My practice is centered around being the positive influence for the negative people in your life - namely your ex. I stress how important it is not to stoop to their level. I teach that engaging with your ex only creates more arguments and tense situations. I guide my clients to express their anger outside of communication with their ex. Remember the responding vs. reacting post?
I stand by all of that.
But how do you stay positive when you are constantly surrounded by negativity? How do you not let it get you down?
If you have an ex like many of my clients and students, or if you simply have a negative person you have to deal with all the time, you feel exhausted after talking to them, right? Their constant put-downs, turning the conversation to something else, bringing up the past, and refusal to communicate all together are just some of the ways these negative people can bring you down.
Hours after conversations, and sometimes days after, you still feel the after-effects. Thinking about communicating with someone like that fills you with dread and brings up memories that completely drain you.
So how do you stay positive through all of that?
I’ll be honest with you, it takes practice. It isn’t easy to simply turn it around. You’ll need to work at it, but if you’re willing to do the work, here are my tips for staying positive in the negative:
Get through conversations smiling, even if you have to fake it. Research shows that simply smiling - even if you are forcing it - starts to change your mood. It lowers your heart rate which allows you to get through the next steps.
When you’re out of sight, after the conversation is over, write it out. Type, write, use speech-to-text, but just get it out. Vent to yourself and say (or write) what’s on your mind. There’s no sense in keeping it in. While you do this exercise, feel the weight of the conversation leaving you. Feel the relief that comes with getting it out.
Be grateful. Think of 3 things that you’re thankful for and take notice of them. An attitude based in gratitude can change any mindset from negative to positive. Getting in the habit of being thankful for what you have, especially after terrible conversations, prevents the attitudes of those people from changing yours.
It’s not easy to be positive when you feel completely weighed down by the negative people around you, but I think it’s important to note that the you don’t have to communicate with the negative people in your life all the time (and in some cases, at all). Limit your communication, follow these steps, and refuse to become like the people that only exhaust you.
I would love to hear from you! Comment below with ways you refuse to let the negative people in your life weigh you down.