Last week I had the misfortune of having to deal with a very negative person. As challenging as it was there are so many amazing lessons that can be learnt from them and there is an opportunity for all of us to improve ourselves at the same time
What causes these negative people to go out of their way and make everyone else feel miserable, I believe, comes down to a lack of self-development and a host of other issues that are to do with their own life. It takes courage and belief in yourself to overcome their effect on you – we can defeat them, though!
In the particular situation I had to deal with, the individual felt the need to make complaints about everything I do and insist I do things their way. Unfortunately for them, they hadn’t met an individual like me who uses every self-development tool there is to overcome these very situations.
Even with all of the self-development training and strategies that I have learnt over the years, the effect this person had on me still lasted 48 hours – this goes to show just how toxic their influence was. Giving feedback is one thing, but going out of your way to try and make everyone else perfect is another.
So rather than dwell on this situation too much, I thought I would share with you the nine ways to rise above negative people’s influence.
1. Move towards positivity and away from negativity
The reality is that you can’t completely block out negative people (I have tried) but what you can do is use a strategy that Tony Robbins introduced to me called “moving towards, and moving away from.”
Rather than completely ignore the person, just change the ratio in which you interact with them.
In the situation that recently happened to me, I have chosen to lessen my exposure to this toxic person. This involves a few weeks of no interaction (to let the emotion subside) followed by minimum future exposure. Think of them as a germ, you can’t avoid them all together, but you can be careful not to touch a dirty floor or share a drink with a sick person.
In this strategy, the idea is to increase the time you spend with positive people and lessen your time with the negative person whose influence is seriously affecting you. By executing this strategy, you put the odds in your favour and increase the chances of rising above future negative people that you might come into contact with.
2. Sleep on it
After a serious encounter with a negative person, like the one I had, the key thing that person wants you to do is to get caught up in the emotion or react. The first thing I recommend on doing is getting away from the person and environment they are in as soon as possible.
By making any decisions in an emotional state, you are most likely going to do something that you regret. Always insist on not making any decisions about how you are going to handle this negative person until you have had at least one night’s sleep or ideally a weekend to recover.
When someone has worn you down with their negativity, your energy levels are low, and you most likely haven’t eaten the correct foods while dealing with the issue. The result of these two things is that you are asking your brain to make an important decision without being rational and relaxed – just what the negative person wants.
The next morning after my incident I still found that I was not in the right frame of mind and delayed the decision about dealing with the negative person until another nights sleep. Then I was calm and rational and decided not to react. Next came the weekend, and I made a further decision not to react. Having had enough time to think, I decided this person was not worth wasting my time on.
If I had tried to make the decision earlier, I suspect the outcome would have been much worse. Always act in a calm, positive state where possible and your success will increase substantially.
3. People can always fault you
The reality is that people can always find a fault with something you are doing. It’s so easy to stand back and criticise what someone does or the way they are doing it. Guess what? They are measuring you based on their own set of rules about how things need to be, but that’s only their rules, not yours.
What makes their rules right? Nothing.
The most obvious sign that someone’s using their faulty rules to judge you is when you run the situation by other people in your network, and 100% of them say that this negative person’s perspective is rubbish.
This is exactly what happened to me and everyone I spoke to said that the situation was completely misjudged by the other person. What shown through was that people said my intent is very obvious, and my goal is to do the right thing by people.
So when someone says I write stupid things to people, you know what I did? I said to everyone around me in a polite tone “read Addicted2Success and you can see exactly how I write and what people think of my actions.” The truth always trumps inaccurate statements.
4. The negative persons view is only theirs
By having a negative person treat me like dirt and say inaccurate things, I learnt that this negative persons view is only theirs. No two people’s view will be identical. Just because they think that you are not intelligent or don’t know what you are doing, that doesn’t mean it’s true.
Often this negative persons view is shaped by their prior experiences.
5. The problem is them not you
Upon reflection I realised that the issue that happened to me was actually the negative person’s issue, not mine. As it turns out, they have judged other people, in the same way, acted inappropriately before, and gone out of there was to make people have a bad day.
When I realised this, I instantly felt better because I knew that they were the real problem, and I just got tangled in their web of unresolved problems of the past. They have most likely failed in many aspects of their life and dealt with lots of uncomfortable emotions.
Most of this failure has been caused by their failure to truly understand themselves and what it takes for them to be successful. They decided to take the easy route in life and inflict pain on others rather than deal with their own – don’t ever do this, you are smarter than that.
6. Understand that negative people expect perfection
The moment someone expects you to be perfect is the moment that you know that they are going to cause problems. That’s because each of us who have taken the time to learn about self-development know that we are never going to be perfect.
In fact, as we grow even more we realise that the greater something is imperfect, the better it is. Think of antiques, they have rust, dents and dirt, and that’s what makes people want them. It’s the aging that has occurred, their rarity, and the history the antiques reveal that makes them so special.
The more we strive to be imperfect and fail, the wiser and more powerful we become. I personally love to try something and have it blow up on me because I know there are going to be some great lessons on the other side.
I have never studied a successful person who was perfect, and the most successful people seem to be very far from perfect – do you want perfection or do you want success?
7. You can turn even the most negative people into supporters
A key lesson that I want you to get from this article is that while in the short term you may reduce contact with this negative person, in the long term you have a fantastic opportunity. This opportunity is one I have taken many times in my life, and it’s one I encourage you to take.
After a negative person has really affected you, and a few months have past, see if you can attempt to reconnect with them. One outcome that I have seen is that when a negative person figures out your strategy and realises how you operate, they can often change their dealings with you to a more positive interaction.
This has happened many times to me, and I put it down to the negative person understanding that my positive mindset cannot be altered and that I shape my beliefs, no one else. When people realise that I am very stubborn when it comes to the tools of success, they can often change their future dealings with me.
The other reason I encourage you to re-engage with a negative person at some point is that you can learn a lot about yourself.
8. Watch some great movies
So after going through the situation of dealing with an extremely negative person I found one of the easiest ways to recover was through a good movie. It’s phenomenal how an inspiring movie with a good story can stop you focusing on yourself and make you think about how you can be successful.
If you want my two recommendations for movies that are bound to take you out of the disempowering state that a negative person can put you in, then try “The Pursuit Of Happyness” and “The Blind Side.” There is no way you can stay disempowered after watching these two movies.
9. Remember the negative persons diet
So one common trait I see with all negative people is a poor diet. Thinking back to the negative person I had to deal with, I remembered that they consistently drank lots of coffee and ate non-nutritional food.
It’s no surprise that they got in a disempowered state so easily, their energy levels didn’t allow them to see any positivity. When you poison your body with junk food on a regular basis, your ability to make positive decisions and think clearly is impaired.
This poor nutrition leads to a constant brain fog and no way to have the energy levels that successful people have.
“Your thoughts and decisions, and whether they will be positive, are radically affected by your diet”
Rise above the naysayers. Reduce your time with toxic people.
Always remember that no outside force can change your mindset or your beliefs, only you can. In times of uncertainty and pain the self-development you have done will be the deciding factor in how you handle negative people.
Self-development is the best tool you have against the crusade to fight the effect of negative people. Stand tall, be a leader and remember why you do what you do. You are someone who has unlimited potential, and all you need to do is unlock it.
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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work
How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.
You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.
Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?
The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:
- I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
- I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
- I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal.
It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.
Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.
Can you train or recharge your willpower?
A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.
The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.
Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:
1. Focused breathing
Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.
You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.
2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal
According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.
You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.
Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.
High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.
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