Have you ever felt trapped in a negative, toxic environment? Did you feel overwhelmed by the negativity, and were you unable to shield yourself from it?
If so, you’re not alone.
In our daily lives, negativity surrounds us, undoubtedly. At work, in our families, in some friends, and even complete strangers.
One night, my friend came over looking lifeless and told me that she is trapped among endless gossip, mean-spiritedness and backstabbing at her workplace. She was in an environment that was so toxic. She would work every day feeling like she was in self-preservation mode. This is when she knew something had to change. We worked together on how to overcome it as gracefully as possible. I tried few tips to help her combat the negativity and to stay positive because no matter what unconstructive criticism may be thrown at you, you’re above it, and you are amazing.
So I wanted to share with you six ways to remain positive around negative people we cannot avoid:
- Don’t take it personally.
If you are dealing with someone who has a “toxic” personality, just remember this: it’s really none of your business what any other person thinks of you, and it doesn’t affect you. If they think negatively of you, who cares? Just be you, and be the bigger person.
- Take a deep Breath.
Any good therapist will recommend breathing therapy to ease anxiety, and it works. The next step is a great way to follow it up…
- Count to 10. If that doesn’t work, count to 20.
This reminds me of my late father (God rest his soul in peace). He used to tell me count to 10 before you speak. Works like a charm. That’s because it gives you a few seconds to let go of your instinctive reaction so that you don’t let the negativity affect you.
Even if you are only exercising for 15 minutes a few times a week, you’ll feel better, and your head will be clearer.
I’m not saying you should immediately leave a negative situation and go for a walk (although that’s not a horrible idea as this is what I actually do), but frequent exercise will get your mind in a more healthy place to combat all the negative influences around you.
- Surround yourself with things that lift your mood up.
If you feel your work environment is constantly destructive to your mood, try to surround yourself with things that make you content and keep you uplifted.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sticky notes with optimistic quotes, photos of family, or listening to music that brings you back to a positive place—try to frame your workspace with all things that remind you that you are above the negativity, and overall, awesome (because, duh…you are).
- Make your home your haven.
Since negativity can be overwhelming in today’s world, the most stable place to boost positivity is in your home.
You owe it to yourself to turn your home into a peaceful nest, where you are able to come home and leave the negativity at the door.
It isn’t easy to remain positive when negativity surrounds you, but remember that you have full control of your attitude. Think of it this way: An entire body of water the size of the Pacific Ocean can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, all the negativity in the world can’t bring you down unless you allow it to get inside your head. People who are able to separate the positive points in negative situations are the ones who prosper in the long run.
So defend yourself against the ‘negative way’ and make room for a positive day.