So I wanna talk about the negative people in your life. Coz you have a few. Coz I have a few. Because as a society, I’m not sure we know how to deal with them. I know I struggle but I’ve learnt a few tactics over the past year that I want to share.
First of all, if there is someone negative in your life, you don’t necessarily know about it. A negative person doesn’t just say ‘no’ to your suggestions or disagree with your idea’s. A negative person may be slyly negative, and you will know the relationship is bad for you if you feel emotionally and physically drained by the end of seeing or speaking to them and you haven’t just run a half marathon with them. Negative people drain your energy and sap away your happiness.
My in-laws are the type of people that cannot pass comment if it’s to praise or compliment. It’s not in their DNA. It’s so difficult to deal with because I find myself immediately defensive. My house may be spotless and they will point out that one weed in the backyard. The garden may be green and thriving and they query if one plant is perhaps dying. My baby may be the apple of his grandparents eye, but wait, does he have a black eye? And what a pity he sounds like a dog when he cries.
Yep, it kills me. The responses range from polite replies of, “yes unfortunately I haven’t got around to weeding since the birth of my son 10 weeks ago. I keep telling myself once I sleep through the night I will get out there again…” to the defensive, “no he doesn’t have a black eye that’s what newborns eyes look like for god’s sake! Is he barking? Then NO he doesn’t sound like a bloody dog!”
Sigh. Can you tell I’m venting? I’ll try to be less negative and more diplomatic. 🙂
Being negative doesn’t do you any favours. Like the quote I’ve attached above which re-iterated to me the damage you can do to the way others perceive you or think of you when you are constantly negative about your life, and especially when you are negative about theirs.
Detach yourself from the negativity. This I feel is all you can do. This isn’t about you, this is about them not feeling good enough in themselves. Easier said than done, but if you’ve had as much practice as me… well trust me – you get there eventually.
When someone says something negative, if the response fits, the best reply in my eyes is: ‘what do you mean by that?’
Try saying something mean in a nice way twice. Enjoy watching someone who has said something nasty replay it in their head and realise how they’ve come across. I’m not a fan of the people that say ‘I always speak before I think!’ It’s not an excuse, it’s social ineptness. It can be very interesting and funny if you have detached yourself from the situation to ask this question after a nasty or negative comment.
I have a girlfriend who I love dearly. She adds so much to my life and I’m blessed to know her. She is also an extremely negative, depressing person. I spent the better part of our relationship trying to ‘fix’ her, when she called up with a problem (which is a typical response of a male I might add – when most women just want you to listen to their problems and agree – always agree!). I could see a number of solutions, and never agreed that her issue was a problem, the problem was always her mindset. So we would sit for hours as I would present solutions and she would present problems. My solutions never fit, there was always a reason as to why that answer wouldn’t work for her, in this case. But you know what I learned after while? I’m not her Mother. It’s not my job to fix the negative out of her. Once I was willing to detach myself from her life, from our friendship and from her problems, my relationship with her became much better. So now, I agree that it’s a tough problem, I don’t ask for any information unless she willingly provides it and I find I can agree and be sympathetic. I am also a big believer that some people are bought into you life so that you can be grateful for the things you have and for who you are. She is that for me. I don’t have any problems in comparison to hers.
In the workplace, negative people can ruin your day, your meetings, your projects.
For this, I say, call them out. That negative person, spreading their thoughts on the management or the office and why it’s bad for everybody, stand up for the company you work for, and say, “I don’t feel that way, and I think Management do everything they can so their employees don’t feel that way – why do you?”
Never agree. You are just stooping to their level and letting them spread negativity.
“This project will never be finished on time!”
“Why not? I know I’m doing everything I can to get it finished for the team. Why do you think it won’t get finished? Are you unable to deliver the sections you’ve promised?” By pushing these comments back on them, I feel that it reiterates to them the image and mentality they are portraying to their office.
Don’t be the negative person in your workplace. These people don’t get anywhere quickly, no matter how talented they are.
In all honesty, this post is a bit of an ‘indian gift’ as they call it. Here are my idea’s, now I would really like to hear yours. Negative people who you can’t remove from your life drain you of so much happiness and energy, and I would love to hear of the things that worked for you!