Like attracts like. Do you have a rainy day outlook? If so, you will be a magnet for negative people and experiences. Do you speak unkindly of others? If so, that nasty energy boomerangs right back at you. Wish harm on another and I don’t even want to go there.
You can hear the big GROAN when Aunt So-and-So starts laying out her laundry list of ailments. Negative people are challenging to be around and have a hard time keeping friends. They are a downer and an energy drain to their family and friends. Unfortunately, their attitude about life becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. People will avoid them and they won’t attract positive experiences. Hence, their experience of life and people is negative.
Got negative people? Don’t worry, I got tips.
1. Drop a Truth Bomb - Their radar scans for problems and their missile seeks what’s wrong with pin-point accuracy. However, their equipment needs fixing because they are not seeing the truth.
If their perception of what is happening doesn’t fit your perception, tell them! “That cashier was so rude to me.” Drop your Truth Bomb: “No, I think she was just explaining the store’s policy and you were getting upset hearing it.” They need a stream of reality checks. In their mind, people are out to get them, so they misread cues.
2. Fix or Forget It - Your friend bitches about working late all the time. You’re tired of the moaning and groaning. Find the fix or forget it. Move her toward solution thinking. “What do you think you can do that would help you to get out of work on time?” Don’t feed her a stream of ideas, this is her problem, not yours. Let her come up with an idea that will get her out of work on time. If she sees no fix, then it’s a forget it. “Let’s forget about work for now and talk about something that will cheer you up.”
3. Meet Them There – Maybe your child came home from school aggravated because the teacher didn’t call on them today. Meet them where they are. Acknowledge what they feel and agree with them. Let them have their experience and your understanding. “Wow, that’s really awful that Ms. Fineberg didn’t call on you today.” Let them blow off steam for a bit. People crave being seen and heard. They may change the subject. If not, move into solution seeking. “If that happens again, do you have an ideas what you might do?” Empower them to both manage and create their life. It’s not your job!
4. Check Yourself – What are you bringing to the relationship? Every time you get together with your sister, are you lamenting the state of the economy, your health, or your weight? Complaining isn’t solving any problems. Only action will move you towards paying your bills, losing weight or getting your physical checkup. Convert your complaining partner into an ally, devise a plan and run toward your goals!
Start with yourself. Where are you swamped in negativity and feeling stuck? Focus on a solution and one will appear. Peace.