Is your typical day filled with negativity, not from you but from your environment, specifically the people around you?
Being exposed to negativity every day can take its toll on you. Believe me I know. For some people close to me negativity seems to be a way of life. However, other people's negativity shouldn't bring you down. In fact, you can do something to fight it.
It's a given that negative things can and will happen. They're a normal part of life. At work, your boss could be cranky more often than he is happy. At home, it could be that your spouse has had a rough day in the office and can't help but be vocal about it. You can see in these instances that other people's negativity could bring you down or worse, rub off on you. But then you would be a Negativity Nancy/Ned too, and I’m sure you don’t want that, which is why you are here.
You don't have to respond to negativity with negativity. Give these strategies a try:
Take a step back – Know that it's not good for your mental and physical well-being to get dragged into negativity.
Make a commitment to yourself that you'll do everything in your power whenever you're faced with negativity — whether it's from the people around you or your environment. You may be exposed to a lot of negativity at home or at work, but that doesn't mean you don't have the power to focus your efforts on positive things. Negativity can't really drag you down unless you give it the power to.
Be a good listener and keep your opinions to yourself – When you hear other people say negative things about something or someone, it can be tempting to join in and give your two cents' worth.
Don't be suckered into the negative emotional experience. Be a listener instead. Keep your thoughts to yourself because that's one way you can keep yourself out of the negative experience. Don't feed other people's negativity. If you refuse to get sucked in, they'll get the hint that you're not one to participate in such an activity.
Re-direct the topic to a positive one – If you're having a conversation with someone who happens to complain or say unsavory things, change the topic to something that's more positive and less stressful.
If your co-worker tells you how annoying your boss is, for example, ignore the statement and ask her how she's doing on a project that she is happy to be working on.
You can also comment on the positive aspects of the situation, like giving them a little reminder that there is good. This will also let them know that their misery will not get company from you.
Don't join in on the negativity if you're in a group – If two or more people in your group start talking negatively about something, tune yourself out from the negativity.
You can re-direct the others' attention by starting a different topic or you can excuse yourself and come back when they're through talking negatively. Often, though, simply saying nothing is a good way to let the other people in the group know you don't appreciate the negative talk.
Re-direct your attention to something else – One way you can subliminally refuse to get suckered into other people's negativity is to put your attention on something else.
For example, you can start digging in your purse for that receipt you weren't able to find the day before. You can try looking in your briefcase for your appointment book and go through your important upcoming appointments. This will demonstrate your lack of interest in the topic.
Give yourself a big pat on the back – It's important that you acknowledge your being able to avoid joining in the negativity around you. Be proud of what you've done and give yourself a huge pat on the back.
You don't need to get sucked in or be brought down by all the negativity surrounding you. Remove yourself from negative situations and people whenever possible. If it isn't possible, keep reminding yourself that you have the power to not allow negativity to bring you down.
If there's way too much negativity around you, you can simply keep quiet, talk about something positive, or completely ignore it. The trick is not to let it enter your mental or influence your actions.
How do you handle negative situations? Are you regularly around people who always complain?