Tag Archives: Good News

What’s the good news?

14 Apr

When my children were younger and would come to me upset or angry about something that was going on, I would listen patiently and wait until they finished complaining and griping. And then I would look at them and say, “I understand. I can see that you’re upset. What’s the good news?” When I first started doing this, their immediate response was that THERE WAS NO GOOD NEWS! And then they would continue their tirade, at which time I would listen patiently, and when they were done again, I would look at them and say, “Yes, I still understand the problem. And we can talk about it, but what’s the good news?” After going through this process with them through several problems as they came and went, they learned that before they came to me to complain and tell me their horrible story, they would have to be prepared with something, anything, from the situation that would be positive, and that could somehow be construed as good news. Eventually when they came to me angry and upset, often before they would get to the end of their story, they would smile and say, “I know, I know, what’s the good news?” and then they would begrudgingly proceed to tell me what they were learning from what was going on. Looking for and preparing to explain something positive from all the negative they were experiencing helped them diffuse the situation themselves, and think more clearly.

We all face periods of disappointment and grief, frustration and anxiety, sheer anger, and disgust. But in each situation, if we take some time to think about it, there is something that can be learned that can benefit us. If someone insults us, makes us feel small, or offends us, perhaps the only good news is that we lived to tell the tale! Or maybe the good news is that we held our tongues, and let them make spectacles of themselves being rude and offensive, while we maintained our self control. Maybe the good news is that we decided their comments were inaccurate, and we weren’t going to internalize them, and make them bigger than what they really were – just opinions. Generally in times like these, in uncomfortable situations, there is a lesson we can learn that can benefit us. We can learn to be more patient, to be gracious despite the barbs, to extend the hand of friendship even when someone has been rude. Every situation is different, but generally there is something beneficial for us if we look for it.

Today if you encounter a difficult situation, if you interact with someone who isn’t nice to you or frankly rude to you, if you are the recipient of someone else’s anger, think about the situation and see if you can’t figure out what the good news is. Because surely there is something there. And if we can rearrange our feelings when we’re going through times like these, when we’re feeling bad, when we’re feeling attacked, if can rearrange them to looking for the things we can learn, then we become the victor. We prevail. It’s all about our attitude. We can choose to return anger for anger, or we can choose to rise a little higher. Find the one thing that you can learn from the experience that will make you better. It’s there. You just need to open your mind and look for it. And when you find it you’ll probably discover that you feel better, more at peace, and able to let the discomfort go. You’ll be in control of yourself, and able to see the situation more objectively, and that’s always a good thing. What’s the good news? Today, look for it. And when you find it, be happy knowing that you changed everything!