“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
You may be in daily interaction with negative people, be they friends, family members, a romantic partner or colleague. You love them, you care about them, you can’t just cut them out of your life, but they are negative and their negativity is eating away at you. What can you do?
The best way of dealing with life’s challenges is to take a good look at ourselves and take responsibility for what we think, feel and do. Never give your power away by blaming others for what you have or don’t have, what you feel or don’t feel. Once you do so, you’ll become a victim of circumstance, and instead of using your time and energy to beat life’s challenges, you’ll sink to a dark and miserable place.
Here are 9 smart, positive and effective ways of dealing with the negativity of the people close to you:
- Give up the need to complain.
Make sure you are taking responsibility for your feelings and mood. Don’t go complaining that other people’s negativity is affecting you because it will only create more negativity. Take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings and see what you can do to make yourselves feel better and change the existing situation. “Whoever has limited knowledge of human nature and seeks happiness by changing everything but his own attitude, will waste his life in futile efforts.” ~Samuel Johnson.
- Similarity Attracts
Good brings about good, bad brings about bad, and if we want to or not, we pull into our lives events, situations and people that reflect our internal state. Ask yourselves: “How am I feeling? Am I happy, excited, thankful and calm? Or am I anxious, frustrated and judgmental?” You may find that you yourselves radiate misery to the environment and that part of the negative energy surrounding you is in fact a reflection of yourselves.
- Don’t believe everything you think.
This is definitely one of the hardest things to learn. Look closely at the negative people in your life. What is it about them that get you going? That affects you so much? Is what they are doing really that bad or is your brain playing games with you? Remember, the brain is configured to look for trouble, and one it focuses on someone’s negative qualities, it’ll be very hard to get it to see the positive side of things. It doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Ask yourselves: “Am I ready to find the good in these people? Am I able to see their good qualities?” Let the answers come naturally, make sure you are being honest with yourselves. If you feel like you’re insistent and won’t change the way you are looking at people and situations, don’t give yourselves a hard time. This takes time and patience, and when you are ready, you’ll make this step. Remember, we all do have good in us. “It’s so hard when I NEED to do it and so easy when I WANT to do it.” ~Annie Gottlier.
- Don’t make their problems YOUR problems.
For their sake and yours, make sure you are not adopting their problems and becoming negative about them yourselves. If you want to cure negativity, sliding down right along with the negative person won’t help, just make it worse by validating their thought and behavioral patterns. Rather, focus on solutions, not problems. Offer that and nothing else.
- Taking ownership.
Instead of being a victim and judge, blame and pass criticism, you need to take full responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, and take a different approach. “Everything that annoys us in others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.” ~Carl Jung.
Don’t waste your time obsessing and thinking: “They are ruining my energy, making me miserable; their negative energy is infecting my own…” Instead, say to yourselves: “How can I use this for my advantage? Is there something I’m doing wrong? How can I improve the situation and increase my positive energy to be stronger than their negative energy? What do I learn from all of this?”
- Come with your own positive energy.
Focusing on negative energy cannot create positive energy, and the other way around is also true. Focus on making yourselves happy enough that you have great positive energy, and you will see the negativity cringing away from it. Remember, energy is contagious.
How to put up positive energy? Focus on the things you like about the negative people, focus on things you love about yourselves, life and the world around you. Think of loved ones, of things that make you happy. That way, you will increase the positive energy exponentially. If you incur negative energy by thinking about bad things, the opposite is also true, and you’ll be able to hopefully ‘wake up’ your fellow workers. You can’t focus on them both at the same time, so choose – happiness or misery.
- Be part of the change you’d like to see.
The world is no more than a reflection of who we are, deep inside. Try to go for a feeling of well-being, to live a positive life, a merry life that has love, trust and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot change others, but only ourselves. This is the only way to change the world. Think of it this way: When you are happy, the world seems happy, and the sky is open and blue. When you are sad, the world seems sad as well, and the sky is grey and uncaring, leaving you alone to deal with your pain. Flow with life events, don’t resist them, live in harmony and be the change you wish to see in the world. “Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Never overestimate your power to change others.” ~Wayne W. Dyer.
- Awareness and acceptance
Work on understanding life’s inevitable duality – accept the negative with the good. Don’t harp on people’s negativity, don’t judge or fight them. Let them be, look and accept. Remember, your world is no more real than a reflection of who you are, deep inside. “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of others.” ~Carl Jung.