“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
Ever notice how spending time with negative people can be absolutely exhausting? And yet, when you spend time with happy, loving people, you come away feeling refreshed.
Which one do you wanna be? I’ll take happy and loving, any day. How about you?
The Negative Co-Worker: How I Accidentally Lost a Friend In my early 20s, I went through some stuff. Ultimately, I got divorced and ended up being a single mom (though four years later, I remarried and had two more kids – we’ve been together 15 years now).
Anyway, back then, I got an office job and quickly met a co-worker fellow single mom.
We instantly clicked and became fast friends and lunch buddies. At first, I did what I do: as an empath, I tend to be able to talk to anyone by bringing myself to their energy levels and finding things we share in common.
But after awhile, I realized that my new friend was kinda…well, negative. Every day at lunch and on breaks, all she would do is complain about all the things that were wrong with her life.
Oh, and if it wasn’t what was wrong with HER, it was what she didn’t like about everyone else in the office.
At first, I tried to influence her in a positive way without actually mentioning to her that the negativity bothered me. And when that didn’t work, I verbally explained that it made me uncomfortable when she gossiped or indulged in a lot of unnecessary negative stuff.
She ignored it. And yeah.
It made me pretty crazy, I’m not going to lie to you. But soon, I got a clue and started joining a larger group for lunch. My friend didn’t like that – she wanted to be one-on-one, and even though I invited her to join me, she never did, instead preferring to eat alone or with one of the temps, now and then.
This co-worker may have even been a narcissist – and an introverted one at that. But not every negative person is a narcissist.
How to deal with negative people (without becoming one)
Is someone’s negativity bringing you down? Every day, you’re most likely exposed to a variety of situations.
Some, you’ll perceive as positive, others neutral, and others negative. If the unpleasant ones seem to be the majority in your life, just know that it’s all up to you – which means YOU can change that.
Is it really possible to stay positive around negative people?
The short answer is yes, it is possible. Keep reading – I”ll explain how.
Can we completely eliminate negative people from our lives?
Up to a point, you can. Unfortunately, a certain number negative experiences can be a natural part of life.
Maybe your boss got up on the wrong side of the bed today and is a bit cranky. Or maybe your spouse had a rough day at work and is being really vocal about it – or the kids are fighting (again) over something that seems pointless.
These types of situations can set you up for potential negative experiences.
So how do you respond when you’re dealing with someone who is negative?
6 Good-Mood Hacks for Dealing with Negative People
Try the following strategies to help you get centered and try to stay positive around negative people.
1. Step back. Acknowledge that getting involved in negativity is not good for you. The first thing to do is recognize the results of jumping into the stream of negativity. If you truly connect with the idea that you wish to bring only positivity into your life, you’ll be more focused on making efforts to do so.
Commit to yourself that you’ll do whatever is necessary to avoid engaging with negativity. Having the awareness that negativity runs counter to your life goals will motivate you to abstain from participating in it.
2. Listen well; then withhold comment. Others’ negative remarks can feel quite seductive. Many of us allow ourselves to be pulled in to the emotional experience of the situation being discussed. However, if you listen actively, but refrain from commenting, you can avoid making the experience your own.
Plus, those who are bringing negativity your way will avoid doing so in the future since you didn’t sign on with their emotional reactions and did nothing to reinforce them.
3. Change the subject. When you’ve just heard some unsavory words, why not bring up something that’s less stressful and more positive? For example, if your co-worker says she’s annoyed with your supervisor, you could ask her how another project she’s pleased to be working on is progressing.
4. If you’re in a group, simply ignore the negativity. Most likely, if there are two or three others present when an nonconstructive discussion starts up, you can get by with ignoring the negativity or excusing yourself from the room. Sometimes, you can express the most by saying nothing at all.
5. Make an effort to be involved in something else. Involving yourself in something that matters to you is a great method of subliminally refusing to participate in others’ negativity. Look through your handbag for that receipt you couldn’t find last night. Search your briefcase for your schedule book or that file with the information you wanted earlier.
6. Psychologically reinforce your efforts. Say to yourself, “You handled that really well.” or “It was a great idea to leave the table when they all started criticizing how the boss handled something.”
Allow yourself to feel proud of yourself about not joining in with the negativity around you. Avoid letting others’ negativity bring you down.
Instead, recognize that you’d rather not be exposed to such situations and people. When negativity blooms around you, listen and say nothing, change the subject, or ignore it. Reinforce your efforts to avoid habitual negativity every single day, and you can say good-bye to nonconstructive thoughts.
