A positive attitude means that you are always looking for the good. You have a ‘glass half full’ attitude.
People with a positive attitude are optimistic, like to find solutions to problems, are friendly and easy to work with, and want to spread good vibes with people around them.
Employers also happen to place a lot of value on a positive attitude, but it’s not the easiest thing to demonstrate.
In this article, you’ll learn why a positive attitude is so valuable both personally and professionally, and how you can cultivate your own positive attitude. You’ll also learn 101 real examples of a positive attitude that you can use as skills in your resume or in an interview.
Positive Attitude Examples
- Congratulating others
- Admiring others without envy
- Being adventurous
- Showing affection
- Being approachable
- Acting with bravery
- Caring for others
- Working collaboratively
- Showing confidence
- Being considerate
- Behaving cooperatively
- Being determined
- Taking your place in the world
- Acting with dignity
- Acting with integrity
- Showing generosity
- Practicing gratefulness
- Being flexible
- Being helpful
- Forgiving others
- A good imagination
- Drawing inspiration from around you
- Introspective thought
- Loving others and yourself
- Being open to new ideas
- Being patient
- Reflective thought
- Making moral decisions
- Acting ethically
- Being sensible
- Displaying sincerity
- Working tirelessly
- Trusting others
- Making an effort
- Internal locus of control
- Accepting things as they are
- Always looking for solutions
- Having faith
- Wishing others well
- Seeing the best in a situation
- Seeing good in everyone
- Empathy for others
- A warm personality
- Adapting to new situations
- Having ambitious goals
- Listening attentively (aka active listening)
- Being calm
- A cheerful disposition
- Showing compassion
- Letting your creativity shine
- Showing devotion
- Working diligently
- An easy-going attitude
- Engaging with others
- Focusing on success
- Being friendly
- A great sense of humor
- Being optimistic
- Being at peace with yourself
- A relaxed nature
- Being resourceful
- Spending your time effectively
- Speaking quietly and clearly
- Being tolerant
- Not comparing yourself to others
- Enjoying plans
- Being humble
- Being kind to others
- Being yourself
- Avoiding cynicism
- Showing resilience
- Finding solutions
- Always smiling
- seeking the silver lining
- Openness to change
- Be kind to yourself
- Accepting the world as it is
- Hold aspirations and goals
- Don’t take things personally
- Appreciate beauty
- Strive for happiness
- Being a good friend
- Wishing success for others
- Create happiness around you
- Speak truthfully
- Don’t disrespect others
- Taking pride in your achievements
- Being authentic
- Being true to yourself
- Be gentle with yourself and others
- Sharing knowledge with others
- Having and following a plan
- Not worrying about what you can’t control
- Displaying humility
- Charitable giving
- Communicating effectively
- Being reliable
- Personal development
- Being considerate
- Being neighborly
- Preparing food for others
- Lending a hand
- Avoiding negativity
- Inspiring others
- Smiling often
- Building meaningful relationships
- Surrounding yourself with positivity
- Giving things a go
Related: 54 Positive Personal Qualities
What is a positive attitude?
A positive attitude is an optimistic way of thinking about the world. People with a positive attitude improve the lives of themselves and others around them with their hard work, good humor, and caring nature.
Although people with a positive attitude are generally optimistic, it doesn’t mean they are happy all the time or that they ignore problems.
Instead, people with a positive outlook have faith in themselves to find solutions to their problems. Where people with a more negative attitude might complain about a situation, someone with a positive attitude will help find a solution or look for opportunities that are often bundled with misfortune.
A positive attitude is important to employers because positive workers leave a good impression on customers, seek to improve business processes with their optimistic mindset, are pleasant to work with, and are more engaged than less-positive employees.
For example, a negative or unhappy person might complain about a given situation, but a more optimistic person will try their best to fix it. Positive people are pleasant to be around and help foster a cohesive, engaged, and productive team. They are always looking for solutions, not problems.
In a recent poll by Gallup it was found that 60% of workers feel “emotionally disengaged” at work, and more than 50% of workers said they felt stressed at work.
Employee engagement is strongly tied with economic performance of a company, so HR departments and hiring managers look closely at the personality and mindset of potential employees.
In a resume or interview situation, employers discreetly measure your positive attitude using psychometric testing or with probing interview questions.
It’s important to make it clear to employers that you are a positive person, so think about the way you answer questions, and have a few examples of positivity to provide in case you are asked any behavioral interview questions.
Unlike with some other traits and qualities, you can demonstrate a positive attitude simply with your words and the way you answer questions. Think of a few situations where your positive attitude really made a difference and try to fit that scenario into your interview.
Some things you can do to showcase your positive outlook on life in the workplace:
- Work hard towards your goals
- Be kind and friendly towards your teammates
- Work cooperatively
- Offer suggestions and new ideas
- Make sure any feedback is constructive
- Be genuine and authentic
It’s possible to learn to have a positive attitude by consciously changing the way you think.
A positive attitude is nothing more than the way you think about life, especially about negative situations. How you frame a situation in your mind will drastically affect the way you act.
Here are some tips that will help you develop a positive and optimistic attitude:
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Try not to focus on things that you have no control over
- Accept that not everything will go your way
- Strive to improve your life and the lives of those around you
- Use challenging situations as an opportunity to grow or learn
Although a positive attitude is usually beneficial, there are some situations where it’s important to be able to temper your optimism and think about how things might go wrong so you can mitigate against them effectively.
One example of a career where a little negativity can be helpful is in risk management.
People with a positive attitude are usually more open to taking risks, but in risk management a healthy dose of skepticism is an important aspect of the job.
Risk management professionals analyze every aspect of a company’s operation and think about everything that could go wrong and cost the company money.
A good interviewer is equally interested in who you are as much as what you can do. Interviewers will ask questions about how you dealt with difficult situations in the past to get an idea of your attitude.
Many large companies now use standardized psychometric tests to test your personality. Each test varies, but usually they measure the ‘big five’ personality traits, which are Extraversion, Openness, Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, and Agreeableness.
A positive attitude may be defined as high levels of openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness, and low levels of neuroticism.
Some examples of interview questions about a positive attitude include:
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Who are your role models?
- Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge.
- When was the last time you failed, and how did you react?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with a colleague
Positivity is when you think about problems and situations in a positive way, with optimism and resilience.
Some examples that demonstrate a positive attitude include working with others towards a common goal, being resourceful with your time, working through difficult circumstances, and being kind to yourself and others.
Positivity is useful to employers because it helps with employee engagement, productivity, and business resilience.
If you’d like to train yourself to be more positive, try to be mindful of your thoughts and notice whenever you have a negative reaction to a situation. Try to reframe a situation to focus on solutions and opportunities.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]