We all have to deal with negative people at some point. How do you deal with it?
You need to be conscious of the impact it has on you. I can recall when I’ve been around the negative energy and attitude of someone and the next thing I know I’m unloading negativity onto someone else.
Just stay away from negative people. Eliminate them from your life. Who cares what they think… Right?
It’s really not quite that easy, so then what?
Some people are chronically negative. They are always complaining. Finding the bad in everything. The Eeyore’s of the world.
With others it may be out of character but something has triggered them to be in a mood.
A while ago I wrote, “The Crowd’s Chanting ‘Airball’… You’re Thinking, ‘NEXT!’” I talked about how you have to deal with negativity by moving on. I used a Tweet from Gary Vaynerchuk as an example where he said “I just don’t give a @$%& about what anybody thinks about me, because they don’t know who the *&^% I am inside.”
But here’s the thing. The context of that article was talking about the impact of your own negative self-talk and the negative feedback from social media. Sometimes the “I don’t care” attitude and brushing them off might be the answer, but not all the time.
When you consciously prepare for something before it happens, you are better able to deal with it when you’re actually in the situation because you can stop yourself from reacting based on emotions.
When you have to deal with negative people, keep these four points in mind:
Decide Your Response and Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Sucked In
You always have the choice to decide your response. In Man’s search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
It doesn’t matter how negative, nasty or degrading someone is to you. You are always the one choosing how you respond. Don’t let your emotions dictate your reaction and suck you into their negativity.
Don’t Let Their Problem Become Your Problem
Often, when someone is spewing their negativity onto you, it really has nothing to do with you at all. But they want someone on their side. They want someone to agree with them or just listen to them on whatever it is they are ranting about.
It’s not your job to justify their negativity, fix their problem or take it upon yourself. Don’t allow yourself to become everyone’s problem solver and become infected with their negativity.
Hold Your Tongue
This one can be a challenge. There will be times that it’s not just a negative person you are dealing with. Sometimes they will be attacking you, someone you love, your thoughts or your goals.
When this happens you need to stand up for yourself, right? Will it really change anything if you do? You might feel like you have to justify your thoughts or actions, but you don’t.
“In life, it’s important to know when to stop arguing with people and simply let them be wrong.”
Don’t Let Them Change Your Path
If someone tells you that your dreams are unrealistic, should you change them? As you read that I’m sure you thought to yourself, “of course not.” But are you sure? Have you ever been excited about something only to share it with someone and you were deflated after you saw their response? Maybe they even laughed at it or told you that you’re crazy.
I’m blessed with the most supportive wife in the world. From day one, I’ve been able to come to her with any of my crazy dreams and she’s automatically by biggest supporter and cheerleader.
Recently we were discussing some of our business ideas and activities and she made a comment that crushed me. For the first time in my life I felt like I didn’t have her support in something that I was excited about. I began questioning myself. What am I thinking? Why did I think I could or should do this? But I was able to gather myself and remember the thought and preparation I had put into the idea before beginning it, and I knew it was the right thing.
Luckily I also soon realized that I misinterpreted her comment and she’s still my number one supporter!
When you know you’re on the right path, don’t let the negativity of someone else change it.
Our attitudes are a choice that we have. Just as someone’s negative attitude or personality can have an impact on others, your positive attitude and excitement can have an impact on others as well.
Everyone is dealing with some kind of challenge. Be the light in their life!
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