How to deal with a negative person

negative

We’ve all felt the frustration of having someone in our lives who seems constantly negative.

This can be especially difficult, draining us of energy and turning our minds towards negativity too.

In the words of Oscar Wilde,

We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars

So, here is how to keep your starry-eyed gaze, when someone is trying to remind you of the surrounding gutter.

1. Cut them out

Their inability to deal with their own problems, in a positive manner, is harming you. The best resolution, when faced with negative energy is to cut that energy out.

2. If you can’t cut them out, empathise with them

The reality is, this negative person is hurting. You know what this feels like. Empathise with the fact that they are struggling and see how you can help them. They might be truly lost and unable to cope.

Imagine how alone and negative you would feel if you were them?

3. Try to change their coping process

If you can help them, try to guide them towards a different coping mechanism.

If you can’t offer them advice than simply have compassion.

They are stuck in a bad habit of lashing out when they feel hurt. You also have bad habits. You are both human.

4. Try to love them

If this person is a loved one, it’s especially helpful to shower them with love. Not only does it help them but, it helps you too. They are in a time of need and no matter how hostile at this moment, it’s up to you, as their family, friend or partner to support them.

Even if this person isn’t a loved one you can still open up your heart to feeling love for them.

This is a hurt human. They don’t deserve more negativity thrown towards them.

5. Try to focus on their positives

Remember their good qualities, values and good heart. Don’t let their negativity overshadow how you see them, it only makes it harder to deal with their negative ways.

6. Try to use their negative energy to your advantage

When someone is being negative, there is an energy that is pouring out of them and into you. It can be an energy that we want to resist. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.

We can open up to this energy and use it as proof that we are, untouchable. If we can remain, positive in the face of surrounding negativity than we can what can touch us? Nothing. We will be able to cope with anything life throws our way.

Negativity is just an experience. It’s not real. Start viewing it in the abstract and don’t give it the importance it needs to ruin your mindset for the day. You are, after all, untouchable.

Accepting negativity from others is a transformative practice that will shift your relationships and interactions with those around you.

You will start to filter out negativity energies and prevent external factors from ruining your day.

 

How to walk away from stress

stress

We all deal with stress on a daily basis.

The problem isn’t actually the stress, it’s the way in which we deal with it.

Even if we think we are coping with stress, it can impact us in subtle ways until one day, we just crack.

The key way to avoid feelings of overwhelm or any other detrimental impact that stress might have on our life (including causing problems with relationships, family life and health) – is to be aware and actively manage our stress.

Stress has some strong effects: it makes us unhappy, unproductive, less open-hearted in our relationships, it exhausts us and decreases our health, mentally and physically.

Even if you don’t feel the impact of stress, presently, it does still and at least will, affect you.

So let’s look at how to let go of our stress.

Start with the why

What are your stress triggers? Is it work, relationships, family or all of them!?

Why do we get stressed?

Quite simply – we want the world to be a calm, orderly and peaceful environment. Stress ruins these plans.

Life cannot (and never will) stick to our exact plan and stress is a simple example of this.

A quote from Leo Babauta, a regular contributor to Zen Habits, has really stuck in my mind;

Stress comes not because the world is messy and chaotic, but because we desire it to be different than it is.”

Babauta goes on to say “We have ideas for how our life should be. How other people should be. How we should be, how everything around us should be. These ideals aren’t a problem it’s our attachment to these ideals that’s the problem and this attachment  — the is that we are attached to these ideals. And this attachment causes us stress.

The good news is that we can let go of our attachment and we can feel less stressed. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well believe it, we can let go and in doing so we let go of our stress.

How to Let Go of the Stress

Imagine you’re experiencing a moment of stress right now.

You’re feeling the pressure.

You might feel it physically (with a headache) or your mind might be spinning into overdrive.

However, when you know you are facing a period of stress, try to use this easy to remember practice;

1.Notice how the stress feels

Embrace it.

Let it take over your body and feel comfortable with it.

Be present and understand the feeling.

Before long, you won’t feel stress as a threat but instead something familiar and something that you can handle.

2. Recognise why the stress exists

What’s causing this stress in your body?

What do you say to yourself during times of stress? Does it make the stress worse?  Can you calm yourself down by being kind to yourself?

Also, notice if your mind is exacerbating a stressful scenario. Is it really as bad as you’re making out? Try to be objective when analysing the causes of your own stress.

3. Just let the stress be

Try to feel as liberated as you can in what would normally be a very confining, stressful situation. Try to find peace in your chaos.

This is a state of openness that you can drop into at any moment.

Just notice how it feels to not be dominated by your stress. See how easy it is to choose to be unaffected by the stress.

You don’t have to be joyous in every moment of your life, but this freedom of realising that you’re more powerful than your stress is liberating. Maybe before long, you’ll even appreciate the beauty of the chaos.

