Positive Conversations

During this holiday time of year, many of us visit with family and friends—some of whom we may not have seen in months.

As you converse with these people, here is a suggestion to keep in mind: When you deal with family, loved ones, close friends, and other valued people, don’t begin a new conversation with the baggage from the last one—or even think about it. If you do, one incident or perceived slight can adversely influence that conversation, along with days or weeks of future communications.

Goodman Ace, the legendary game show producer, had a classic observation: “If you can’t recall it, forget it.” Often, we can’t even recall why we were angry or upset. So, don’t try. Every communication should be thought of as a new one.

This came to mind for me recently when, for some unknown reason, the question popped into my head, “What’s my favorite quotation?” Immediately came the response: “Don’t look back; something may be gaining on you.”

I have no idea how old I was when I heard this quotation by Satchel Paige, perhaps the greatest professional baseball pitcher of all time, but it must have had a profound effect on me. My entire life has been concerned with the future, rather than the past.

Why not? Life is more enjoyable this way. Therefore, have the discipline to practice this positive communication technique in all your family conversations this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did.