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Choosing Your Words

Build Up or Tear Down?

Choosing your words, build up or tear down

Every day – we have a choice. The words we speak to other people. They can be live giving…or life-taking.

Meet Mr. Grumpy

I met him on my second week of the job. He was the most negative person I’d ever met. Instantaneously, he was critical.

Mr Grumpy - Choosing your words

He was critical of me and he made fun of something I said. Over the next few weeks, I got to know him in the company where we both worked.

Everything was wrong according to him. The management is screwed up. The products are screwed up.

The marketing team doesn’t know what they are doing. As he described it, the entire world was a complete mess….except for him.

Even when we blew the sales budget out of the water that year…he could only find clouds in the silver lining.

Why so grumpy?

Why so grumpy - Choosing your words - grumpy workmate

Honestly, I thought I did something wrong…or offended him somehow when I’d first met him. I even tried to talk through it with him a couple of times to determine how we could have a better working relationship. But…it went nowhere. He got even grumpier when I tried to talk through it with him.

The problem was…I think it was nothing to do with me. The guy was just plain grumpy. Failed marriages. Failed jobs. Strained relationships. Unmet expectations. I think it was a combination of all those things that contributed to him being so grumpy.

Several years later – I still know him. We don’t work for the same company anymore…but I still see him at lots of industry events. I still say hello. We are cordial to each other.

These days…I know it’s nothing to do with me. He’s still grumpy. He still doesn’t like me. He still complains to others about me.

But….now I know it’s him and not me.

Clouds or Silver Lining?

Clouds or silver lining - Choosing your words

Every day, you choose how you share your words. You can find the negative things….

the clouds. The clouds are always there.

But – the good things are there too. Great relationships. Fun people. Lots of good things, if we encounter them or we look for them.


How will you use your words today with your colleagues and teammates? Will you find the silver lining or will you focus on the cloud?

The choice is yours…


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