Naysayers; they truly are the barnacles of the business world, aren’t they?
Just when you think you’ve scraped them off the bottom of your life boat they come back with vengeance spreading their negativity like the disease it is, and just like real barnacles; they’re gross. Who wants to hang out with someone that’s constantly complaining or taking their stress out on others?
Hey there negative Nancy (or Ned – because we’re not sexist here at The Social Nurse),
You’re stinking up the joint with your negative funk.
If you want to ruin your own career, and life in general, by putting every negative thought you have on display for all the world to see, far be it from me to stop you; but you’re messing up my life too, dang it.
Today, I’ll give you 3 simple strategies you can easily employ when trying to stay positive around negative people. Before you read any further, it’s important that I tell you these aren’t ways to avoid negative people, but ways to help you work better with them.
On that note, let’s get going!
Remove Their Lifeline
Negative people love to complain to others, so the most effective way to stop their negativity is to stop tolerating it. You may not be a negative person, but if you’re encouraging a negative person by listening to rant after rant, then you’re just as much of the problem as they are.
If you have an employee or co-worker that’s constantly complaining try taking yourself out of the equation.
Negative Nancy: This deadline is completely unmanageable!
Positive Polly (that’s you!): You have so many great qualities Nancy, but your negativity during this project is making it hard for me to stay positive. Can you please stop complaining so I can do my job to the best of my ability?
Under the unlikely circumstance they tell you no, you can simply walk away.
If they don’t like it, tell them I said it was okay.
Supply Positive Reinforcement
If someone’s being negative, try offsetting said negativity with a positive force.
Negative Ned: This coffee is disgusting. It’s ridiculous that we work so hard for a company that’s too cheap to buy good coffee!
Positive Patty (it’s you, again!): Did you know there are offices that don’t get free coffee at all? I’m just glad we’re not one of them because I love my caffeine!
The power of positivity is strong, so use it wisely my friends.
Believe it or not, some negative people don’t know they’re negative. Generally speaking, their bad behavior is the product of insecurity, fear, a muddy emotional history, or all of the above. The majority of these people could be “cured” with a storm of uplifting words, so bring the rain. Be the person that speaks life into them.
Negative Noelle: Of course I didn’t get the promotion; our boss has never liked me!
Positive Paul (still you!): I want you to know you’re doing a great job and I believe in your success here!
Just like that; you shined a little light on someone’s day, while simultaneously deflecting negativity. Wasn’t that easy? And the best part is everyone wins!
There you have them; 3 things, that if used properly, can change your career, and even life, in an instant.
Please keep in mind that being a negative person doesn’t make you a bad person, so please handle one another with respect and kindness regardless of the circumstances.
Love people. Enjoy life.
Until next time,
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