Accentuate the Positive

Two Facebook posts I made recently taught me a lesson — or at least reinforced something I knew instinctively.

Post 1: I finally arrived home after being stuck in traffic for a while. I live in downtown Nashville, and a huge free concert was being held just a few blocks from my home. I was on my block, just inches from the alley beside my building, but couldn’t move because traffic was completely gridlocked. Just as I could move forward, a photographer stepped out into the street so that she could take a picture of a young couple making goo-goo eyes at each other. I was not happy. Once home, I got on Facebook and typed: “Get off of my lawn!”

Post 2: My husband’s business was marking its one-year anniversary and that morning on Facebook I posted a note about how proud I was of him, his partner, their chef and the staff for making the place such a success.

I have to say, I felt pretty clever while writing the first post, and slightly concerned that I was being overly gushy when I posted the second one.

The grumpy message got a couple of comments.

The happy message drew dozens of “likes” and a bunch of comments.

People respond to positivity. I see it happen with the publications we work on at Parthenon. When we tell the story of a person who has helped someone else, or has worked hard to achieve a goal, readers want to share in that good feeling. They’ll offer their own stories, or report that they have been inspired by the article.

Seeing the reaction to my second post was a great reminder of how powerful a little bit of good news can be. I can’t think of a better time of year to relearn that lesson.

Happy Thanksgiving.