Sunday, July 21, 2013

How to stay positive around negativity.

Have you ever come across one of those people that is constantly angry or unhappy?  Its like they have the ability to find the ONE moth in a room full of butterflies.  You don't know how to talk to them, and after a few minutes its impossible to even listen to them speak.  Their pessimistic view on life are so strong that nothing you can do or say will ever change the way they see the world.  I call these people "Mr. Impossible".  Its just impossible to get through to them because they are not ready to see the other side yet.  I know that a lot of people try to REASON with Mr. Impossible, and some even go as far as arguing with people like that, but I can tell you from experience (as being around Mr. Impossible, and being Mr. Impossible myself for a while) that there is not much you can do when around those people.

When you engage in a conversation with a negative person, you have to learn to guard your mind, or their negativity will seep into you and your thoughts will start becoming negative.  Even by getting angry at a pessimistic person for their pessimism is allowing their thoughts to invade your own.  You have to be able to keep your emotions and thoughts positive, no matter what outside influence is trying to get to you.  That includes not getting frustrated or angry at those who are negative.

So for this blog, I am going to help you (AND MYSELF) know how to react in a situation when you find yourself in a conversation with Mr. Impossible.  Hopefully you will learn how to stay positive no matter what type of person you encounter, because in life you will meet thousands of negative people.

If this is the first time this person has come to you with an issue they're having, listen and be thoughtful.  You can try to aid them in their issue, but always do so in a positive mindset.  Every single person has their bad days.  In those cases, they might just need help in seeing the good, and will be very grateful that you can help them see the positives in what they once perceived as a negative.  Do not participate in complaining but rather try to help them see the good in a situation.  If they are unable to see the good, they are not ready to make the mental changes needed to improve the situation.

If this person comes to your repeatedly with the same issue, its time to disengage.  They may exaggerate an issue or constantly find different reasons to be upset over the same thing.  It is not healthy to be on the receiving end of these types of complainers, because it can cause you to start thinking negatively.  In this case, you need to either change the topic of conversation, or respond with a simple "Okay" or "I see" and then leave the conversation completely.  Mr. Impossible might see this in a negative way, but that's okay, because that is what they were looking for, and you cannot change the way they think.

Its always best to avoid negative conversations in the first place, but they will undoubtedly happen.  The first rule when in the company of a negative person is not to make their problems your problems.  When people feel the need to VENT they want to express their frustration.  You are not required to get frustrated with them, and it is mentally unhealthy to do so.  Keep the conversation short and do not feed into their pessimism by validating their thoughts, simple say that you understand they are frustrated, and you hope they can find peace in their situation and end the conversation.

Another very important key to dealing with negative people is to remember that it is not take anything they say personally.  Some people like to complain and vent to you about your own behavior (I am constantly finding myself doing this, and this blog is actually to help me more than anyone else.)  By allowing yourself to think negatively about a pessimistic person, you are taking on their emotions and twisting them against that person.  It is important to remember that a negative thinker is not a BAD person, but a person with inner turmoil, and your job is to understand the WHY instead of being angry.  It is never a good idea to be combative towards a negative thinker.  Be kind, be respectful, and be understanding that their emotions are their own.  When you become defensive or angry with them, you are feeding into the negativity.  Your mental health is your responsibility, so when you allow someone else's feelings or thoughts invade your mind, you are not taking control of your own response.  Keep in mind that when someone comes to you with a problem, it is because they need validation.  When you argue with them over that fact, they are going to become even more angry or frustrated and you will have effectively validated their feelings.

Let it go.  Remind yourself over and over "THESE ARE NOT MY FEELINGS AND I DON'T NEED TO FEEL THEM."

Stay positive, no matter what the topic.  If it is based on you, then walk away, if it is based on a third party, remember that people have millions of different ways to deal with life, and it is not our job to judge or condemn them.  Always remind yourself that you are not in charge of how others think, you are only responsible for how YOU think.

If all else fails, walk away.  If you find yourself feeling negative after a conversation with a pessimist, take a moment to meditate. Really let your mind settle and repeat to yourself, "These are not my feelings and I will always see the good in people."

One of the biggest challenges I've found in staying positive is when you have a personal connection with a negative thinker.  When a family member or spouse is constantly negative, you have to deal with them on a constant basis and its not always possible to walk away.  In this case, it is important that you let the person know, in a completely non threatening way, that their negativity is very contagious and that you wish to stay a positive person.  You have to let them know how you are feeling.  By saying something along the lines of "I understand that you are frustrated/angry/annoyed.  I fully respect that it is your choice to feel those emotions, but I am asking you to please not share them with me."  The recipient may take this in many ways.  Remember to constantly remind them that you love them, that you will not stop loving them based on their negative thoughts, but that you no longer wish to participate in those conversations.  Do not threaten, insult, or harm them in any way, just let them know that you can no longer mentally take on any more negativity.  Eventually, they will try to be more positive, or they will walk away.  Whatever happens, remember its their choice.  You will always see the good in them.

You can always find the good in someone if you look for it.
The Happiest Woman Alive

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