Negativity: Part 1: How to Deal with Negative People
It seems like it’s everywhere lately. With the prevalence of social media in our lives, it’s almost inescapable. It’s on Facebook, twitter, and all over television. People seem to think that they can say whatever they want without consequences. It could be coming from the workplace, the gym, your child’s school, friends, or even worse, your own family.
You’re not alone. Everyone deals with negativity in some aspect of their lives. How do you deal with this? How do you prevent the negativity that is everywhere from sucking you down into the black hole that it is?
- Be aware. Be aware of who the negative influence is in your life. Sometimes, the person is a really nice person, but they are a complete energy zapper. You may feel demeaned when you’re around them, notice that you’re tense in their presence, and may even start to feel ill. What does this person talk about? Is it constant complaining, drama, blaming, making you feel like the brunt of their so-called “jokes”?
- Why? Do you know why this person is behaving this way? Are they miserable in their job, feel stuck in their life, frustrated, or just have horrible low self-esteem so they feel the need to put others down to feel better about themselves? Sometimes understanding why a person is the way he or she is can make it easier to deal with. Remember that their negativity is a reflection of them, not a reflection of you. It tells you what kind of person they are.
- Smile and nod. Just smile and nod. Learning to detach yourself from the negative person or situation can be very effective in protecting yourself and your mindset. This is especially helpful if the negative person is a family member that you don’t really have a choice whether they’re in your life or not. When the negativity starts, don’t engage. Leave the room if possible. Some negative people are seeking a reaction from you. Don’t give them one. That will only zap you of your own energy. Distance yourself from the negative emotions they try to stir up inside of you. Try looking at the whole scene from the outside. Say to yourself, “wow, isn’t it sad that this person feels this miserable? Maybe if I’m positive, some of that will rub off.” If you can objectively look at the situation this way, it can make a cause a very powerful shift in how you handle things.
- Is it a sign? Could these interactions be a sign that you should move on from these energy-sucking relationships. Think about the big picture. Do you need to make some changes in your life?
- Why does it push your buttons? If one certain individual has so much power over you that they know exactly what to say and how to say it to cause a specific reaction in you, then maybe you should look deeper into yourself and ask why it bothers you so much. Once you think about that and discover why, deal with it, and that person will no longer have the same energy-sucking hold on you.
- Try saying, “I love you, thank you, I’m sorry”. This may sound a little crazy, but saying those things again and again can allow YOU to heal. By saying them, you take responsibility for the way YOU feel, and it allows you to move past these things. It doesn’t mean that it’s your fault. It only means that you’re responsible for healing yourself in situations where there is someone who appears to you as a problem.
- Let it go. It’s not your fault. You’re not responsible for finding a solution.
- Be Positive. Focus on you and the message you are sending out. Make sure you remain as positive as possible. Don’t give negative people your energy. The less attention you give them, the less they’ll affect you.
- Set boundaries. Don’t feel pressured to sit and listen to the negativity. This echoes the theme of #3.
- Develop a support system. Build yourself a network of positive and uplifting friends, coworkers and acquaintances. If you’re finding yourself becoming emotional about a particular situation, call someone and chat it out. An objective perspective may give you some direction in dealing with the situation.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve found some value in this, please share!