I was speaking with a colleague today who just got back from a trip with a relative. I asked her if she had a good time, and she said she sort of did, but she really had a hard time being around her relative for the entire week.
Her relative has a habit of speaking negatively about almost all situations. She complained that the hotel clerk was not very nice and my friend told her that he was very busy and it appeared he was short-handed. She refused to see this.
When they went to eat, she always found something wrong with either the place, the staff or the food. There was never a nice peaceful meal. When shopping everything was too expensive or not made well. It just went on-and-on.
My friend is a wonderful person in the healthcare field and helps patients dealing with life threatening situations. She is always positive. She wondered why she had taken this trip, but then after thinking about it, she realized it was for her to improve her tolerance of negative people.
She said that many times during the trip she would try to show her relative the positive side of her negative comments and outlook and by the end of the trip she made fewer comments.
When I asked her if she would travel with this relative again, she said, probably not, but she learned two valuable lessons.
- Always look for the positive in every situation because there is something for us to learn.
- Life is just too short to spend extended time with negative people when it is by choice.
I think the trip was worth the lessons learned!