It’s pretty easy to stay positive and upbeat when you are around happy, kind people. But what should you do when you’re in the company of someone who makes you want to put a fork in your eye? How do you keep them from killing your vibe? Here are four easy steps you can use to avoid and deflect negative energy from the people around you.
Step 1: Keep contact limited. If you have someone in your life who belittles you, complains a lot, or just generally has the ability to bring an entire room full of people into misery, stay away as much as possible!
It’s true that some of these people may be relatives or neighbors and it may be challenging to keep them at arm’s length. However, there are still ways to cut down on your exposure.
For example, you can excuse yourself to use the restroom, tell them you’ve got to go and hang up the phone, or keep meetings to having coffee or quick dinners rather than long extended day visits and vacations. Just because you have to interact with them doesn’t mean you have to interact all the time!
Step 2: Kill them with kindness. As soon as you come into contact with one of these people, smile warmly and find something that you can immediately compliment. Maybe they have on nice new shoes, or maybe they just got a hair cut. Give them a quick compliment and a smile straight out of the gate. This disarms them a little, as it’s very hard to be negative and rude when the people around you are treating you so kindly.
Step 3: Navigate around negative discussions. Refuse to take a trip down bad memory lane. As soon as a negative person starts to get into the latest drama or horrible thing that happened to them, switch up the conversation (“Oh look! A text message from Bob!”). Do not be a sounding board for sadness, anger and depression. There is literally no way that you can engage in conversations like these and uplift others or yourself, so don’t even bother trying.
Step 4: Engage them in positive discussions. If you must talk to a negative person, find things to talk about that are uplifting, funny or interesting. You could talk about how your son just learned how to walk, the beautiful gift your boyfriend just got you or anything that went well that day. Don’t be surprised if initially they don’t want to talk at length about all of the good things going on in your life, but set the tone that when they talk to you, they should anticipate positive conversations!
Whatever you do, please don’t let negative people kill your vibe. It might be a challenge to completely eliminate all of the negative people from your life, but there are a few things you can do to keep yourself from getting sucked into their drama. Keep contact limited, kill them with kindness, avoid negative discussions and engage in positive discussions.
These steps will help keep your energy upbeat and discourage the negative nellies from coming around in the first place. Misery wants misery as company, not sunshine and rainbows! Stay in the light.