Even the less observant realize that there is a wave of negativity flowing through our culture at this time. For some there seems to be an underlying irritation and anger at life and their surroundings. Fortunately there are others, like me, who see a wave of hope as well. When the crushing weight of negativity comes forth, it almost feels like a call to arms. Good versus evil. I know it isn’t that extreme, but it can feel like that at times. With the tension growing as there seems to be a larger soapbox for negative energy, it is more important than ever that those bringing light to speak up. So the next time you encounter a wave of negativity, try one of these methods so you don’t get pulled down.
Here are 10 ways to deal with negative people in your life.
- Try not to judge or assume anything. By prejudging someone you don’t leave room to be open to what they are saying. Often the message lies within the anger and you have to be open to hear it. Trust me…when you aren’t open, your body language will shows it. Be sure to mirror the behavior you wish to see.
- Sometimes it just isn’t worth it. When you find yourself getting angry, decide whether the issue is worth losing your peace. If it is important, carefully move forward but if not, then walk away. As Sri Chinmoy, a spiritualist who founded the World Harmony Run, once said…“You may have every right to be angry with someone, but you know that by getting angry with him you will only lose your precious peace of mind.”
- Send the right message. Listen and be compassionate, but never justify their bad behavior. That is one message you don’t want to send. All that does is encourage them. Instead, try to redirect their energy into a behavior that will bring about change and less drama.
- Hide your buttons. No matter how loud your head is screaming, try not to react in anger. When people are in dark places they look for your buttons and try to get you to engage. They either want you to join in or fight. Don’t go there.
- Create a positive space around you and protect it. If the person you are talking to is way too negative, then you may not be able to keep yourself safe. The last thing you need is for the negativity to jump. Try to be positive and if all else fails….get out of there!
- Change your interactions. For those who are close to you and seem to be in a perpetual “mood”, don’t feed into it by spending hours allowing them to vent. It is okay to get someone through a rough day. But if the days seem to be more bad than good, ask yourself if what you are doing is really helping. Instead of spending an hour on the phone complaining, invite them to go to a movie, a live comedy show or band or even to work out…do something that doesn’t allow for a lot of talk time and will lift their spirits.
- Out fact them. This can be a tricky technique and I don’t always advise going there because it can be risky. Listen to the discussion and non-aggressively question the facts compared with what you know to be true. The key….non-aggressively! For instance, if they claim something crazy, calmly act surprised and note that the claim is interesting….and seem sincere. Then share what you had heard about it. If done in the right tone it doesn’t sound threatening. Take a little time to discuss the tiny pieces. With enough patience, the claim will destruct on its own. This doesn’t happen overnight and can take years, BUT it works!
- Catch them before they crash. If you see someone is heading down a negative path…try to derail them by being a positive force in their life. Be an example. If they see you living a happy life with a positive outlook, they just might join you!
- Find the loophole. Many negative arguments are built quickly and on shaky foundation. Listen to hear where the anger is truly coming from and focus on helping to heal that part of the issue. Sometimes the wave will stop once the hole is plugged!
- Simply avoid them. I have encountered people in my life who have all shades of darkness within them. After years of trying to help, I realized I was getting nowhere. The only way for me to remove their darkness from my life, was for me to remove them. Now I value my energy more and recognize that I choose where to spend it. Although I am always willing to open my heart…I no longer let it bleed out.
Hopefully you rarely encounter negative people in your life, but if you do maybe one of these techniques will help you to avoid being taken out by the wave. If you think of something that isn’t on the list, share it here with your OWN family at TheDailyOWN. We are always looking for ideas on how to ride the positive wave!