In Others’ Words: Attitude

attitude quote 7 sins sculpture 8.23.13

I wonder what kinds of attitudes I’ve left strewn around this past week? Little bits of me, of remembrances … for better, for worse.

(Of course, I’m prepping this blog post early, with all sorts of good intentions … but I’ll reread it at the end of the week, with perspective and conviction.)

But I digress. (And let’s admit it: Sometimes the most interesting parts of a conversation are when we digress.)

Did it again, didn’t I?

Back to attitudes and how people will remember us: My husband Rob and I were walking and talking early one morning and he said, “People will remember your attitude.”

Wise man, my husband.

Yes, I know sometimes we never get past first impressions. Dare we blame that on our attitudes? And when we do experience the blessing of relationships, attitudes abound, for better and for worse.

We flavor our memories, if you will, with our attitudes.

I could let this thought drag me down, but today I choose to let this thought motivate me to choose my attitude more carefully. After all, I’m making a memory.

In Your Words: When has someone’s attitude influenced your memory of them — for better or for worse? 

The Power of Attitude Click to Tweet

I’ll Remember You — But Why? Click To Tweet

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Entire “When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan” blog series archived Click to Tweet

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13 Comments

  1. terri tiffany
    August 23, 2013, 5:44 am   /  Reply

    So very much. When I remember situations with others, I usually remember their attitude toward me and whatever is happening first–it colors everything! Thank you for a great reminder today to keep our attitudes upbeat and where they should be.

    • August 23, 2013, 2:13 pm   /  Reply

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Terri. I have to say, your attitude (even long distance) has influenced me. I appreciate your desire to live a life of faith.

  2. August 23, 2013, 6:38 am   /  Reply

    It’s kind of funny – when I read this post, I spent some time bringing up the memories of people I’ve known, and I’m struck by a dichotomy.

    Most of the people I remember with good attitudes toward life, and a positive, hopeful outlook were met during times of duress and under the threat of sudden, violent death.

    The people who I met in other venues, when manna flowed freely under the aegis of successful business ventures and academic research, tended toward small-minded pettiness, tinged with a red streak of vindictive cruelty.

    I once worked under three very prominent professors who got into a shouting match over assigned parking spots. They all had reserved places outside the department’s front door, side by side. But they all wanted the one closest to the door, by a matter of less than ten feet. If it had been Buffalo or Presque Isle, I could have understood. But this was San Diego.

    In both circumstances, I was working with the ‘best of the best’.

    Looking back, it’s striking, and I never really thought of it before. Samuel Johnson once wrote that nothing concentrates a man’s mind as much as the knowledge that he is to be hanged in the morning, and perhaps that plays a role, but I’ve also known more than a few people who were facing imminent death from natural causes…and their attitudes were not ones to commend one to remain in their presence.

    Churchill said that there’s nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at and missed. Maybe that’s it?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • August 23, 2013, 2:19 pm   /  Reply

      For me, it distills down to what is at the core of a person. “Out of the heart the mouth speaks” the Word says (Prov. 4:23). Attitude is driven by the heart … who I am at my core.
      And sometimes what is revealed isn’t pretty. It’s real, but it ain’t pretty.
      Continuing to mull this over, Andrew.

  3. August 23, 2013, 6:40 am   /  Reply

    Loved this, Beth. Years ago, I came across a quote I have always remembered: Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching? I try to remember this, especially when my attitude is less than pleasant.

    I think in meeting people in a new situation (i.e. ACFW last year), people’s attitudes really affected my view of them. One author in particular was very friendly, and we found out we had gluten free in common. Her kindness encouraged me in a situation where I felt nervous.

    • August 23, 2013, 2:20 pm   /  Reply

      A person’s attitude can make or break the beginnings of a friendship, for sure and certain, Jeanne! I am certain you blessed many people too!

  4. August 23, 2013, 6:56 am   /  Reply

    More than the words people speak, since childhood I’ve studied their faces to get the rest of their meaning. Or, if touch was involved, what their gesture conveyed–besides words. I remember their faces more than what was said, and store away the best and kindest ones for future recall.

    • August 23, 2013, 2:21 pm   /  Reply

      You are a wise woman, Dee.

  5. August 23, 2013, 9:42 am   /  Reply

    Gwynly and I have been talking quite a bit lately about attitude being a choice. It’s so easy to give in to the emotions of the moment, but doing so can lead to negative consequences when those emotions are negative. I’m working to make better choices, so I do a better job blessing those around me.

    • August 23, 2013, 2:22 pm   /  Reply

      Attitude is a choice, Keli.
      And sometimes it is leaning into others, and their prayers, until the right attitude, the attitude you long for, finally shows up.

  6. Susan Tuttle
    August 23, 2013, 2:06 pm   /  Reply

    SO true, Beth. Coming off a night where I know my attitude wasn’t the best, I lean a bit more heavily on Jesus to change it. So thankful for his constant grace. Because yes, our memories of people can be shaped by their attitudes, and I always want mine pointing to his grace and work in my life. Do I get overwhelmed easily? DO I love easily? Do I have joy? Or do I always frown and have a harsh voice?

    See…you got me thinking! Great post:)

  7. August 23, 2013, 2:24 pm   /  Reply

    Sending you a hug today, Susan! Appreciate you!

  8. August 23, 2013, 10:29 pm   /  Reply

    Well, I’ve been letting one person determine a lot of my attitude lately. I do that from time to time … focus on someone else instead of taking responsibility for myself. I think your post just interrupted me. 🙂

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