I’ve said this time and time again and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but happiness takes work. It’s a choice, an action that only you can put into play. And just like happiness, negativity takes effort. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that there are people who take joy in seeing others succeed and those who don’t. Having negativity projected towards you is never a good feeling but finding peace within yourself to maintain happiness will make the weight from all that negativity feel light like a feather. Here are three proactive ways of dealing with negativity I practice that have made me a more positive and content person.
Analyze The Intention
It’s easy to storm off from any negative situation and let it ruin your day. But instead, the next time you find yourself ‘under attack’ ask yourself, “What’s their intention?” Is it to hurt my feelings? Or could it be they just don’t understand how their actions affect me? Maybe they’re having a bad day?
Taking the time to analyze the intention of the action rather than the action itself will train your mind to think slowly and peacefully rather than jumping straight into the deep end of the negativity zone. Exercising this has helped me take the feelings of others into higher consideration with my own actions and the more I practice, the more I feel at peace with the fact that most people don’t intend to upset me; but on the flip side, not everyone wants to see me succeed and that’s okay.
Control What You Can
I can’t remember when or where I first heard this but ever since I did it has exponentially changed my attitude towards other people: I will never be able to control the actions of others but I can control how I choose to react to them. 🙌 I am admittedly a control freak, an unattainable perfectionist. I put copious amounts of pressure on myself for no reason and for my entire life I’ve told myself that if it isn’t difficult I’m not doing it right. #FML
With time (and plenty of therapy) I’ve gotten more realistic with myself but these perfectionist genes would always come into play when I felt like someone ‘didn’t like me.’ Now, I could seriously care less because I understand that the only person I can control is, me. Just like the only person you can control is, you. I will always go out of my way for the people I care for but I will not go out of my way for people who don’t go out of their way for me. I first tried to convince myself that I was being selfish, but then I realized that’s exactly what I should be when it comes to my time, energy and especially, friendship.
If there’s one tried and true formula for combatting negativity, it’s that a smile is the ultimate weapon. From a communications standpoint, when I get the impression someone is trying to put me down or is only bringing negativity to the table, I bust out a smile and change the topic to something pleasant, usually in the form of a compliment. People love talking about themselves, y’all. 😉
If someone’s intention is to bring you down or make you question yourself, smiling back at them is the last thing they expect to see. Beyond the conversation, remind yourself that you control your path and that another person’s opinion doesn’t change that. Stay positive, keep smiling, work towards your goals and remember the people who do support you because those are the only people who matter.
What do you think of these tips for dealing with negativity? How have you handled similar situations?
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Photos captured by Tyler Chase Photography