pain, she needed to find a way to manage her pain. And she did – thus her glass began to fill back up. For my friend recovering from knee surgery, finding patience, redirecting her energy to what she can do and a better attitude may make her recovery more enjoyable.
I have realized – we have a choice. We are not innately negative or positive. We choose how we respond. It can be difficult to keep smiling but I would bet the support you get from others is much higher when you keep your chin up. If you find yourself focusing on the negative, stop and consider what you may need to change. Think about what it may take to fill your glass – it may surprise you how simple that shift can be. Sometimes the change is big – leaving a toxic situation like a bad job or marriage. Sometimes it may be small – finding an outlet or hobby or taking a walk to de-stress.
Life should be lived not endured! If your glass seems to be perpetually half empty, it may be time to assess and consider a change. Cheers to you and your happy future ahead!