Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to Handle Negative People and Naysayers

I've heard many of the success gurus discuss how to handle negative people and naysayers. Here are some of the suggestions.

- Don't tell negative people about your hopes, plans, resolutions.
- Avoid negative people. If they are your friends, then perhaps you need to find some more positive friends. If they are your family, perhaps you want to spend a bit less time with them, particularly as you try to make a change in your life.

But, what about the situations where you have to deal with negative people? This often happens either with co-workers where the overall work situation is good or with family members where you are both part of a family and therefore will both be present at family get togethers. Certainly there are people that regularly leave you disheartened, angry, sad, doubting yourself, feeling hopeless.... if they are family members, their words can cut to the core.

So far I've found two methods that have helped me. If they help you great, if not, keep working on your own solution, as I know you can do it.

First I consider negativity like static on the radio. If I really want to listen to a particular song and it is playing and suddenly I start to get a lot of static, I can lock onto the song portion, the melody, beat, words.... and ignore the static.

But.... sometimes negativity is so strong that it blots out whatever positive activity or thought you might have been focused on. What then? In the Harry Potter books, I love the phrase that is used to describe the Dementors. Someone says, "I felt like I would never be happy again." Do you have a dementor in your life? I do. And the advice from both friends and professionals tends to be to try and learn somehow to not let this person bother you. What I've found, is slightly different than that.

Yes, I try to recognize that a dementor's words are usually more fiction than fact, but this is not enough to completely protect me. A truly negative encounter is a bit of poison and what I need when I run into it, is an antidote. I have certain songs, mostly classical, that restore peace and harmony to my mind. I also have a route or two that I like to walk, a river to look at, a breeze through the trees. It's a bit like the actual solution in the Harry Potter books. For to get rid of Dementors one must conjure up a patronus, which is done by thinking of an overwhelmingly happy thought. So whether you go to your dog and get a big face-licking, tail-wagging greeting, or turn on your CD player, or look at an old photo, find your happy thoughts.

1 comment:

Ready Maid said...

You've tackled a touchy subject with wisdom.