If you want others to think positively about you, here’s one thing you can do…say nice things about others.
It might just be that simple.
One study found that communicators take on the qualities they describe in others. The researchers concluded that when a person attributes positive or negative traits to someone else, the listener often attributes those same traits to the speaker. “In other words,” the authors write, “politicians who allege corruption by their opponents may themselves be perceived as dishonest, critics who praise artists may themselves be perceived as talented, and gossips who describe others’ infidelities may themselves be viewed as immoral.”
The study suggested that listeners have a poor recollection of whether the speaker was describing themselves or someone else in a conversation, so when they think back on a positive conversation, they associate everyone involved as being something positive. This phenomenon is called “spontaneous trait transference.”
Do you have a coworker who is always complaining about his/her boss? Do you have a friend who is always complimenting his/her spouse? The positivity or negativity of the story definitely affects our view of the storyteller.
So if you don’t have anything nice to say…make up something positive and your audience will think positively about you too.