I am definitely a Positive Polly. I tend to find the bright spot, the best spin in most situations. I’m honestly not sure if that’s my natural tendency or if it’s what I’ve developed over time by choosing to focus on the positive. Still, the are quite a few Negative Nellies in my life.
You know what a Negative Nelly is. It’s that person who, no matter how great the new, can find the one bad what-if question. They’re the ones who remind you as you’re depositing the winnings from your jackpot lottery prize that most lottery winners declare bankruptcy within five years. They’re the ones who sit at the wedding reception spouting divorce statistics.
They’re the Yabbuts. No matter how positive your comment, their next sentence is very likely to start with, “Yeah, but . . .”
My real problem with Negative Nellies is that I’m likely to completely dismiss their concerns. When someone continually looks on the dark side, bringing up everything that could possibly go wrong, it’s easy to think, “Oh, well, that’s just Nelly.”
One thing I’m working on is taking a moment to really think through the points Negative Nelly has made. I want to make sure I don’t miss a very good point just because it was buried in an avalanche of negative talk. Ignoring possible bad outcomes is just as ridiculous and completely ignoring the good.
So, while I would never encourage anyone to become a Negative Nelly, I do encourage you to look for any kernel of truth and genuine need for concern that might be nestled in their points. Don’t simply dismiss the Negative Nellies.