You cannot expect a positive life if you hang with negative people- Joel Osteen
I am very aware of what I listen to everyday. I do not wish to feed anything negative to my mind. So I am cautious about the words that are spoken around me be it social interactions, TV or something on the radio.
I don’t want other peoples negativity to sink into my heart and influence my moods or my day. It is easy to get dragged into unhealthy conversations that are no good but just full of negativity where someone is venting their frustrations and wants to go on and on about how that person did this and that wrong. We all experience those moments. We sometimes listen to conversations like that to lend some advice or a sympathetic ear. But the result is it can be a real downer, emotionally draining and the effect can last from a few hours to a few days long after the person is gone.
I had to figure out ways to deal with situations like that. Here are some things that have worked for me-
1. Give brief responses- I try not to engage in the conversation. I keep my responses very brief and don’t give much to the other person to go on. Disengaging from a conversation almost immediately discourages the other person and they stop talking.
2. Keep it light- Changing the topic is the best thing to do if the person shows no sign of stopping. I try to change the subject so we talk about something general, light and positive. A lighter conversation helps the people involved to bounce back to good mood.
3. Keep track of time- Be aware of the time you spend with people that are negative. The more time you spend with them the more likely you will become like them.
4. The choice is yours- Just because someone wants to vent it doesn’t mean you unwittingly become their dumping ground. I have had to clearly tell people that I don’t wish to be part of their conversations and am not interested in listening to anything that does not add value to my soul or is not meaningful to me. I prefer walking away from such conversations if nothing else works.
5. Surround yourself with people- If I know I am going to run into someone that is always venting frustration about people at work or their life or something else I avoid being with them one on one. I prefer to be around them in groups. That way they don’t get an opportunity to dump all their problems on me.
6. Put a positive spin- Instead of letting someone’s foul mood bring us down we could try put a positive spin on the conversation by helping them see positive things in whatever it is that is bothering them. It is possible that it may change their perspective and they may thank you for pointing out things they had missed because they were so worried about this one thing that was bothering them.
7. Cut the chord- Sometimes you may have to make the decision to keep such people at a distance or cut them off completely. It is in your best interest to get out of emotionally unhealthy relationships. Surround yourself with positive friends, family and business associates. It will help you feel good about yourself, make your relationships more meaningful and emotionally fulfilling.
Surround yourself with the right people, and realize your own worth. Honestly there are enough bad people out there in the world- you don’t need to be your own worst enemy- Lucy Hale
©2015, Vani Murthy. All rights reserved