Negative Nellies male and female. We all have them in our lives, have had them in our lives, and will probably have them in our lives in the future. Those negative people and naysayers that are so negative they never seem to find their way to having the ability to see your big picture, your big passion.
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of walking away from these pessimistic individuals and not allowing them back into your life. However, some negative people are in your life for a reason. Turning and walking away may not be an immediate option.
If you want to start a business, if you want to go after a change in careers, if you want to become an artist, a musician, a dancer, if you want to follow your passions, then you need to do it. People who set goals to achieve their dreams or their passions, and work hard towards them, are usually much happier people. For them, it’s not whether they failed or succeeded, it’s that they at least tried.
But what do you do with the negative people who seem to constantly negate your goals? What do you do if you can’t walk away? What do you do if you catch yourself succumbing to the negative energy these naysayers are exuding? That can become the absolute worst thing that could happen to you — naysayers, pessimistic negative people around you — and you beginning to build your own internal negative messenger.
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Here are four tips on handling the negative people and naysayers in your life.
- Coming from a place of fear.
It’s important to understand many people handle their fears in a negative way. This fear can manifest itself as pessimism, envy, or jealousy. Their fear could be that if you are successful or happy going after your goals, it will be proof in their eyes of their own inadequacies. Obviously, it’s their own false evidence appearing real… or is it?
First determine if the person is only being negative to be negative, or does this person have some actual experience having attempted what you are attempting? Try to be objective. Could you learn from this person’s experience? Could this person have some valuable insight he or she could share with you, which will help you determine a different way to get over any possible obstacles.
If the person is simply being negative to be negative, say, “I appreciate your sharing your opinion; however, this passion (this goal) is extremely important to me. Right now, I need as much positivity as possible around me. If this is something you don’t feel comfortable in being supportive of, then let’s simply not talk about it.” This lets the person know you value the them but this is a topic that is off limits.
If the person has actual experience, say, “I appreciate your sharing your opinion. It sounds like you have some experience in this area. I’m still going to go after this goal (this passion) and I would like to know more about your experience. Maybe what you share can help me avoid some of the pitfalls or figure out a different way to get around some of the obstacles.” This lets the person know you value them and can potentially change the dynamic of the conversation and relationship. The person has now been asked to share his or her experience, so you can succeed. If their knowledge in some small part helps you to succeed, they then can have some pride in helping you.
- Be prepared and do the research.
So, when someone tells you, “You’re not going to be successful because of X, Y, and Z,” you have your research as your backbone and foundation. You can come back with, “Oh, I’ve heard about X, Y, and Z; however, to avoid that, I’m going to do A, B, C, D, E, and F.”
- Change the ratio of negative people in your life.
The negative naysayers that you can walk away from, then definitely walk away from them. However, the ones you can’t walk away from, change that ratio as quickly as possible. For every negative person in your life, try to surround yourself with a minimum of five positive people who will support you going after your goals. Have your own cheerleader squad that will always be in your corner, encouraging you to keep going through the good times and the bad. The more positive people you have in your life results in the negative people’s voices becoming quieter.
- Quiet your own negative inner messenger.
We can be our own worse negative inner messenger. We need to learn quickly how to quiet our own personal negative naysayer that is living in our brains. That internal negative dweller can easily take hold and suction the life out of us if we allow it. It becomes even stronger if we have negative people around us.
There are several tools we can use to quiet the negative person residing inside, from meditation, prayer, taking a walk, music, mantras, whatever works for you. I have a very basic and simple mantra I use to completely wipe out a negative thought, so I can move on to more positive thoughts quickly. It’s an easy mantra I can do anywhere and no one would be the wiser. Find what works for you and do it consistently whenever a negative thought pops into your head. Before you know it, your negative inner messenger will be all but silenced!
Some negative people are in your life for a reason
and turning and walking away may not be an immediate option.