During the last few days, I heard a lot of negative stuff about a variety of things:
- About the city and the government – traffic is bad; roads are dirty; power failures don’t stop; the government is corrupt; business is down; inflation is up…
- About people – she is disorganized; he is slow; they are not ambitious; she doesn’t get it; he doesn’t listen; how can people be so insensitive…
- About future predictions – this country won’t make any progress; weather is only going to get worse; business will get tougher; you won’t understand…
It’s strange how some people have a mission in life – to spread gloom and pessimism. And how discussing any of this would help anyone. I wondered if there’s such a things as ‘brain mask’ that can protect you from the affects of negativity – like a face mask that protects you from catching germs. Here’s my strategy to deal with negative people, depending on the person and the situation:
- Avoid them as much as possible. They can easily infect your thinking and feeling.
- It’s not always possible or easy to avoid them. So if you do come in contact with a prophet of gloom, disinfect yourself quickly. Remind yourself of the good things in your life and be grateful.
- Change the subject. Try to get the person to focus on something positive. Rarely works though.
- Preach. Some useful questions to ask: ‘Is this a problem you can solve, or a situation you must accept?’ ‘If it’s a problem, what will you do about it?’ ‘If it’s a situation, when will you get used to it?’ ‘What do you expect?’
If you wouldn’t put garbage in your body, why would you allow anyone to put garbage in your mind?