Negative Splits (Or, How to ‘Split’ from Negativity)

This has nothing to do with running and everything to do with a personal challenge.

Like almost everyone I know, I much prefer to be happy. And like almost everyone I know, I know some people who just don’t seem to get there. And it bothers me. Negativity around me tends to make me feel more negative myself! I do not want to not see/talk to/interact with my negative people, but I also do not want to go through each conversation getting an ulcer. I tend to let people’s moods affect me more than I should (which is why it’s so awesome to hang out with JM – she’s such a good influence on my moods).

So – from7 Ways to Deal with the Negative People in your life (I picked the ones that meant the most to me) from  selfgrowth.com

Let the Negativity Pass
Whatever you do, do not argue with a negative person. Arguing only adds fuel to the fire. A negative person will feed off any negativity that will strengthen his mood or attitude. I have noticed when [people] are in a crabby mood, it is best to avoid trying to convince them to analyze and adjust their attitude. As soon as I take the approach of being in opposition with them, they seize the opportunity to prove to me that life stinks. Their negativity intensifies and the situation gets worse before it gets better. Sometimes the best thing to do is remain silent and let the negativity pass.

Focus on the Positive
If you try really hard, there is always something positive to be found in any situation. Pretend you are on a treasure hunt and search for any gold or jewels you can emphasize. Even a negative person has positive qualities. When a person is drowning in negativity, it can be difficult for them to see the positive. So often [people] focus on the negative aspects of themselves. They forget about all the great things they are doing. I admit that sometimes a negative person doesn’t want to see the positive. This might require her to shift her outlook. Negativity can become a habit and habits are hard to break. Be patient and gently remind your grumpy friend or family member to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Hopefully, in her down time, she will begin to reflect on what you have said.

Ask Negative People to Elaborate
You may hear a negative person say things like: “Women are fickle.” “You can’t trust doctors.” “My husband makes me miserable.” These kinds of statements are a type of cognitive distortion referred to as generalizations. To help a person sort through her distorted thinking, ask for more specifics. Questions like “Which women are fickle?” or “What specifically about your husband is making you miserable?” forces a person to evaluate what he or she is really trying to say. A negative person will either give up because it takes too much effort to explain himself, or he or she will get to the bottom of the issue.

Keep Your Own Negative Thoughts and Behaviors in Check
If you do nothing else but focus on managing your own negative thoughts and behavior, you will come a long way towards remaining positive. A negative attitude is contagious, but a positive attitude is infectious as well. Hang out with positive people that encourage you to be your best self. Use positive affirmations to overcome negative self-talk. Express your gratitude for all the positive things in your life. Take the time everyday to watch all the beautiful things going on around you. Read inspirational material and listen to joyful music. Take care of yourself spiritually. Do whatever you have to do to remain positive and happy despite the negativity you face. The world will be a better place because of you and your attitude. And you never know, you just might help a negative person make a change to a better way of living.

What do you think, especially in regards to the last point? How do you keep your negative thoughts & behaviors in check? (Ha – I noticed that Michelle at Raw Cool blogged something similar today, too!)