The following are some negative things that many people say on a regular basis. I’ve said some of them in the past also, until I realized how negative they are. They have a negative energy to them. I, personally, don’t want to put negative energy out into the world.
“Same sh**, different day”
“I’ll never be able to ________”
“But what if…(insert some negative outcome)?
“I told you so”
“Life’s a bit** and then you die”
“Traffic is horrible”
“The weather is horrible”
“It’s not my fault” (or worse, blaming someone else directly)
“I can’t help it”
“It’s because ________ happened in the past….” (blaming your past or your parents)
If only I had more ________ (money, time, better looks, a bigger house, etc)…”
How did you feel while reading those words? Wasn’t it draining? No one wants to be around a downer.
However, there are so many people who speak this way. I don’t think they are consciously trying to be negative or bring anyone else down but there is a negative quality to all of the sentences above.
We can get trapped in the collective consciousness of negativity if the people around us are negative. When people around us are complaining, we tend to start complaining too.
Conversely, if we are around smiling, happy people it can elevate our mood and the energy in a whole group.
The good news is that we can be that smiling, happy person that influences the room. We don’t have to have a negative mentality no matter what the situation.
I had to learn to think before speaking myself. We tend to make knee jerk reactions to statements without even thinking. That’s letting our subconscious thoughts dictate our lives. Make a conscious effort to remove those types of statements from your vocabulary.
Instead of saying, “I can’t finish this project on time” or “I’ll never get this done” how about saying, “I’m going to need to re-prioritize the rest of the day so that I can finish this project.” We can also ask politely for help if needed or an extension, if that’s possible. We don’t have to put all of our energy into the negative emotions and stress that our subconscious has built up about it. Another solution is to allow what you’ve done to be good enough (more on this in an upcoming post).
If the weather is snowy and blustery, instead of saying “this weather is so crappy” maybe we can say “Looks like I’m going to need to bundle up. The high today is supposed to be 20 degrees.”
Instead of saying, “I can’t dance” how about saying, “I haven’t learned to dance.” or “I can’t dance yet.” If you have no desire to dance, I think it would be better to say “that’s not my thing” rather than “I can’t.”
How can we reply to negative comments from others?
Firstly, we don’t have to agree with them. Instead of agreeing right off the bat and bringing further negativity into the room, try the following tips.
If someone is gossiping or saying something negative about a third person simply don’t participate. Sometimes I’ll repeat back to the person what they just said. For example, “So you’re saying that Debra hasn’t been truthful about her work projects?” When it’s repeated back, people tend to soften it or change their perspective. It’s like you’re bringing an awareness to them of what just came out of their mouth. Another tactic I’ve used effectively is to say, “maybe you should talk to Debra about that” I’ve also just said, “oh, that doesn’t sound like my business” or “I don’t feel comfortable talking about this” or “I’d rather not get involved.” They may not like it but will not continue to come to you with gossip. I can pretty much guarantee that. Gossipers want a reaction. They want someone to feed into it. If they don’t get the kind of feedback they are seeking they will look elsewhere to find it. They may even stop gossiping altogether.
Another tactic is to remain calm. Do not match their drama level. Keep your tone still and even and show with your demeanor that you’re not going to get ruffled by it, no matter how they try to drag you in or involve you.
If all else fails, another idea is to change the subject or excuse ourselves.
When someone says something sucks or is terrible, we can reply in the positive. For example: If we hear, “this weather sucks” we can reply with “my plants are going to love all this rain” or “I love the sound of rain.”
Another example of responding positively to a negative comment would be if someone said, “I’m jealous of ________ ” or “sure, they can do it because they’re rich/skinny/popular/favored in some way” we can reply with “I believe anyone can achieve what they set their mind to” or “I find them inspirational”
These are just simple ideas to get you started. I wanted to bring awareness today to the power of words and how we can affect the energy of a situation, calm a person down or just not play into negativity.
What ways have you been able to diffuse negativity in an environment?
I hope this has been some food for thought for you today.
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May you be happy and well.