Okay folks, let’s talk about negativity today. Negativity, even in small portions, can utterly destroy the ability of a group to function. It erodes stability and, like an infection, spreads quickly. It’s why so many people have a hard time functioning at their jobs, and why many of us believe in apocalyptic scenarios. As creative, happy people of one stripe or another, we know how much negativity can do us in at the knees. It can be a bad day at work, a nasty comment by a friend or relative, or a conversation that went down an avenue you didn’t mean it to. Any of these can be a source of negativity, and it’s something we all have to deal with. Negativity breads paranoia, resentment, and a host of other problems.
Negativity is character-eroding, just like informed optimism can be character-building. Not just for individuals, but for groups. The problem with negativity is that, unlike optimism, it stacks. If one person becomes negative, it’s only a matter of time before the whole group takes on a little bit of their cynicism. It sounds like a slippery slope, but in this case, it’s often true.
So how do we tackle it? How can we fight negativity and restore our positive attitudes?
I’m not a psychological authority by any means, but in my exprience one of the best methods has been dealing with the problem directly. Get your guts up and approach the person, remembering to acclimate your approach to their disposition. If they deal badly with confrontation, make it a coffee date and a friendly chat. If they’re prone to anger, come prepared to talk them out of a temper, and don’t react to their tantrums. Often, two egos end up butting heads, and that’s something to absolutely avoid. In any case, talk it out with the person who seems to be the root of the problem. It may be that they don’t mean to cause negativity, but that something is going wrong in their personal lives. If possible, help them deal with that.
Sometimes though, the person does do it intentionally, or won’t reform their habits. Some people feel a need to create melodrama in their lives, if only to escape something else. Other people genuinely like causing distress for people they don’t actually respect. Still others don’t know that they’re being negative, and often won’t accept that they are.
Pages: 1 2