| Written By: Dewey Wilson, Ph.D.|
Have you ever noticed how quickly a negative attitude seems to multiply, or the wide-spread damaging effects negative attitudes have on ourselves and others? By definition, an attitude is formed once a person assigns either a positive or negative impact to an evaluation they make of a behavior, event, issue, object, or person. You might already know, or at least find it interesting, that attitudes have a function! They exist primarily to guide a person’s behavior. Something else you might find interesting is research shows that attitudes are also directly associated with determining the level of a person’s activity.
You might be asking yourself, “Why is this important, and how does it pertain to marriage?" People who project an overall positive attitude tend to be more active and intentional than those with negative dispositions. Those more active also demonstrate higher confidence levels and tend to be more proactive in dealing with situations and managing relationships.
If what we just learned is true, then the opposite is also likely to be true. Spouses who consistently possess negative attitudes tend to project less confidence and are more likely to become reactive when dealing with situations or managing relationships. Makes sense, because why would a husband or wife constantly view their spouse and the marriage through negative lenses naturally be inclined to participate in activities together? So, how do we overcome negative attitudes or avoid allowing them to shape our behaviors toward our spouse? Consider the following:
It takes time and hard work to change negative attitudes. And, while it involves more than what is listed here, this can be an excellent place to start. Here’s one last thing for you to consider: Your attitude about changing your attitudes will accurately predict your behavior. For you see, our attitudes do shape our actions.