All of us, at one point or another, have seen the glass half empty rather than half full, but if we continually surround ourselves with half empties, we inevitably start feeling…well…empty. In pure mathematical terms, 1/2 empty + 1/2 empty = 1 empty. Now, if you have a lot of 1/2 empties in your life…you inevitably end up with an infinite empty glass. But, I digress.
We all have negative moments, but those individuals who are constantly negative and never see the positive can bring us down and drain our energy. Whether a child, a spouse or a co-worker is fraught with negativity, we are most benefited by being positive ourselves. When we are surrounded by negativity, however, it can be especially challenging. As a result, use some of these tips in dealing with the negativity that effects you:
- Don't Argue: People who are generally negative do not respond positively to arguing. Instead of seeing your point, arguing will only reinforce an already bad attitude. They tend to see a positive person's arguing as lack of validation and will only become more defensive.
- Ask for Specific Examples: Generalities are commonplace among those who are negative. Asking them for specific examples, however, forces them to really think about what they are saying. It will help them to either see that they are being too harsh or unrealistic…or will help them to get to the real heart of the matter of what is causing their negativity.
- Point out the Positive: As corny as this may seem, I'm a believer in the saying, "Everything happens for a reason." Finding the silver lining to unhappy situations can potentially "rub off" on those who tend to focus on the negative. Don't overdo it, however, as too much positivity can come off as insincere and more frustrating than anything else. Try to shed positive light with a balanced approach…understand and validate their feelings and perspectives, but point out the sunny side of the situation.
- Counteract with Warmth: As difficult as it may seem, try to approach these individuals with a loving and open heart. These individuals are often unhappy, lonely and in desperate need of attention. Showing them some kindness and warmth may go a long way to change their perspective and potentially encourage them to be more positive. Try to actively listen to the individual and ask how you might help. Just a genuine, empathetic ear might go a long way.
- Get Physical: What I mean here is that it might pay to show some affection towards those who are negative. A touch of the hand or a hug can break down negativity even faster than words. Many individuals who are fraught with negativity feel unloved and as a result, crave affection.
- Avoid the Negativity: If worst comes to worse and the above tips don't work, try to spend less time with those who just don't get it. Although we can't remove some people from our lives all together, chronic negativity can be extremely debilitating and take a toll on your own outlook and well being. Being positive takes work and the more you can spend time with individuals who emote positivity, the better off you'll be. You might want to encourage those who are close to you to seek help or professional counseling. However, for your own sanity, maintain strong boundaries with those individuals so you can maintain a healthy outlook.
How do you deal with people are constantly negative?
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