“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.
At times, you may go through challenging experiences in life. You may find yourself wondering how you ended up in a certain place, physically or emotionally.
At these times, confronting your own choices can feel challenging. You may find it easier to see where others were wrong.
Blaming others for the way your life is going is a common reaction to life’s curve balls. After all, when you point the finger at others, you’re initially soothed by the idea that you haven’t made any mistakes in the situation. But eventually, you’re left with just yourself, and blaming others takes away your sense of your own power.
You can’t change other peoples’ actions – only your own. So you must figure out how to pick up and go on with life. The best way to do this is to cease blaming others and resolve the situation within yourself.
Consider these ideas to stop blaming others and regain your own power.
Take complete responsibility for your own life. Whether you’re married, single, have kids or are childless, acknowledge that only you decide how your life is going to manifest. It’s all about you.
* Although it may once have been someone else’s fault (your mother, father, boss, or partner), now that you know what the issues are, it’s your responsibility to fix them. Your life is the way it is because of you. Take ownership.
* From here on, consider it a cop-out when you blame someone else for the choices you make.
*Admittedly, this is bad news and good news at the same time. After all, if you want your life to change and you believe you’re responsible for it, this means that you hold all the power you need to make your life just the way you want. This also means you have no one else to blame but yourself.
Learn from the past. Consider a couple of specific incidents when you blamed another person for your choices. How did those situations turn out in the end? Did you lose a friend? Is a family member estranged from you?
Rarely does anything positive come from blaming another person for your own situation.
Say you’re sorry. If you tell another person that something that happened in your life is their fault, apologize for the comments as soon as you’re aware that you made them. This step is important because one of the major ways to cease blaming others is to acknowledge and say you’re sorry when you point the finger at them.
* In order to change what you’re doing, you must recognize your mistakes.
Think before you blame. If you catch yourself blaming someone else for a situation in your life, ponder that situation thoroughly before saying anything aloud. Ask yourself what really happened. Who did what? What was your own part in this? How did you react? What were your options? How could you respond in the future to change the outcome?
* Give yourself plenty of time to process a situation. This way, you won’t be compelled to say something rash out of frustration.
Seek professional guidance. There’s no shame in asking for help if you can’t seem to shake the blame game. If you find yourself caught in a vicious, unproductive cycle of pointing the finger at others for your own life situation, obtain counseling to help you find your way out. When you leave the blame game behind, your life becomes totally your own.
All the power you need is in your own hands. The sky’s the limit when you stop blaming others and empower yourself to take your life back!
Have you tried Happify yet? I just got a beta invite the other day and have been poking around–it seems pretty interesting.
The concept, as I understand it so far, is that you play interactive games, do self-assessments and quizzes and keep a sort of public/semi-public diary–all of which are directed at helping you be a happier person, over all.
I am kind of digging it so far–the games and activities aren’t time-consuming for the most part so far, and I like the idea of the guided gratitude journals.
Is it working? Well, it’s not NOT working. Generally, I’m pretty happy and easygoing–but I’m interested to know how it works for others.
I’ve got five Happify invite codes to give away!
Anyway, I was just given the opportunity to give away five invites, so I thought I’d make an offer–if anyone’s interested, comment below and I’ll add you to my list. The first five comments get the first five invites I’ve got as of right now.
Can we really train ourselves to become happier? Science says yes. Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of CA-Riverside, is among several researchers who’ve determined the role genetics plays in one’s well-being. Although each of us has a certain genetic set point in the way we do for weight, genetics only determines 50% of our happiness levels. We determine most of the remainder by choosing our behaviors, actions, and thoughts.
When we have new experiences or look at something in a different way, neurons carve out new pathways in our brain to process that fresh information. By practicing certain techniques, we can create stronger neural connections in the regions of our brain associated with attention, motivation and empathy. And we’re just beginning to identify what behavioral and mental techniques work best to increase our well-being.
Recent research into the kind of “interventions” (i.e. “exercises”) designed to promote positive emotional qualities, such as kindness and mindfulness, suggests that such qualities may be the product of skills we can learn through training—in the same way that practice improves our musical or athletic abilities.
At Happify, we’re translating the latest cutting-edge research into fun and interactive, science-based activities and games to teach you the skills of happiness. Optimism, self-confidence, gratitude, hope, compassion, purpose, empathy—these are all qualities that anyone can own.
You just have to learn how. And doing so will change your life.
What do you think? Is it something you’ll try? Want a Happify invite code? Let me know in the comments section, below! I’ll just need your email address.
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!