Do You Bring Out The Best Or The Worst In People? By Anna Steele

As the Holidays approach, many people have mixed feelings about spending time with their families. Ideally, we would like to have a holly jolly time, but may have concerns about how some of our relatives will act.

Have you ever wondered if there is anything you can do to help things turn out well? We cannot control other people, but sometimes we can encourage things in others. If we anticipate and wait for the worst to come out in people usually something will happen that will confirm this belief. On the other hand, if we look for the good in people we will also find evidence to confirm this belief.

If there is evidence for both, then which is true, and does noticing the good actually change anything? It is often true that it takes many failures before having a success. When someone fails do you expect it and say “I knew you couldn’t do it,” or do you offer encouragement to try again. This holiday, when a relative or family member messes up, see what happens if you give them the benefit of the doubt and encourage them to try again. If someone says something disturbing, see if they really meant what you think you heard, or did it not come out the way they really intended?

Often looking for the good will bring it out. On the occasions this does not work we can always fall back on remembering to be the people we want to be. At the end of the day be proud of how you handled yourself and treated others, and you’ll improve the likely hood of your holidays being holly and jolly. Happy Holidays!

Anna Steele is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Vail Counseling, PLLC (520-474-5574).  For more information visit:

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