DEALING WITH THE PEOPLE YOU WOULD RATHER RUN AWAY FROM
Is it just me, or is it the time of year? It seems like whininess is on the rise like a contagious disease. Even one of the presidential candidates is super mean and negative. I don’t want to respond in kind but I feel like complaining and whining about these negative people who are driving me nuts! They are collectively sucking the life right out of me. After talking to one such individual last week, I was very drained, tired and unmotivated. It overwhelms me and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I understand that there are many people who have had bad things happen to them and have not had their “fair shake” but even some of the people who I would think and expect to be negative aren’t!
Some people are just naturally Eeyores, (they say half the population sees the glass as half empty)
Here is what they do:
Judgmental and thin skinned – They base their life on their good intentions but others on behavior, without considering the motive. They say things like, “ I didn’t mean anything by that” but then they say about others, “she made me mad”. Every comment made to them is deemed hurtful or through a negative grid or with an ulterior motive.
Demanding and Needy– no matter what you do, it is not enough or right or fair. Further they exhibit the extreme need to control others and are very manipulative and bossy. Ugh
Helplessness/ Victim mentality – Somehow they feel they have been given a raw deal in life and their situation is worse than everyone else. A by-product of this the idea that everyone is out to get them and they hold to a very myopic perspective on the world.
Pessimism – they are convinced that the worst is going to happen to them because it ALWAYS does. They talk in superlatives. “ I never win” or “You always get your way”. They play the “what if” game to the extreme and expect the worst from everyone. They will never be content because they are conditional thinkers; ‘if only’ this would happen, then I would be happy. “ They exaggerate the problems and ignore the blessings.
Here’s what I brainstormed as a response:
Whether or not all this behavior would go away if they were treated with respect, love and help they crave is rather doubtful. There is a phrase that you can take the person out of the ghetto but you cannot take the ghetto out of the person, or something like that. There may be some success but I really think they are actually happy being miserable. So what can I do about it? So instead of worrying about them I think I will move to a defense mode and protect my own happiness and attitude. And this also means that I need to maintain the positive outlook I have, acting like I am secure and happy.
AVOID and DISENGAGE: First instinct is to run away fast. It is important to take time away on a regular basis from negativity. “Do not be fooled, bad company corrupts good morals” and you become like the people you hang around with.
SUPPORT & DISTRACT Second, I usually grit my teeth and grin and bear it, hoping that something will be different by my wishful thinking. This is the least effective thing but just maybe they will absorb some of my outlook and not the reverse. I try to switch subjects, avoid asking about sticky subjects, not answer, or praise the good things, helping them count their own blessings.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS: Third, I could confront them or get some neutral party to go with me and help them understand how their negativity is unproductive, but that will probably just alienate them even more (not sure that is a bad thing now that I think of it!). Outnumber them. Avoid
Fourth, I am in charge of my own space and I choose whether or not I will allow their negativity to curtail my perspective, life and health. I choose not to engage as I do not speak whinese!
Fifth, challenge the cynical, skeptical and downright nastiness with firmness. Don’t enable which is difficult for this problem solver to not do. Do not be overcome by evil; instead, overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21)
I could say more but I feel like I got it all out there…thank you for allowing me that rant!