In this series of “The ABC’s Of Dealing With Negative People,” we’ve covered many strategies to help us cope with those who are chronically negative so that we don’t become infected with such energy.
M. Model positivity. Energy is contagious. Focusing on the negativity of others will only create more negativity. You will only be brought down when you allow it. Instead, focus on your own energy. Keep your enthusiasm high. Whenever you are presented with negative information, put a positive spin on it. Make your positive energy bigger than their negative energy.
O. Ownership. Own your thoughts. Own your emotions. Own your life. Instead of pointing out what the negative person is doing wrong, ask yourself what you can do to better the situation. Shift your focus from their negativity to your positivity. Own what you are feeling and maintain a positive boundary. If you have been enabling the situation, own up to it, and then make the necessary changes for positive growth. Remember, you are not responsible for their behavior, only yours. Empower your life by owning it.
P. Perceive the person in a more positive light. Be willing to see and focus on the good qualities in that person. Sometimes people trap ourselves when they focus only on the person’s negative attributes, thus perpetuating the negativity. If you aren’t ready to change the way you look at him or her, give it time. Trust that you’ll make this step when the time is right.
Q. Quiet your emotional response. Negative people feed on strong reactions from others. They will poke and prod with their comments because they want a reaction. They look for ways to push our hot buttons, and if we’re not aware of their actions, they’ll push them every time. Why they do this could be because they lack love, positivity, and warmth in their own lives. Resist the urge to return judgment by keeping your own emotions under control. Any emotional reaction from you gives them the go-ahead to continue because it lets them know that they can depend on you for a reaction.
R. Refuse to take things personally. Negative people can be quite critical with their insensitive, hurtful, rude, angry comments, especially when directed at you. Rather than let those comments infect you, remember that words in themselves have no meaning, until you apply meaning. Objectify the comments by saying, “That’s a different perspective,” or “That’s a point of view I’ve not heard before,” or “You are entitled to your own opinion,” and leave it at that. Deflecting or neutralizing negative comments puts you in control, and when negative people see that they can’t get a reaction out of you, they will move on to someone else.
S. Smile and remain completely detached. Whenever a negative tsunami hits, just smile and don’t say anything. Excuse yourself and leave the room if you must. Just don’t get involved. Negative people want to stir you up, catch you in their web, and start draining you of your energy. Remember, they want you to react; it gives them all the power. To detach, step back inside of yourself, find your center, and simply observe what is unfolding. Pretend you are watching a reality TV show, and smile, knowing that their unhappiness has nothing to do with you.
The healthiest approach you can take is to examine your actions and conduct yourself in ways that do not reinforce the person’s negativity.
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