We all have to deal with negative people at some point in lives, we just do. Sometimes we can avoid them, other times we can’t. Sometimes these negative people stay for a little while, other times they stay long enough to make us want to jump off a bridge.
But since we know it’s a fact of life that negative people exist, what can we do deal with Negative Nancy and Pessimistic Peter?
Understand They Have Different Values
There are times when the negative people we have to deal with aren’t always negative, they just happen to be really negative in certain situations.
When I started college, I was an engineering major. I did really well in school and got accepted into a summer internship program with one of the biggest oil companies in the world. It was awesome. I performed so well in the internship program that they brought me back the following summer. After the second summer I was told I had a full time job waiting for me once I graduated.
But unfortunately, not only did I turn down that high paying job offer, I left the engineering major entirely! I realized that engineering wasn’t my passion and I began studying small business management instead.
My family wasn’t so thrilled about the idea. I was going to be the first one in my family to get a college degree, and the fact that it was going to be an engineering degree made my family ecstatic because they knew that a degree in engineering meant financial security. That’s what was important to them, a nice steady paycheck with great benefits.
So when news broke that I was changing my major, my family voiced a lot of concerns and brought a pretty negative attitude to the situation. They kept reminding me of the time that would be wasted and the big payday that would never come. It was tough to hear, and it even made me second-guess my decision.
But I had to go back and remind myself of what my values were. What was important to me? Delivering something of significance to world the world, and I felt that a degree in engineering wouldn’t allow me to really reach my potential.
I valued significance, my family valued security. We couldn’t have been further apart from each other.
Once I realized that we had such a big difference in values on the topic, it made it a lot easier for me to tune out the negative comments and energy they were sending my way.
Take Responsibility for Your Own Happiness
Negativity is contagious. It’s easy for someone else’s negative thoughts to slowly creep over and start affecting you in a negative way.
But positivity is also contagious, so when someone is giving you a lot of negative energy, you have to fight back with positive energy. You can’t allow someone else’s negativity to become yours. Just because Negative Nick doesn’t think it’s a good idea for you to go after your dreams, that doesn’t mean you have to think it’s a bad idea too.
You have to be responsible for you own happiness and positivity. If we break down the word responsibility we get “response – ability”. Responsibility is simply your ability to respond.
You don’t have the power to choose what life throws at you, or what these negative people do and say to you, but, you do have the ability to choose how you respond and that’s what’s most important.
You can choose to respond in way that lets the negativity drains your positivity and makes you feel hopeless and frustrated, or you can choose to respond in way that makes you work even harder and focus even more on the positive aspects of the situation.
The dictionary defines responsibility as “the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization”. That means you don’t need an ok from anyone else to act on something that you’re responsible for. So even when the negative people disagree with you, who cares?
It helps if you ask yourself,
- “What can I do to reinforce my positive attitude?”
- “What can I do to discredit their negative attitude and opinion?”
Your happiness depends more on your own attitude than any external factors. So don’t let the negative people of the world get you down.