I just received an email from an author asking me if I would review their book. They were polite and the book sounded interesting so off I went to check out the reviews etc and came across a blog post by the author...
Anyone who has ever chased a dream to its full manifestation will understand the impact of receiving positive reviews on their product. The new coffee shop down the street was probably a long sought-after goal for the lady who opened it. Maybe she didn’t realize how much work it was going to be. Maybe she should ask for help. She’s come so far with her dream and she doesn’t want it to fail, but plenty are willing to shit on her if she doesn’t meet their needs. We’re an extremely selfish species.
I’m going to use this coffee shop owner (lets name her Sarah) to segue into the first reason you should speak up in positivity and shut up in negativity.
1. Because people who have a negative experience (and some people can find negativity in the smallest things) are far more likely to spread the word than the people who’ve had a positive experience. It’s a human flaw to need validation for our complaints. By publicly bashing Sarah’s new coffee shop, the whiner hopes to attract more negative people willing to jump into the conversation. These people believe that being opinionated makes them passionate intellectuals. Try looking at them as bullies, because that’s what they are, and I promise, the attraction to gang-bash Sarah’s long line to the espresso machine will diminish.
2. Because leaving positive reviews feels good to both the giver and the receiver. Imagine how much better Sarah will feel after receiving a positive review. She’s had nothing but complaints all day, with the exception of a few wonderfully patient people. Writing her a little note, sending her a message, giving her a five-star rating on her FB page, and/or telling people about how well-worth the long wait was for your americano could do wonders for Sarah’s self-esteem. Be actively positive whenever you can—to Sarah, to your waitress, to the author of a book you enjoyed (ahem). And if your experience really was bad and you feel you can’t do any of these things, shut up about it. Sarah’s business hinges on word of mouth. If the service is really that bad, people will decide to take their business elsewhere without your help.
3. Because supporting others eliminates jealousy. It continues to be an unattractive, unhealthy and useless tendency to spread dislike based on envy. We’re competitive by nature, and it’s easy to become jealous of someone who has reached our goal while we’re still striving. It’s also easy to redirect that jealousy into your own goal. Go hard for the things you want and stop making excuses as to why you won’t succeed. Your dreams are not insurmountable, especially with the support of those reaching toward the same. Wonderful developments can arise when we team up.
4. Because honesty is only a virtue if it’s helpful. I’m going to keep this section short. Basically, listen to the age-old advice “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all.” It’s an excellent phrase of wisdom we often ignore. Telling people not to go to Sarah’s coffee shop because you think she’s a bitch doesn’t make you an “honest person”. Frankly, it makes you the bitch.
5. Because something you found appalling might be appealing to another. There’s a reason heresy is inadmissible in a court of law. We’re unique, and our experiences are as unique as we are. Sarah’s pumpkin spiced latte might be too sugary for you, but the guy next to you might have a sweet tooth and your taste buds aren’t any more important than his. Embrace your uniqueness and realize that life is easier when you accept the differences around you.
This is difficult to conclude. I feel like I have a lot to say on the subject of becoming a better person. I’ve been humbled. I want to be nicer. I want to contribute to my community and to the things I enjoy. I’ve realized I don’t have to be rich to make a positive impact. I’ve begun to do these things without the expectation of a return. And it’s liberating.
I challenge you to write a positive review on something you’ve experienced (a shop, a book, a movie, a campground, a restaurant, etc.) once a week. Try to spread it as far and wide as you can. Knowing that you’ve contributed positively to society will be reward enough.
I was going to give the book a go, but after reading this I'm not so sure.