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Avoiding Workplace Negativity

Sympathy is an important trait, but sympathy is dangerous when dealing with negative people on an ongoing basis.

Constantly negative people find sympathetic people to share their issues in hopes that the sympathetic person will understand where they’re coming form, that the sympathetic person will relate, and thus feed in to the negative thoughts. Unfortunately the simple answer is not always to be a sounding board, especially when someone has festered cancerous thoughts in your mind.

All work environments are not all created equal. In fact, work environments vary wildly across industries, organizations, even departments. What remains constant (in all facets of life) is the debilitating impact a negative person has on their surroundings.

This company treats us terribly.

My boss is a tool.

I do not trust that co-worker.

I have an unfair amount work to do, always.

I can’t believe I’m being passed up again for promotion.

These negative thoughts are typically spouted by the same few people. The same few people that accept negativity as a part of their lives, a rights of passage in the work environment - they SHOULD be negative.

Once we allow these negative thoughts in to our mind, (like positive thinking) we have self-fulfilled negativity in our lives - if you’re thinking negative thoughts, guess what? The frame with which you view life is going to be negative.

If you find yourself around a constantly negative person, it does neither side any good to accept their negativity as the norm. Ask questions that get to the root of the issue quickly - no time for dilly-dallying when it comes to a negative conversation. Be direct. If you ask a question that the negative person does not want to hear than you’ve got a win-win on your hands - perhaps they will not bring their negativity towards you any longer or perhaps you help them reframe their thought process.

Of course, even normally positive people can have a tough day. It’s important in these times to be aware of how our negativity festers around other people, and quickly we find a way to pull ourselves out of the slump rather than rub off on others in a negative manner.

We must mindful of the negativity we project. The negativity we project could single-handedly turn the day sideways of those around us. And that doesn’t sound like something I want to bring to the table.


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