Curb negativity from others by making a U-Turn


"This is the worst meeting I have ever attended. The food is gross and the speaker is terrible."
"The room was so cold and I couldn't see the slides."

Norman Vincent Peale, author of the Power of Positive Thinking once said, "The person who sends out positive thoughts activates the world around him positively and draws back to himself positive results."

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and they immediately start listing the negative aspects of an event or of life in general? Negativity breeds negativity; emotions are contagious. The longer you talk with this individual, the easier it will be for you to eventually chime in and feed the negativity. There is good news to preserve your emotional sanity. Here are 2 ways to curb negativity in others:

  1. Get them to say something positive. Ask them questions that request positive responses. For example:
    1. What did you like about the meeting?
    2. Why did you like that part?
    3. What would you have done differently to make your experience better?
  2. Talk about your positive experience. This is a counter action technique. If you are a poker player, it is like 'seeing their negative and raising it with a positive.' When they start with the negative comments, you will talk about how positive the experience was for you. If their experience is not related to yours and they are venting about an event, then you could try and relate their experience to one you have encountered. The idea is to remain positive and get them to change their thought patterns. If you can't relate an experience, refer to tip #1.
When people get on the road of negativity it's a never-ending, winding highway. Getting people to talk about positives is a way to divert their attention from the negative, get them to feel good about the experience, and perhaps think about lending a helping hand in the planning stages so that the next event will yield a different reaction. This also keeps you from focusing on the negative aspects.

2 comments:

Kathy Riley said...

I love this. Can I post it in my July newsletter?

Kathy Riley
QC Chapter IAAP

Dewoun Hayes said...

Absolutely!