Negative Family Members Stress You Out? 5 Strategies for Staying Positive With Negative People by Dr. Melanie Dean
Many people will soon be gathering for family events and holidays now that pandemic restrictions are being eased and more people are being vaccinated. However, those events may still be with the same challenging family members as they were before the pandemic. The ones who perhaps ask intrusive personal questions or aggressively attack your viewpoints. How do you deal and keep your cool in a room full of negativity?
In my book, The Hidden Power of Emotions, I explain how each one of us is continually communicating with a living world of energy, whether we realize it or not. Your emotions are made up of atoms which create energy waves. Happy emotions create smooth evenly spaced waves that are three times larger and more powerful than negative energy waves. These evenly spaced waves of content happy emotions can easily sync and communicate with similar other waves, which helps you to retain your positivity.
I recommend using any or all of these five strategies to help you retain your happy energy whenever you find yourself in a stressful or negative situation at your next gathering:
- Be aware of people in your life that love and understand you. When you are mindful of those people in your life that “get you” and love you for who you are, it is easier to be gracious with those that don’t. Knowing that you have loving support from some people in your life allows you to be patient and listen to opinions of people that you are different from.
- Plan some questions to ask. When you know you are going to be around people that have views you don’t want to discuss, or they ask you questions that you don’t want to answer – steer the conversation in a different direction. Most people like to talk and welcome others asking them questions. Ask questions about their history or about topics you find interesting.
- Have a response ready for those unwanted topics. Think in advance what the topics are that people might bring up or ask about. Before you go to the gathering think of a quick light easy way to deflect those topics. Perhaps a little joke you can make to shift the subject or discussing a detail of the topic that you do feel comfortable with.
- Notice how humorous people are. People are often funny in the way they go about expressing themselves. Some people get heated and argumentative, pointing fingers and talking loudly. Others sulk quietly and watch everything from a distance. Some laugh and joke and keep events lively and unpredictable. While others are serious and probe into other people’s personal business. It is rather humorous to notice all of the different ways in which people interact. Perhaps you can also notice something humorous in the way you tend to do things. Like, thinking you can’t tolerate talking with someone just because they ask nosey questions or the humor in believing that everyone should think like you do.
- Challenge yourself to learn something new about someone. When you know you will be talking with someone who has different views than your own – use the opportunity to gain one new piece of understanding about them. Ask them questions about their history as it relates to the topic or notice a value that they seem to have. When you gain just one bit of understanding about someone else you are doing your part in creating peace in the world- one person at a time, because as we understand others, we find more ways to live in harmony.
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