Jack Canfield tells about his discovery of the Ain’t It Awful Club. As a new high school history teacher, he found the club having its meeting in the teachers’ lounge. On the agenda?
- Budget and supplies
- Testing requirements
- Lunch ladies
He points out that every organization has an Ain’t It Awful Club. In my long career I have worked only one place that had no Ain’t It Awful Club–I’m self-employed.
Canfield and I challenge you to stay out of the club. Steer to more positive or at least neutral conversations.
The more you focus on the negative, the less you will dig your work.
You don’t have to scold the complainers, just change the subject.
A few years ago I led breakout sessions at a church single adult conference. At noon I sat at a round table to enjoy a sandwich. In a few minutes all the other chairs were filled with nine women.
Immediately these single women started talking about their husbands. Do you think that conversation was positive? Like a bunch of guys telling fishing stories, these women competed for the most sensational husband sin.
First I looked around to see if any of the nearby tables had any vacancies. Then I decided to see if I could turn the conversation. At the next pause I spoke up, “What have you learned at your conference so far?” The energy at the table immediately revved up. They became animated and excited to tell what they experienced.
That positive energy continued for the rest of the hour without requiring a second boost. As they dispersed to return to their next sessions, I heard one tell the other, “Wasn’t that fun?” Do you think she would have said that if they’d continued comparing their deadbeat husband?
Avoid toxic people and their clubs.