Dealing with Your Own Negativity
By: Beth McHugh 2006
In Dealing with Negative People, we looked at strategies for coping with negative friends, family and co-workers. Negative people can really sap your happiness levels and over time really bring you down. But what if you are the negative one? How can you change yourself so that you attract people to yourself rather than repel then with your constant moaning and criticizing?
The first step in any sort of change is recognizing that you have a problem. If you realize that you are a negative person, congratulations! You have made the most important step in changing yourself into a more positive, likeable, and happy person.
Here are some suggestions for positive change:
Ask a person whose judgment you trust if you are a negative person. Ask them to answer truthfully. If the answer is “yes,” ask them to be specific. Ask them for an example of times when you have been hypercritical, using negative talk about others or just “moaning and groaning.” Look for any apparent patterns in the topics you are negative about.
You may not like what you hear, but remember that this feedback is precious. It gives you the basic building blocks to begin your own person transformation.
Practice catching yourself each time you become aware of being negative. This takes time; remember you are trying to break an entrenched habit that you may have had for many years. Learning to recognize negativity, then stop it, gives you control over your thought patterns and ultimately your life.
Remind yourself how your negativity damages important relationships in your life. Nobody wants to be around someone who is guaranteed to bring them down, anytime, anywhere. Don’t let yourself be that person. By becoming aware of your negative practices and slowly changing yourself to become more positive and optimistic, you will feel happier within yourself, experience less stress, and attract new friends who actually enjoy your company.
Look for the good in everything. There are few incidences
in life that do not have a positive flip-side, no matter how dire the
circumstances. Make it a habit to look for that silver lining. You don’t
have to be a Pollyanna. It is okay to acknowledge negative things when
they occur, but try also to make a conscientious effort to see the positive.
Your friends will love you for your new sunny character!