Use Positive Frames
June 16, 2021
- Be quiet instead of Don’t talk.
- Give your best instead of don’t screw up.
- Be strong instead of Don’t be afraid.
- Focus on doing everything correctly instead of Ensure that you don’t make mistakes.
- Speak positively instead of Don’t speak negative things
- Drive safely instead of Don’t drive rashly.
- I want my mind calm instead of I don’t want thoughts disturbing me.
- Eat at the table instead of Don’t eat on the couch.
Our mind is strange. It doesn’t understand the language of negative.
What do I mean by this?
If I were to tell you, “Don’t think of a monkey,” your mind will immediately flash the thought or image of a monkey. The “don’t” is ignored by your mind.
So, paradoxically, when we say something in a negative framing, we reinforce the very behavior we are trying to avoid.
That is why if an aircraft is going through some bad turbulence, pilots don’t say, “please don’t panic.” The language they typically use is “please stay calm.”
Affirmative language always reinforces positive behavior. When you want to influence behavior change in yourself or others, it is always helpful to use a positive frame to convey the message. So, express your idea in a way that influences behavior towards what you want instead of away from what you don’t want.
Avoid negative frames. Oops, my bad. I should be saying always use positive frames 🙂 !!