I used to think there are negative people and positive people, good people and bad people, people who deserve to be loved and those who aren’t contributing anything positive, so why should they deserve good things?
I am so grateful to have learned that it doesn’t have to be this way. And that it simply isn’t. What a relief to give ourselves permission to stop thinking there are people out there that we have to position as our enemies! Having enemies is exhausting.
I have come to realize that there aren’t negative people. I try not to outright call someone “a negative person” anymore for several reasons: I know this to be a false statement, and I know that by putting that out there, I am not only calling out my own negativities but also attracting more of that stuff back into my life. No thanks!
No one is perfect. We all have our negative moments. We all say things that we think will feel good, but then they either end up not feeling good to us or they end up dragging down others.
Having recognized that there are not completely negative people, just negative moments, it is essential to our inner peace to learn how to deal with the negative moments. I learned the following trick for dealing with negativity from one of Gabby Bernstein’s You Tube videos. This was a totally new concept to me, but when I tried it, I was hooked.
Let it Be
The next time someone says something negative to you, don’t try to change their mind. Just let them vent. This is the acceptance component of releasing resentment that I am so fond of. We all know we can’t force others to change. We can live by example, and do what we can to change ourselves with the intention of helping others find greater peace in their own lives. But you can’t change anyone!
I have always felt the need to argue someone else’s negative point. I haven’t always done it though, which leaves me feeling even worse. I lie in bed later that night, thinking, why didn’t I stand up for myself? Why didn’t I say this or that? More exhaustion.
Maybe you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who you know is bound to complain about the same issues over and over. The next time they say the thing that makes you cringe inside because you are over it and you think it is an unjustifiable complaint, let it run its course.
No need to try to come up with a response that you think will make them see the issue differently. They don’t really want that anyway. I can remember complaining about the same things over and over to friends, and while they gave great advice, I wasn’t in the place to take action on their recommendations.
Choose A Different Response
Instead, agree with them. Yes, you heard me right! Agree that their complaint is justified for them. This doesn’t mean you are saying they are right, or that you are saying you feel the same way. Maybe you feel the opposite. But you let them have their moment to vent. It will soon pass.
Here’s a phrase try out: “I can see how that could be difficult/painful/upsetting for you.”
You are genuinely accepting that this is their point of view, but you don’t have to engage it. Ah, sigh of relief!
That is where they are in their life, on their journey. It is not your job to try to fix them and what they see as injustices. It is your job to be the best you you can be. And part of that is protecting your emotional wellness, and not letting negativities in others bring you down.
Actually, by allowing them to have their moment, maybe then they can see the complaint more clearly and have a greater chance at growing out of it on their own. And isn’t that the whole point anyway?
If you try this, let us know in the comments below how it made you feel. Namaste!