A Negative Perception…
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde
“Humans see what they want to see.” - Rick Riordan
“The optimist sees the donut, the pessimist sees the hole.” – Oscar Wilde
“Your agreement with reality defines your life.” – Steve Maraboli
“Perception and reality are two different things.” – Tom Cruise
It’s something that can affect the way you live. It’s something that can determine your emotions. And… most of all, it’s something that can affect your happiness.
We all know someone with a negative perception. Someone for whom nothing ever goes right, right? (By the way, if you’re thinking you don’t – there’s a high chance it could be you!).
I’m going to assume that you DO know someone else with a constant negative perception. And I’m going to give you some hints and tips to try and help them flip their perception on its head.
Not for their sake (well, not entirely) but for your sake too.
Because when you’ve spent time around someone with a negative perception, it can bring you down.
And if this person is a family member or a close friend, it’s sometimes not possible to just omit them from your life.
Ask them why they’re thinking how they are. Or why they’re doing what they’re doing. It might help them get something off their chest, or it might make them step back and realise that, actually, their negative opinion in unjust and, actually, not that rationally.
2) Encourage them to say something positive.
If your friend or family member is coming to you with negative comments at the end of the day, ask them to tell you something good about their day. (Or their life in general, if they’re really struggling with that one!)
3) Do not match their negative perception.
You may feel like you’re being a bad friend if you match their negative comments with positive ones about how great your life is, but it’s actually what they need to hear. BUT don’t let them bring you down to their level. You’re worth more than that.
4) Make sure you limit your time around them.
Again, don’t let them bring you down. Have a cup of tea with them. Spend an afternoon shopping with them. Spend an evening in the pub with them. But it’s inevitable that spending too much time with one negative person will bring you down in a bad way, so limit your exposure to them. Stay strong guys – You can do it!
5) Create a ‘Panic’ word with them.
Now, this one’s a bit out there. With your negative culprit(!!) decide on a meaningless word (potential examples might be apple, potato (unless they’re easily offended by carbs too), David Beckham, David Cameron (although the same issue with the carbs might apply here!).
Anyway, once you have your word, you can use it when you’re in conversation with your friend and they’re giving off negative vibes.
Just say it, right in the middle of their sentence. You never know. Hopefully, this will make them think about what they’re saying in future before David Cameron pops into the conversation!
Hopefully this information enables you to continue to spend time with your friend who has a negative perspective of the world. There’s so much greatness out there – take it upon yourself to help them see it! After all, you’ve got nothing to lose!
If you’ve got any further hints or tips on how you cope with a friend, colleague or family member with a negative perspective, do let us know in the comments. Feedback and comments received gratefully!