There is a strange thing that happens to the human heart and mind when we think about negative thing or when we think about positive things, especially in regards to other humans: the emotions get amplified. When we think about all the great things about someone, they become greater in our minds. When we think about all the terrible things about someone, they become even worse.

Why is this important? Because what we think about someone directly impacts how we act around them and the vibe we give off. If we think someone is terrible, we will act like they are. In turn, they may become the worst version of themselves, reacting to us from a not-great place. This reinforces our belief that they are, in fact, the worst human we have ever come in contact with. 

People are highly perceptive to non-verbal cues. Most of the time, we can control what we are verbally saying to people but we tend to give off unconscious signals of how we feel. Then other people, who don’t even realize they are interpreting those signals, internalize them and create emotions based on those signals. And then actions from those emotions.

So, what do we do? At its very core, if you want to positively impact those around you, one way of doing this is to change your thought patterns and your beliefs.

Try this activity: bless those around you, pray for them, ask for good things for them. For instance, take someone you are currently annoyed, angry, or frustrated with. Pray, “God, bless [insert name]. Thank you for their role in my life. I ask that they feel your love and your presence close.” This is especially helpful out loud. Do this a couple of times a day. How do you feel?

This might not change whether you like someone or not, or whether they are good, smart, positive people. But it will increase your own gratitude, empathy, energy, love, grace, patience, joy, and overall contentment within yourself and hopefully, within the people around you. And, at the very least, you get to connect with God’s heart a little bit more.