Using Positive Reframing to Make a Situation Better

When considering optimism the old adage of whether or not you see the glass as half empty or half full will almost always come to mind. This saying is used more often or not to show how the same situation may be looked at either positively or negatively. One tool that is often used to help people begin to think more positively or to become more optimistic is called positive reframing. Reframing basically means that you take a situation that could be deemed negative and turning that experience into one that is less negative or more positive.

There are many examples of how this can be done. For one, let’s say that you are working at a new job and you want to make a good impression. However, on your first day you send out an email that is only supposed to go to your supervisor, but instead it is sent to all of your co-workers. This email happens to contain some personal information about your current financial situation and is rather embarrassing. There are several ways that you can handle this situation. A positive way to handle it is to turn it into a joke, perhaps reply to the email stating that at least it wasn’t a naked picture. This response will likely make your co-workers laugh and have a more positive opinion of you. The other option is to become embarrassed and to avoid contact. This response will likely lead to a negative response from co-workers and a work environment that is not as friendly.

When considering positive reframing it is important to note that it does not change what happened. In the above example you cannot change the fact that you sent out personal information to your new co-workers. While the situation cannot be changed the way that you respond to the situation can be changed. Using humor is a wonderful way to diffuse tension and make a difference in a situation that could otherwise be difficult.

Overall, optimistic people tend to look for the good in all things. It is important to remember that bad things are going to happen in your life. Positive reframing is a good way to make things a bit better when something embarrassing or bad comes up. Take the time to look at all situations carefully and determine how you can reframe the situation to make it more optimistic. This can lead to great improvement in your life overall.