Is 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, it’s great to know that you can do something about it!
Unfortunately, negative experiences are 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. These situations set you up for potential negative experiences.
So how do you respond to negative stimuli when they occur?
Try implementing these strategies:
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 unconstructive 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 unconstructive thoughts.