Dealing With Negative People
A great chasm separates positive and negative people and it is a river filled with possibilities and opportunities that positive people dive into and negative people avoid for fear of drowning. Dealing with negative people can certainly feel that way at times especially when the interactions are lengthy.
The irony of the situation is that negative people seem to seek out positive people to share the woes of their lives. There are two main reasons why a negative person would seek out positive people – they want to change themselves or they want to change others. Common wisdom suggests that a burden shared is a lighter one. It is certainly true that negative people could feel better after hearing an alternative view or new ideas for changing a negative situation. Dealing with negative people who are trying to get uplifted and guided in a new direction can be a rewarding challenge for a positive person. It these circumstances it may well be worth the effort if involves an important relationship as the person seems ready and willing to change.
Alternatively, certain negative people seem to seek out ways to stay stuck in their misery and interact with positive people as though they are trying to convince the positive person to join their ranks in misery. Dealing with negative people that act as though negativity is the way everyone should see the world can be destructive. Under such circumstances, it is best to avoid or limit interaction with the negative person. This type of negative person is resisting thoughts, ideas or actions that would require them to leave their state of negativity. It is often thought that the reason they are unwilling to change is due to the reward that their negativity brings – lots of attention and release of responsibility for their action or inaction.
Three easy steps
There are three easy steps that can to taken by a positive person when dealing with negative people summarized as Stop, Start, Continue. First is Stop. Stop jumping to solutions when the negative person shares their concerns. Rather listen to how they tell their stories and look for clues as to the willingness and interest in changing paths. Start to clarify comments using active listening skills. Ask what they meant when certain statements seem to be directly at you. Start observing their actions and dialogue when around people other than you. Continue to focus on topics that do not seem to receive negative commentary. Also, continue to vigilantly mark the time you spend alone in the company of negative people. The goals should be to help the negative person feel heard, respected and acknowledged and only when there is readiness, to offer alternative solutions to their unique situations. It is never possible to fully understand everything that comprises the world of hurt that a negative person may be feeling.
In the end, when dealing with negative people, remember you cannot change what they are unwilling to accept for themselves. You can just say no to negativity for yourself and direct more of your energy to others around you that fill you up with positive feelings.
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