I have a golfing buddy who regularly spends 4 hours complaining about how terribly he is playing, only to score 38 points and win the day. He seems to thrive on it. For the empathetic amongst us this sort of behaviour can be very off-putting. Our sympathy nerve fires up and we want to help our friend out of his predicament, not realising that this is just how he or she is, and no amount of sympathy is going to help. We can question whether these types actually want to be helped.
I like to think I am a pretty sensitive sort of a guy, my antennae very much attuned to what is happening around me. If a co-worker sits at his or her desk with a thundercloud hanging over them, I reckon I can tell there is a problem within 5 seconds of them sitting down. I can choose to enquire as to the problem, or I can try really hard to ignore them and get on with what I am doing. I have to say I’m not very good at the latter. Some of you might have had a similar experience with a spouse or partner, you know there is something wrong the moment you walk in the door – sound familiar? Sometimes the worst question you can ask is “What’s wrong?” because you might just find out.
For some, the unspoken negative vibe surrounds them pretty much constantly, and they are likely not even aware of it. It does have an impact on those around them of course, and the challenge is to not allow infection to occur. Being negative is actually the easy way out in many ways. It takes effort to find a reason to be optimistic, because it requires activity on our part, whereas we can be negative without doing anything, much less finding a solution to a problem or a way out of a predicament.
We need as far as we can to surround ourselves with people whose view of the world is similar to our own, and also on those days when we are not at the peak of our game (and we all have them) strive to approach our interactions with at least some semblance of positivity even if we are not feeling it.
Long term negative outlook usually is a symptom of another problem or set of problems. If we are miserable today, we really do need to find a way to change our circumstances for our own sake and that of those around us. If we hate our job, time to move on, if we don’t like the people we work with, find someone new, if we are unhappy with the customers or clients we have, give them the flick! Control is in our hands for most of these things, and we are especially in control of what we feel by virtue of being in control of what we do, or choose not to do. Choosing to stay miserable is not an option that we should even contemplate!
Simply asking ourselves what we can do to improve the situation or change the process, or solve the problem is often the first step. With an approach of “can do” rather than “won’t do” we send a signal to those around us that whilst we may not be happy with what is now, we are at least looking forward with optimism to what can be.
The next step is to remind ourselves that the negative voices are unimportant, so unimportant that we really don’t need to hear them. If we concentrate our attention on the voices that improve our business, improve our working life, improve the great work we do for our customers and clients, we will have so much to think about that we will have no time to listen to that other noise.
The final step is to make a positive decision in connection in relation to that thundercloud in the next cubicle or across the room. If it won’t go away, if it won’t just rain and then turn into sunshine, if we can’t ignore it, then we really don’t have a choice. Time to take the eraser to it and rub it out of our lives. Get rid of it or leave it behind as you walk out the door. It is likely that our absence will not even be noticed much less missed.If you like this article why not share it? I appreciate your support. Be sure to visit my blog again for this and other articles. If you have any thoughts, comments are always welcome! Why not connect with me on Social Media so we can continue the conversation