I am a great believer in positivity. Yet in the face of global events, toddler tantrums and life in general, keeping it upbeat can be a challenge.
No matter how sunny your own disposition, other people have a powerful affect on our emotions. Indeed, the old high school adage ‘you are who you hang with’ is trite but true. Some people take a brutal stance with negative people by cutting out friends and family members who bring them down. There is no need for such drastic action.
Instead follow these steps and you will stay positive in the face of moaning co-workers, truculent children, world news and the daily grind:
1) Shield yourself with mindfulness. To live a normal life you will encounter negative people. The most important thing is to recognise when someone is on a negative spiral and that the problem is them not you. Be mindful in your engagement and avoid getting swept into the abyss.
2) Limit time with negative people. Of course you want to be there for people who are having a bad time, even those you suspect of wallowing. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to spend all afternoon listening to petty grievances. Instead, set a clear time-limit on your meeting and be strict about enforcing it.
3) Pivot to solutions. Sometimes people want to vent. When they’ve had the chance to do this switch the focus to solutions rather than problems. This raises the vibration and allows them to see positive action they can take to improve things.
4) Release the need to help. It’s nice to help but it isn’t your duty to make everything better. You don’t have to be the solution in this situation and can maintain a healthy level of emotional detachment.
5) Learn the difference between opinion and truth. If someone is stuck in a rut of negativity, unfortunately they may lash out at those around them. Mindfulness is the key here too. Acknowledge that their opinion of you is not the truth and, taking a deep breath – move on.