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Positivity is a general topic that encompasses both positive thinking and dynamics within conversations. There can be a lot of subjectivity about whether or not people perceive something as negative or positive. We do our best to acknowledge this subjectivity, and avoid talking or building our belief system on the arbitrary interpretations of certain events as positive.

In Why This Way, we want to cultivate a positive attitude in our group, yet while retaining an openness to discussing and entertaining ideas that may be perceived as negative by some or even all people in our group. There are certain types of negativity that we expressly avoid, like attaching negative labels to people or groups of people, or reading negative intentions into people's words or actions.

Focusing or drawing out positive elements

In conversation and discussion

Focusing on positive elements in a discussion can be an important way to maintain constructive dialogue in environments where people are becoming frustrated. For example, when people seem to be arguing with each other, fighting back and forth, focusing on common ground, on basic points that everyone present agrees on, can help both to reach consensus, and to maintain a more positive and respectful atmosphere.

In encouraging personal growth

Focusing on positive attributes of a person, or positive behaviors, can be a way to influence a person in a positive way. For example, if a person is reflecting on or talking about a situation which they think they handled poorly, it can be helpful to point out the things about the situation that you think the person did handle well. As another example, in critiquing a person's work, it can be helpful to not only emphasize points of potential growth, but also strengths of the person's work.