What would you add? What do you consider the best ways to stay positive around negative people? Share your thoughts in the comments, below.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” -Tony Robbins
Today is the very first day of the rest of your life. Today, you get to decide exactly who you are, what you’ll accept and how your day will go. You are powerful and you are in charge. Now, let’s do this.
Create Rules For Your Life That Serve You Well
Having rules that govern your life, behavior, and choices might seem confining and restrictive. But there’s a profound freedom that comes from living by a set of rules that you’ve chosen for yourself. You can refrain from toiling over as many decisions.
It’s pretty easy, really.
You just follow your own rules.
For example, let’s say you had the rule that you’re never going to lie to your partner. Because that’s a rule, you never have to ask yourself whether you should tell the truth. And you don’t struggle to keep track of which lie you told him or her–fact is, you know what you said because you said what was true.
Bam–huge amount of stress–gone! When you follow the rules you make and never go rogue, you avoid the drama and the emotional drain. In the case of our example, you simply tell the truth and get on with life. Easy–simple–underrated.
How to Create Life Rules That Work FOR You
Develop your own set of rules for each aspect of your life. Rules provide the framework for having a more productive and stress-free life.
Need help creating a unique set of rules for your own life? Check out this example for some inspiration.
1. I always go to bed and get up at times that provide me with the opportunity to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
2. I refrain from checking email before 10 AM or after 4 PM.
3. I refuse to answer the phone when I’m spending time with my family.
4. I tell everyone in my family that I love them at least once per day.
5. I accept full responsibility for all outcomes in my life, both good and bad.
6. I read a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
7. I speak to all of my friends at least once each month.
8. I meditate every night for 10 minutes before I go to sleep.
9. Before bed, I make a list of the most important items to complete the following day.
And so on.
Why You Need the Rules
Each week, we all make choices that result in guilty or remorseful feelings. But we also make tough decisions that we know are correct. Having a list of rules for your behavior makes it easier to make wise decisions with less mental turmoil.
Your rules can move you closer to your goals, as well as remove frustration from your life.
More Help: Tips to Flesh Out Your Life Rules
1. Make a list of your most important goals. It’s helpful to have goals related to your finances, health, family, and personal accomplishments. If you know your goals, you can develop rules that support them.
2. What are your values? When you’re behaving in a manner that’s congruent with your values, you’ll be much happier and more successful.
3. What obstacles stand in your way? How do you waste time? What are your weaknesses? Rules that eliminate or minimize the challenges in your life are worthwhile.
4. What example do you want to set for your children? If you have children, what do you want them to see when they watch you? They’re always watching, even if you think they aren’t.
Most of us are striving for a greater degree of freedom, and rules seem like a limit to freedom. However, you free up a lot of mental resources when you make important decisions beforehand. If your rule is to exercise every day, then you can avoid having to spend 20 minutes deciding whether or not to exercise. You just do it.
Assignment: Draft Your Personal Life Rules
Take the time to make your own set of rules. The number doesn’t matter. Start with a couple and add more as you see fit. Make some rules for yourself in order to set yourself free.
Take a few moments to come up with a working draft of your personal life rules.
Document the rules, either on paper on electronically.
Do this exercise in your personal journal (online or offline) and/or your blog.
“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.” – John Schaar
Life is full of surprises. In an average day, we all encounter a seemingly endless number of unexpected events can occur that might create stress, worry, and frustration.
But instead of letting these negative emotions take over, what if you were to make a conscious decision to have a great day?
Try these techniques to bring joy to each day:
Use self-suggestion.First thing in the morning, make a conscious decision to have a great day. As you’re brushing your teeth, look yourself in the eye. Tell yourself, “I’m going to have a great day,” and mean it. This is your chance to set yourself up for a fantastic day, whether you’ll be with your family, at work, or hanging out with friends.
Empower yourself. You’re taking controlof what might have turned into a negative situation when you decide to allow events to just roll on by and not affect you adversely. Take the bull by the horns and state to yourself what you will and won’t do in a challenging situation.
Own your mood. Refuse to allow someone or something other than yourself to ruin your day.When you do this, you’re saying “no” to negativity. You’re taking a stand. When you’re resolved in this way, your healthy stubbornness will ensure you have a great day.
Recognize what really matters. When you encounter a challenging situation, prompt yourself to see the bigger picture. If one part of a project isn’t going well, identify that you’ve been in similar circumstances before and will most likely be in them again someday. Know, however, that such situations don’t last, and easy times will come again, too.
