Most of us try to dodge negativity like Neo in The Matrix but that’s not always possible. If you’re subjected to a negative environment at school, work, or at home, there isn’t much you can do to avoid it or the people in it. Which begs the question: how do we deal with negative people making the environment negative?
It all starts in the mind. Negativity can be contagious because for negative and/or miserable people, negativity and misery is no good unless you spread it – like a virus!
You can choose to feed into the the negativity or you can starve it. Feeding into it, would be internalizing the negativity. Starving the negativity is a conscious choice to limit your interaction or engagement to only what is deemed necessary. Much like when someone who has the flu decides to come to work. We are fully aware of the person who is sick. It is apparent by the obvious symptoms – so what do we do? We take measure to ensure that we do not become infected as well.
Some may wear a face mask to prevent the virus from entering their body. In this case, we can prevent the negativity from invading our minds and our moods by not saying much, if at all, to prevent any contention. Hurt people tend to hurt people. If they are negative from the door, we cannot possibly be the root cause of it; we also do not have to contribute to it or be roped into it. Nothing good can come from that.
As hard as it may be at first, it is paramount to focus on why you are present. If you are experiencing this type of environment at school, remind yourself that you are at school to learn and that eventually you are probably not ever going to see these people after you graduate and whatever they think, say, or do, will not matter in 5 years.
If you are experiencing this type of environment at work, keep conversations strictly professional. These people aren’t your friends or family. You only know them and interact with them because you are being paid to show up and do that for a purpose. Concentrate on the job. Chances are, you would never know, or engage with these people if it weren’t for your profession; instead, focus on why you show up every day like: your family, or buying a house, paying your way through school, etc.
Make a conscious decision each day to choose your future over the current negative environment. Remember you are doing this for a reason.
There are a couple of techniques that can help diffuse the negativity. Think of it as, antibacterial/antiviral protection.
- You can take some time out to pray before you enter the environment. Getting into the habit of praying before you enter the negative environment can ease your anxiety and help you to focus throughout the day and navigate through the negativity.
- Things like a Vision Board, visual Countdown, Gratitude Journal or marking your calendar to mark your progress. A visual display serves as reminder that your days of unpleasantness are numbered: you have goals and this is just another stop along the road. Keeping that in mind will help you refrain from engaging in any negativity that will not help your future self.
- Take breaks and get some air. Sometimes psychically removing yourself from the negative vibe in the room and taking a couple deep breaths can help replenish your disposition.
If the situation is more dire, than seeking help to talk to someone about what you are experiencing can be quite helpful. If someone familiar to you is unavailable or if you don’t have anyone you can talk to, you can call a hotline and get counseling. It may help to speak to someone unfamiliar who will not judge and who can provide you with information and techniques that will empower you and help you to effectively deal with the situation at hand. Need help or would you like to discuss this further with me? Comment or e-mail me. I would love to hear from you!