Managing relationships is hard work. Whether it’s keeping the family together, being there for close friends, or dealing with coworkers, there are bound to be times where negativity can creep in and get the best of you.
Sometimes you can find yourself battling with your own personal feelings and emotions when other times, you may be doing just fine but someone else enters the picture and threatens to ruin your upbeat spirit with their own feelings and bad attitude.
Since the inevitable is bound to happen no matter what we do or think, instead of wishing we could remove negativity altogether from our lives, it’s now time to do something about it.
Below are some of my favorite tips to help you remain in control of your emotions as well as guide you on how handle others when they’re consumed by negativity.
- Give yourself an attitude check. When walking into a meeting, presentation, gathering of friends or even family dinner, make sure your head is in the right place. There have been times that I have walked into a situation happy and upbeat, only to be blasted with negative energy. It only takes one negative person to sway and influence the rest of the room. It’s time for positivity to triumph and be the main influencer. Make a conscious decision to have those in the room raise themselves up and match your energy instead of you going down to match theirs.
- Be solution oriented. It’s so easy to find reasons not to do something or why this or that won’t work. Instead of poking holes or being consumed with the cons, refocus the conversation to the pros. If something simply doesn’t work at all, think of a solution that will work and focus on what you could do to accomplish whatever it is you’re aiming to do.
- Keep like-minded company. There’s something to that old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Are you mindful of your flock and the company you keep? If you’re surrounding yourself with negative people, it can take a serious toll on your mental health. Constantly listening and trying to build someone up who refuses to see any resolution will ultimately wear you down. Identify people who share your enthusiasm and outlook and reach out to them.
- Challenge pessimistic thinking. Many times people complain just to complain and what they’re saying may be false. If what they’re saying simply isn’t true, redirect them in a positive way and help show them that it may not be as bad as they think. If the problem is real and true, talk it out with them and help give reasoning and rationale as to why it is — share what you know. It may not change the attitude immediately but it will build trust and shows them that someone is listening and willing to help.
- Know that you can’t change other people. One of the biggest breakthroughs for me personally was the realization that I couldn’t fix or change how others behave. So many times I was frustrated with situations completely beyond my control and I felt so powerless as to how to fix it. Once I started focusing on the things I could control — myself and my own actions, thoughts, beliefs — I became so much happier. I realized it wasn’t the situation that was bad — it was how I was viewing and dealing with it. This positive mental shift has made a dramatic impact on my personal and professional life.
And last but not least, is a bonus tip, inspired by my daughter:
- Turn it around. This is a saying that I started to use at home with my children on an as-needed basis. My 7-year old daughter battles with using words to express her feelings and she gets easily frustrated. Once I see her start down that spiral of negativity, I give her a huge smile, get her to focus on me and say three simple words: “Turn it around.” It’s become a code in our house for taking control of the situation and not letting yourself get too worked up. The funny thing about it is this has come in handy for me in personal and professional situations. Just recently I was in a meeting where a co-worker and myself were clearly disagreeing and I was going down a negative path. In my head I told myself these simple words and was able to maintain my composure and get in the right frame of mind to come up with a comparable solution.
So are you ready to turn it around and help me win this battle against negativity? What are some of the tricks you use to help stay positive and deal with negative people?
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