Fuck Negativity (& The Debbie Downers)

Des asked me about this, and it is a very relatable topic: how does one deal with the unavoidable negative people and their vibe?

Of course, you can avoid the occasional Aunt Always In Agony on a family reunion, and you can stop returning that Whining Willow Friend’s calls. But how do you deal with people you have to deal with? Direct family members, maybe even a sibling or a parent? Co-workers you spend a lot of time with? How do you deal with the negativity in your environment you can’t control (or get rid of)? This might help. 

I literally do this. Picture this scenario: I finished a conversation with a pessimist or have been near a couple of bitchy, cranky people. I walk away, and as soon as I’m out of sight (important detail), I will shudder. I will shake my shoulders and my upper body, as if to get something off.

I literally shake off whatever negative feeling they have given me. Sometimes I do something else, like rolling my eyes, heave a big sigh of relief or make a dramatic handgesture to myself in a mirror. Any physical expression is good. It always makes me feel better. Not only do I feel I’m shaking it off on an energy level, it’s also an expression for me that it’s not a part of me: their negativity I can shake off.

When you have been around negativity for a while, the best way to hold onto your positivity is by reaffirming it to yourself. That can be during (silently) or after: on paper, saying it out loud. Simply looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror and remembering what you’re all about works too. Because this negativity is not a part of you, but of someone else. It’s good to remind yourself of that. Come back to yourself and your positivity.

Say, write or think that to yourself. Things like “I am a happy, optimistic and positive person”, “My life is about positivity”, “I live my life in a positive and great way”. Affirm that shit, baby.

Sometimes you just need to deal with people. So if necessary, I pretend I have no manners whatsoever, and just tell it like it is. Everyone knows where they stand, I have expressed my problem with their negavitiy and they know they can’t bring that shit to me without getting attitude. Basically, when someone is being mean, cranky or whiny, I will make it abundantly clear what I think about that. With delightful quotes such as:

“Jesus, you’re quite the ray of sunshine, aren’t you?”

“So, is there anything you DO like? Why? Because so far, there’s no evidence of that.”

“Wow. You’re being really negative/mean/unpleasant, you know that?” 

“Are you going to say something nice now?” 

“Okay, you are ruining my mood. Go away.”  

“Well, I DO like subject X, person Y, activity Z.” (Works like a charm when someone is gossiping or complaining: you take the exact opposite side and people expect you to agree with them. When you don’t do that, that’s a shock factor, but also: Very few people want to enter such a direct conflict, so the topic is dropped.)

Please note, the Blunt Motherfucker strategy may not win you the Congeniality Award. But it’s very effective and I especially like to use it whenever I’m around people who seem to have no idea how bad their attitude is .

Dance to Beyonce’s Single Ladies. Take a walk outside. Buy a cupcake. Do a cheer. Text your lover something sexy. Read a few inspirational posts on-line. Talk to the people that do make you laugh and feel energetic and happy. Do anything that gets you in touch with the positivity and happiness you want to be in touch with.

Remember that if people around you bring down your mood, it’s only temporary . It’s an effect of being around them, and your own positive attitude and energy still remain within you, meaning you’ll bounce back. The moment you get back to it, which you will, and which will be easier to do over time, you won’t be bothered by other people’s stuff anymore. Promise. Have a great weekend everyone.

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  1. Well thank u for this :).

    Bij mij op werk gaat het niet erg goed. Het rommelt bovenin van alle kanten, systemen die niet werken, enz enz.De sfeer is daardoor op de afd ontzettend negatief. Daar ging ik ook heel erg in mee. Ik heb alleen besloten dat ik het nu als een uitdaging zie om dingen op te lossen. Het werkt veel beter voor mijn eigen positiviteit, en ik voel me er echt beter door.

    Het lijkt alleen alsof ik de enige ben. Directe collega’s zijn zoo negatief. De hele dag door, vanaf het moment dat ze binnenkomen tot ze naar huis gaan. Ik word er soms zo moedeloos van. Ik doe dan mijn best om ze eruit te halen/trekken, maar het is bijna alsof ze het heerlijk vinden om gewoon te zeiken/zeuren/negatief te zijn.

    Enfin: nr 2 doe ik dan ook: dan loop ik naar de wc en praat ik daar ZACHTJES in in mezelf dat ik hier niets van aan moet trekken. Nummer 1: shake it off, is zeker een goed idee. Ik ben zelf ook goed in shake dansjes, komt helemaal goed.

    Nummer 3 ligt vaak op het puntje van mijn tong, maar ik durf het niet. Het gaat een keer proberen vrees ik. Dan zeg ik wel iets op een zeer sarcastische manier.

    En tenslotte nummer 4: “Dance to Beyonce’s Single Ladies”———>>> hier zeg ik nooit nee tegen.

    Super lief dat je hier een stukje over wou schrijven <3!

    1. You’re very welcome, it was a great suggestion. It sucks that there’s such a bad vibe there, but you can be really proud of yourself for not getting sucked into it and fighting against it. Who run the world?!

  2. Good that you put this in de .pdf file! Today someone’s bad mood totally became mine and I thought ‘I need Lianne’s help! Now!’ I must say it’s quite challenging to make your new thoughts a routine. Good thing you have such an awesome writing style. xx

  3. I wish I had read this years ago, when I was subjected twice a day to commuting with a friend of mine who is a lovely woman but who is also the most negative, bitter person I know. It’s a shame, I feel sorry for her, but she was literally poisoning me to the point where I’d walk in to work and my blood pressure would already be through the roof. Amazing how easy it is to pick up on someone else’s mood, attitude, etc.