Ever notice when you buy a new car, you start to see that vehicle everywhere you go? You can feel quite certain this wasn’t the case last month, there’s no way you would have chosen the most popular car on the road. Or, when you are in a crowd of people (remember those?) and you have lost sight of your friend, so you focus only on people wearing yellow to find them. The color the friend was wearing stands out as all others fade away. It’s amazing that our brains work this way, we tend to find what we are looking for, even if we aren’t fully aware of the search.
The same is true in our relationships; when you decide that your spouse’s behavior seems lazy, you are going to focus on only the actions that would fall into this category. We are constantly building arguments in our favor, even when we don’t recognize that’s what we are doing.
What if we changed our focus on those we love the most, to look for the best in them? What if we started to think more about how generous and attentive they are, for instance? We would start to see those very characteristics often and more clearly, dimming the spotlight on behaviors that we may not appreciate.
Give it a try for a week. Choose a positive characteristic in that surly teenager in your house and highlight the good qualities to the others in your home. Notice what your spouse does with excellence and think about it for just a minute each day. Start building an argument for your people, instead of against them. Your attitude shift might surprise you.