Attitude is powerful. If you’ve got a good one, you can empower others. However, a bad attitude can undermine your credibility and likability factor in a flash. So, how do you keep yourself in check when someone or something gets under your skin? 

First, let’s consider this quote on attitude: 

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” — Maya Angelou

Change of attitude

When I think of the effect of attitude, I think back to an experience I had in a restaurant. A friend and I treated ourselves to dinner. I don’t get out often because of my busy schedule. So, I looked forward to the night out. I couldn’t wait to indulge in great food coupled, of course, with great service. I set my expectations high because I always received great service at this restaurant.


From the moment that we entered, my gut told me to get set for a different experience.

Firstly, you see, the hostess ignored us. We stood in front of her and she continued to chat with a server. So, when a solid minute passed, I decided to interrupt. Not wise! She could’ve poked my eyes out with the daggers she tossed my way. She snapped at me, “I’ll seat you in a few minutes.”

Oh my.

Well, then. Yeah, my good attitude faded instantly. In a flash, my heart pumped, throat burned, and pulse quickened. Anger bubbled up inside of me. Nothing boils me like rudeness. 

My friend shrugged. “Let’s just sit over here on this bench and wait.”

I followed her, breathing deeply and trying my best not to make a scene. Several minutes later the hostess ordered us to follow her. Yep, ordered! Oh boy…

As a result, I needed a little zen lesson from my character, Yvonne, in Sandcastles. She’d know how to tame the wild beast brewing in my mind at that moment.

My Attitude Flared

First of all, she sat us at a table in the back next to the kitchen. Furthermore, dishes clanked and waitstaff rushed past us every few seconds with angst written all over their faces. Finally, after several more minutes, our server arrived. She cradled a pen and paper and stared at us with a look that told us we’d better order now or plan to suffer inconceivable consequences.

I don’t know. Maybe some strange attitude-killing vapor seeped into the restaurant that night? Anger and bitterness hung in the air, choking the life out of the chance of a good time. The server looked down and just pointed her pen to the pad.

The good attitude I walked in with died.

I sank right into line with her bad mood and glumly ordered a summer ale and calamari. My friend, who never seems to derail, egged her on by hesitating. The waitress hung her head to the side in obvious annoyance. Finally, in my friend’s most exuberant, friendly voice, she asked, “Can you give us a smile?”

Oh no. I sank deeper into my seat. 

The server mumbled, “I’m not in the mood to smile today.”

My friend chided on further, “Oh, come on, that frown isn’t doing anything to help you feel better.”

I kicked my friend under the table.

The server would surely spit in my summer ale if she didn’t stop! I looked up in time to see a set of softer eyes peering down on us paired with a weak smile. A long sigh followed. “I’m just tired. It’s been a long day. I’ve been here twelve hours and haven’t had a chance to take a break.”

My friend warmed up to her through empathetic banter. Consequently, within minutes, the server smiled. Even her eyes sparkled.

I’m glad to report that we enjoyed a superb dinner after that. Our server joked with us and the other guests. Also, she even walked around the restaurant with a bounce to her step. As a result, her rejuvenated vibe filled the restaurant with life.

My bold and optimistic friend, God love her, had proven the power of a smile and its effect on attitude. A smile is a very simple gift that can have exponential results. It erased the bad attitude, reminding me that such negativity takes much more effort and energy to sustain than positivity.

4 Ways to Shift Your Attitude

Use Positive Words

Talk to yourself the way you’d speak to someone you admire. Also, speak with affirmative words and use statements like “It’s going to be okay,” or “This is temporary,” or “I am hopeful.”

Surround Yourself with Happy People

You are a reflection of the people you are around the most. So, set yourself up for success by hanging out with those who will lift you and help you grow in positive light.

Say a Daily Affirmation

Write out a list of positive affirmations. When feeling blah, read one of them. Then, let it sink in. Finally, find a way to apply it to your current circumstance.

Think about How Your Attitude Affects Others

Emotions are highly contagious. So, this begs the question – do you want others to catch your bad vibe? This sobering question can help center you quickly. When you realize how powerful an attitude can be, you’ll be more careful with the one you release to the world.

Sometimes, the simplest action leads to the most powerful reactions. Is your attitude worth catching?