Remind yourself of the positive.Remember that you still have other things to do today and the trying situation isn’t the only event you’ll encounter. Before the day is out, you might win the lottery or get that promotion you’ve wanted. Or maybe all the traffic lights will be green on your way home. Whether big or small, positive things are likely to happen today.
Consider a challenging event as an adventure. When you look back, you’ll find that many prior situations that you were initially disappointed in turned out to be great opportunities for you. Shift your paradigm from “Oh, this is bad” to “This could be interesting.”
Discover the silver lining. What are the positives about a trying situation? You may feel challenged at first to find something positive about a difficult occurrence. However, with some practice, this will become easier. You’ll eventually be able to identify what the real beauty of the tough event is.
When life gets you down,you always have a choice. You can either let yourself be completely overtaken with the weight of your challenge or decide to have a great day.
Turn negative situations into adventures and seek the silver lining in every challenging event. You have all the power you need within you to make your life as enjoyable as you want it to be!
Have you heard about Mindbloom? It’s a computer game that’s devoted to helping you grow the life you want. I first heard about it when a client asked me to investigate it for a story about an insurance company which had contracted with the game’s creator in order to offer a special version of Mindbloom to its insured members.
Can playing a computer game lead to personal wellness? Mindbloom thinks it’s possible.
The Life Game Mindbloom created gives each player a tree, on which each branch represents a different area in your life, including health, spirituality, relationships, leisure, lifestyle, finances, creativity and career.
As I understand it, you start out with three leaves of your choice and as you progress, you can add additional leaves. The leaves represent your passions, goals and dreams in regard to each “branch” of your life.
As you meet self-set goals for each leaf, you earn seeds, which allow you to continue to grow your tree. Each time you “level up” with new seeds, Mindbloom says you learn “one of the most important life lessons,” that each of us has the “ability to grow the life we want if we take one small step every day.”
The more you achieve in the game, the more “experience” you get in the game–and that experience helps when you connect with friends and family on the game.
“It’s important to remember that like life itself, the game is not about the end result, but it’s about the journey,” says Mindbloom’s website. “Know that your goals, passions, and dreams will continually change and as long as you are taking small steps everyday and having fun, then you’ve already won!”
Does it work?
I believe it could be very useful to someone who is committed to playing regularly. Just about anyone who can read could play the game as it doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge and walks you through each step very clearly. Mindbloom even sends you a daily nudge to remind you to meet your goals for the day.
I think Mindbloom has potential, especially for people who might need help sticking to their personal development goals. It’s fun and easy to play, and though I’ve only got one friend on the game so far, I think playing with more friends and family members might make it even better.
What are people saying?
“I love Mindbloom, and I hope to soon have a full tree with TONS of branches and actions, which will help me get my life and my personal relationships back on track!” ~Angie Marion, A Simple Kinda Life
“My days can get buried in so much busyness that these daily reminders help keep me on track with what’s important to me. It is the one e-mail I am excited to get each morning. It’s like having a good friend giving you a little positive poke!” ~Andrea Fellman, Savvy Sassy Moms
“We’ve just skimmed the surface thus far, but already it seems like a great idea for a new kind of social game, paired with a great execution and a nice, clean interface. Here’s hoping it can actually motivate us to lose that extra 15 pounds we’ve been nursing since we graduated college.” ~Kyle Orland, Games Blog
“Mindbloom offers a useful but playful way to set good intentions, stay on top of your commitments, and follow through on your promises. It also helps you identify the parts of your life that need more attention to be paid.” ~Christine Thompson, Musings of a Marketing Maven
So what do you say?
I say give it a shot. What have you got to lose? Mindbloom is free to play and just might be a 21st century way to give your journey to fulfillment the little boost it needs.
Have you played Mindbloom yet? What did you think? If you haven’t tried it, will you? Tell me in the comments!
If you could write a letter to yourself and send it back in time 20 years (or five or 10, depending on your age), what would it say? Would you tell yourself that things would get better? Would you give yourself some valuable piece of advice that you didn’t learn until you were older? Would you send back some winning lottery numbers? Maybe tell yourself not to date that loser who broke your heart?
Twenty years ago, I was 16. It seems so long ago sometimes. Other times, it feels like yesterday.
At 16, I was selfish, self-absorbed, emotional, dramatic…overly sensitive…you get the idea. I was probably pretty typical that way. I was also creative and growing into a “real” person. I was independent and dependent, all at once. I liked to consider myself unusual, unique–uncommon. I thought I was dark and disturbed, and in fact, succeeded in making some of the people around me believe it too.
If I could send my 16-year-old self a letter, there are definitely a few things I’d like her to know–even though she probably wouldn’t listen anyway. I’d tell her: (more…)