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If we are going to become responsible for our emotions and responses to life we need to look at our attitudes.

What is Attitude?

An attitude is a mindset, an approach to life, a way we look at the world. It is a point of view we hold of our ability to function and interact with our world.

Our attitude will affect our physical posture when interacting with other people and it may be deliberate or unconscious.

An attitude is a stance or position we take. That stance can be arrogant or assertive. It will usually be a position we take when faced with a challenge.

We see attitudes played out in the subtleties of expressions of the face as well as how the feet are placed and the placement of hands and arms. It is seen in our personal space and who is allowed within in its circle and who isn’t. We are expressing to another our opinion and personal view about something without even saying a word.

Our attitude reflects the way we think and the beliefs we hold –many of which we are not even aware.

In aviation, attitude is the angle of an aircraft in relation to the direction of the airflow or horizontal plane. In aerospace, attitude is the angle of a spacecraft in relation to its direction of movement.

If we were to apply that to ourselves, we might say that our attitude is the way we place ourselves in relation to our direction or movement with co-workers, bosses, spouses, children, neighbors and every aspect of our life.

We determine our attitude.  We determine the mindset of how we see the world and interact with it. 

If our attitude is based on the past it might be full of biases and unresolved anger and resentment. When it is based on the here and now, we are choosing to act in a certain way irregardless of our past.

A friendly and welcoming attitude does not mean we won’t set limits, boundaries or rules of engagement. It does mean we start from a positive stance rather than one that is uptight, suspicious and narrow.

Marlene Anderson, MA, LMHC, NCC

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