All negativity is an illusion created by the limited
mind to protect and defend itself.
Is negativity dragging you down? Everyday, you are probably exposed to a variety of people and situations that are negative. Some you may perceive as positive, others as neutral and still others as very negative. If the unpleasant ones seem to be taking up the majority of your life and time, it is time to get proactive and do something about it!
Unfortunately, negative experiences are a natural part of our lives. Perhaps your colleague or boss got up on the wrong side of bed today and is a bit cranky. Or maybe your partner had an awful day at work and is being really vocal about it. These situations can set you up for potential negative experiences. But, remember that how you respond to negative stimuli is the key to overcoming.
Strategies you can use:
1. Step back a bit. Acknowledge that getting involved in negativity is not usually good for you. The first thing to do is to be aware of the potential of jumping into a stream of negativity. If you are truly connected to the idea that you wish to bring much more positivity into your life, you will need to be more focused about making efforts to keep the negativity away.
Make a firm commitment to yourself that you will do whatever is necessary to avoid engaging and getting sucked into the whirlpool of negativity. Understanding that negativity runs counter to your current life goals will help motivate you to abstain from participating in it.
2. Listen well. That’s it! Listening does not always require commenting. Other’s negative remarks can be so seductive. Many of us allow ourselves to get pulled into the emotional experience of the situation being discussed. However, if you employ active listening but refrain from commenting you can avoid making the experience your own. Additionally, those who are bringing negativity your way will begin to refrain from doing so in the future if you refuse to exhibit signs of emotional reactions and do nothing to reinforce them.
3. Change the subject. When you feel that you have had enough or the conversation turns unsavory, why not bring up something that’s less stressful and / or more positive? For example, if your co-worker says she’s annoyed with your supervisor, you could inquire about another project that she’s pleased to be working on.
4. Ignore it. If you are in a group, simply ignore the negativity. Most likely, if there are 2 or 3 other people present, when a de-structure discussion starts you can usually get by with ignoring the negativity or excusing yourself from the room. Sometimes you can make the biggest impression or the grandest statement of your feelings by saying nothing at all.
5. Do something else. Make an effort to be involved in something else. Involving yourself in something that matters to you is a great method for subliminally refusing to participate in another person’s negativity. Start looking through your purse for that receipt that you couldn’t find last night. Search through your briefcase for your schedule book or that file with the information you wanted earlier.
6. Give yourself a boost. Psychologically reinforce your efforts. Say to yourself, “You handled that very well.” Or “It was a great idea to leave the table when they all started criticizing how the boss handled something.” Allow yourself to feel proud of yourself in your decision about not joining in all the negativity around you.
Avoid letting the negativity of others bring you down. Instead know that you’d rather not be exposed to such chronic situations and people on a regular basis. When negativity blossoms all around you, listen and say nothing, change the subject or ignore it. Reinforce your efforts to avoid habitual negativity every day and you can say good bye to non constructive or destructive thoughts.
How do you combat the negativity of your friends and acquaintances?