I feel if I keep repeating these two little words over and over again in my mind, eventually I will be able to turn any awful experience, moment or comment into something, well, positive.
So far, it's not working.
Mind you, if people could resist the urge to be rude to other people, people like me would not have to tell themselves they need to be positive.
Therefore, instead of trying to tell myself to be positive, maybe the better route to go would be to kindly remind myself that some people are just rude. It has nothing to do with me as a person, it's just the way they are.
This was the advice I was given as a teenager.
One of the best snippets of advice I ever received was from my Aunty Kim. She is one of the strongest women I know, and someone I admire a great deal.
She told me, "Lizz, when someone says or does something rude to you, you have to learn to understand there is nothing wrong with you. People act this way because they are unhappy in their own lives, and they like to take it out on other people."
As women, it seems as though we are prone to taking everything personally. If someone rudely tells us, for example, that they didn't like that shirt we wore, we take it to mean the person hates us. In reality, they just didn't like shirt.
Why do we do this to ourselves? For the longest time, I thought I was alone in this. My - what I thought were - neurotic tendencies drove me insane. But, turns out, many women are exactly the same. It's not neurosis, it's just being a woman.
And, as I have wrote many times before, other women make it worse. If we could all just learn to be a little nicer to each other, we wouldn't wallow in self-pity every time someone told us they didn't like our shirt. If everyone treated one another with respect, when one person acted out of character with a rude comment, we'd truly know it was her problem, not ours.
But this is easier said than done. Women of my generation have been raised by woman, who were raised by women, who were raised by more women who experienced the same thing. And, as it compounded over the years, it became more difficult to escape.
Strangers make this task somewhat less daunting because it's more believable that a stranger is whacked in the head. She doesn't know you, so how can she judge? She's the crazy one, not you.
It's the everyday people who make this task formidable. Once a person you deal with on semi-regular installs the fear in you, it's hard to kick. No matter how many times you remind yourself, "It's their problem, not mine," the little voice of self-doubt in your head tells you it is.
And, if this little voice can make you believe - even for just a second - it becomes a roar of lies. The voice starts screams of all the times in your life when you felt inadequate because of another person. Of course, they're all lies, but you begin to believe them.
They can take a hold of you, like a lion of his prey. You feel helpless.
But, these other women can feel helpless too. I think it's why they make the rude comments to others. They feel this same inadequacy, but are maybe incapable of addressing it at that point in their lives.
Maybe this is why Aunty Kim told me to remember, "it's their problem not mine." Maybe she wanted to spare from from ever feeling hurt from another person's comments, because maybe they are dealing with the same insecurities I am, but they can't see it.
After all, we all feel insecure from time to time, and say things we regret. But then again, some people are just rude. And, those people, you just have to ignore.
Thankfully, those people are few and far in between in my life, because ignorance isn't always easy to ignore.