Overcoming a Glass Half-Empty Perspective

Changing your glass half-empty perspective.

Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person? I like to think I’m a half-full thinker, but the reality is I too often look at life as half-empty. When I’m tired, hungry, stressed or overwhelmed, all bets are off and I am only able to see life through a half-empty perspective.

A half-empty perspective tends to skew your judgment until everything is seen from a negative point of view.

When I get to the point where I look at something in my day with a negative attitude, it starts to take over everything that comes later.

If I get angry because a slow-moving truck pulls out in front of me on the way to work – the anger and frustration remain just below the surface of my emotions. Those emotions tend to affect the relationships I have for the rest of my day.

When I allow myself to see a friend’s comment as criticism, I start to look at myself and everything else that happens in my day as flawed.

Because I start to see the many things I have “on my plate” as duties or tasks, I forget the many opportunities and blessings I have in my life.

That’s when it’s time to change the thinking about the glass…but how?

I found there are times when I’m more likely to allow my outlook on life to become negative. I’ve had to develop things to trick my emotions in order to keep them from going down that path.

I try to guard against getting tired, hungry, and overwhelmed. I know my limits: how much sleep I need, what and how often I need to eat, and when to say ‘no’ so I’m not overwhelmed by my commitments. I said I know my limits, but I don’t always pay attention to them, so when that happens, I have to go on the offense.

I become oppositional (Wait! That’s a good thing.)  I force myself to stop what I’m doing and thinking (mainly because it takes all my focus to get my attitude back on the positive side) and oppose the negative with a positive thought.


  • If that truck pulls out in front of me, I make myself think, “Maybe that’s for my benefit. Maybe I need to slow down and relax before my day starts. Maybe this truck just helped me avoid a speeding ticket :D”
  • If a co-worker makes a comment I see as criticism, I make myself remember, “She is a good person. I’m probably just seeing things that aren’t there.” Even if I’m not, I don’t care – I like myself too much to put my attitude in the weeds for the rest of the day…
  • When I’m starting to feel overwhelmed, I make lists and delegate what I can. I realize when I’ve made too many commitments, and I use the feeling to remind me of the need to say ‘no’ next time.


When you allow a half-empty perspective to color your attitude, it’s hard to enjoy life.

People say those of us who choose the half-full perspective are living in a fool’s paradise – life isn’t all roses and rainbows.

I agree with them; it’s not, but life isn’t good or bad…it just IS WHAT IT IS. We can choose to think negatively about it and be miserable, or we can choose to think positively about it and be happy.

Hopefully, this week’s Monday’s Minute will give you some inspiration to overcome the skewed, “half-empty perspective that often colors our world. That’s another key to living with joy!