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Negativity is kind of like a cold.
It’s highly contagious, and if you’re around it long enough you’re bound to catch some form of it.
Not too long ago I worked in an office with a toxic co-worker.
He was miserable in his own life, and needed to bring people down with him.
Any time I came in with a happy mood or tried to make a joke, he would shut it right down.
And I am a quiet, reserved person. I try to be polite and keep a good attitude to avoid being a burden on people.
I never tried to piss this guy off, but it just seemed like any hint of positivity was his kryptonite.
Eventually, going to work started to feel like I was going in to get teeth pulled out every day.
After a while, I started to become negative. My boyfriend was scared to be around me. I was kind of a monster.
I am also an empath, which is someone who tends to take on other people’s emotions.
Anyways, I started to realize that something needed to change.
I could not keep working at this job if this was how it was going to be.
If you are constantly surrounded by negativity, here are some ways to stay positive during the tough times.
1. Pay Attention to Your Triggers
When someone or something is effecting you in a negative way, spend some time figuring out why it’s making you feel that way.
Different things bother different people.
Figuring out your own triggers is important, because these are warning signs. You’ll want to know what you can and can’t handle.
This is how you can determine how serious the situation is for you.
Sometimes negative situations can bring feelings you had in other times in your life. Like if you were in a toxic relationship, and then a co-worker starts treating you the same way.
If you come to find that the negative people are setting off too many triggers for you to handle, it’s probably best to distance yourself from them as best you can.
2. Make Sure to Speak Up
When I worked with that toxic co-worker, I made it a point to tell my boss and the right people so they were aware what was going on.
If it’s affecting how you do your job or how you function daily, it’s time to speak up about it.
A negative environment is not the norm, and it can quickly turn toxic.
That’s why it’s good to just let people know what is going on.
That might mean talking to a trusted friend who can give you a different perspective on it.
Just remember that if something is effecting you in a negative way, and it’s having a huge impact on your overall wellbeing, it is not complaining or wrong if you decide to say something about it.
3. Think About All of the Good Things in Your Life
A good way to fight off the negative thoughts is to think about the good things.
Remember the things that make you feel great. Maybe that’s your family, or your pets, or the comfort of your home.
These are the things that will bring you out of the negativity.
So when you’re around a negative person who is nitpicking everything, think about 5 things you’re grateful for right now.
That could be something as simple as breathing. And you can even practice some breathing techniques to calm you down.
Negativity is way easier to give into than positivity.
Staying in a good mindset takes a little more effort, but it’s definitely not impossible.
4. Set Boundaries
The thing with negative people is they feed off of nice people.
Caring a lot about other people and their own happiness is what makes you a really good person.
But, people who don’t feel so great about their own lives will try to take the joy right out of yours.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Trolls, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
The Trolls are naturally happy and the Bergens want to eat them just so they can feel that happiness for a moment.
Setting boundaries is one of the best ways you can draw a line at what you won’t tolerate.
It’s hard at first, and if you’re dealing with a particularly difficult person it might seem impossible.
But, putting up a boundary is the only way negative people will know how far they can go.
Otherwise, they will push and push until you completely lose it.
5. Ground Yourself
When you’re in the midst of negativity, work on staying grounded.
Grounding yourself allows you to stay present and helps clear your mind.
If you find you take on other people’s emotions, and feel negativity strongly from others, grounding yourself will allow you to separate from it all.
Here’s how to ground yourself:
- Close your eyes (if you can)
- Plant your feet firmly on the ground
- Take deep breaths
- Think about what you hear
- Think about what you smell
- Breathe in good thoughts, and breath out the bad ones
6. Work on Being More Resilient
Resilience is an invaluable tool to have.
It allows you to bounce back from anything, no matter how awful.
But, it’s not always easy to be resilient, especially when you’re in the heat of the moment.
During the rough moments, resilience is about not giving up or giving in.
Negativity can eat away at your soul if you allow it, but resilience is there to prevent that.
Being resilient is about having faith in yourself to push through anything.
And the amount of mental strength to fight back the negative thoughts.
When you have tough moments that test you, work on staying strong.
Tell yourself you will get through this, no matter what. And you won’t go down without a fight.
Telling yourself these things will help build up your resilience so you can bounce back quicker every time you’re faced with a difficult situation.
7. Don’t Give in to the Negative Talk
I know it’s usually a lot easier to just go along with what other people are saying, even if you don’t agree with them.
Speaking up and telling them they’re wrong isn’t always the best option.
It can cause uncomfortable conflict, and it’s hard to find that line between being a jerk, and speaking your truth.
But, once you start to let that person talk negatively to you, they will think it’s acceptable.
And sure, sometimes complaining about something unfair is acceptable.
The moments when it’s not is when it happens often, and it’s getting under your skin.
Obviously pick your battles. Just don’t give into all of the negative talk.
Sometimes all a negative person needs is someone to put them in their place, or shine a light on their thinking.
It can actually be beneficial for them if they are willing to see it.
Avoiding giving into the negative talk will help with keeping your own thoughts positive, because you refuse allow them in.
8. Think About How You Can Grow From This Situation
Everything in life can be a learning opportunity, depending how you look at it.
The situation you’re in right now won’t last.
Time goes on and things morph into something else.
What is bugging the crap out of you today will be a distant memory 3 months from now.
So, with that in mind, think about how you can grow from this moment.
What is this person teaching you?
Maybe that’s how to treat other people, or knowing how to be aware that your own comments can negatively effect other people.
Thinking of this situation as a learning curve can change your view on it, which can keep you staying positive throughout it.
9. Don’t be Afraid to Get Out
No one should have to tolerate a toxic environment.
And trying to stay positive around people who are doing their best to bring you down isn’t always worth it.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your mental wellbeing.
What a lot of people have to do is take themselves out of the equation.
It’s sometimes the only way to get your mindset right again.
So, don’t think that you just have to endure the crappy people and that it has to be a part of your life.
It’s totally ok to realize this fight isn’t worth fighting anymore, and you have to put yourself first!
Which means sometimes letting go of the things that are holding you back.
If you are still looking on ways to improve your life, a Course in Gorgeous is the course for you.
A Course in Gorgeous is an all-inclusive, 12-part online course that teaches you how to tackle mental roadblocks that are preventing you from truly enjoying your life.
This course will not only help you feel confident and gorgeous in your own skin, but it teaches you how to put yourself first and go after the things you want in life.
If you are ready to make some changes and improve your life, this is where you should start.
A Course in Gorgeous teaches you exactly how to make the necessary changes in your life and start feeling confident almost immediately.
If you enjoyed this article on how to improve your life or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!