For more information on this topic read Leo’s excellent blog for Zen Habit’s here

A quick trick to stop you feeling like a failure

failure

The irony is – we are more likely to make ourselves feel like a failure than others.

It’s highly rare and unfortunate for someone to tell us repeatedly, that we are not good enough. Just think, who is more likely to launch into a monologue of failure about how “we can never do anything right”, about “how we are a failure” or “not good enough”. Is it third parties or is it ourselves?

The sad thing is that more often than not, the negative speak is coming from our own minds.

The positive side is that all of this negative self-talk – it’s not real, is it? In reality, it’s just a story that we replay, over and over, until it beats us down into submission.

The thoughts aren’t true. There’s no objective panel of judges in the sky who have judged us unworthy. We just made up this story, and we pick out evidence to match the narrative. When someone says something remotely critical, we take it to heart, and offer it up as yet more proof that we’re not good enough. Sound familiar?

Well, news break. The story isn’t true. The worst part is, we are preventing our own success by constantly beating ourselves down. We hide from the truth. We are too scared to hope for success in case we fail. We are too anxious to put ourselves out there and do our best in case our best isn’t good enough. This is in essence, choosing a life of negativity and self-doubt instead of challenge, liberation and success. If you take a step back and analyse how you feel when you fail, compared to how you feel everyday living in your own shadow – I guarantee failing sometimes is a better way to live.

How can we stop feeling like a failure?

So how do we stop believing this untrue narrative that simply serves to knock our confidence?

The first practice, recommended by Leo Babauta in his blog for Zen habits, is to write out a mantra and repeat it. His personal mantra is, “The world craves you and your gift.” He explains that this simple mantra, keeps him grounded in times of high-stress. He advises to say it over and over until you believe it. Whilst repeating it may feel artificial at first, it works.

The second practice is to be self-aware.

What does this mean?

Notice when you are negatively talking to yourself. Remember how it makes you feel. Float outside of your body and objectively see how this type of talk is ruining your chances of success. Put a firm stop to it.

How?

Think in that exact moment *what would it be like, in this particular moment, if I didn’t have this negative self-talk?*

It would for sure be better, right?

Just by simply, saying this to yourself you can snap yourself out of your negative spiral and focus on what’s important.

Don’t let you hold you back. Make the change now.

For more great insights on this topic read Leo’s blog here on Zen Habits.

 

 

 

Finding calm in the midst of frustration

frustration

Do you ever struggle with managing your emotions when you feel overcome by frustration? Instead of lashing out or doing something else you’ll regret here are a series of practices that will start to shift how you deal with feelings of frustration.

1. Pinpoint your reaction

Self-awareness is key. Once you start to know how you react to feelings of frustration you can then start to work on changing them. Notice your urge to go to your habitual pattern (shutting down or lashing out), but instead of indulging in that reaction, pause it. Float outside of your emotions. Stop yourself from reacting in this way. It sounds easy and it actually is.

2. Embrace your feelings of frustration

Again, pause, and let yourself take a breath. Drop your attention into your body and notice the feeling of frustration and anger. Stay with these sensations. Remember how they feel. Notice how strong the urge to lash out feels, and just savour that strong feeling instead of acting on it. Treat the emotion differently, instead of feeling overcome feel curious. Study it. Open up to it, relax around it, be with it. Love this feeling, if you can. Once you practice this, you become comfortable being in the middle of frustration and this is the absolute objective to mastering your frustrations.

3. The third practice is to use this newfound space to connect to the other person

Your heart is closed to whoever because you think they are the problem. The problem is your closed heart.

Try opening yourself a little. This is a challenging but hugely productive practice. From this place, notice the other person — they are acting the way they’re acting because they are feeling some kind of pain themselves. Maybe your negativity towards them is making them feel cornered or defensive. You’re in this together. both of you feel bad. Now how can you work on this together?

4. The final practice is to try to find an appropriate, loving and compassionate response

You have empathised with the other person, but now you need to take action. What action to take – is always a question based on the facts – the most important factor is that you are not reacting with anger – which gives rise to inappropriate responses like lashing out.

What is an appropriate, loving, compassionate response? Some examples:

  • The other person is upset, so you help them calm down, listen to their frustrations and offer compassion.
  • The other person acted inconsiderately but perhaps was unaware of how that affected you so you should compassionately, share the impact of their actions on you and asking calmly for a specific thing they can do in the future instead.
  • The other person is not willing to engage in a compassionate dialogue. You can’t talk to them calmly, because they argue with everything. In this case, you might want to think whether this person is willing to change their behaviour. If you can’t communicate, you can’t ever grow together, so you should seriously consider their future in your life.
  • The other person is abusive. You empathize with the pain they must feel in order to be like this. But you also remove yourself from the situation to protect yourself from harm. You try to help them get the help they need while being firm about your boundaries.

Why we need alone time

alone

There is a misunderstood beauty in being alone.

Some of us are able to take a long walk in nature or sit outside with just ourselves for company.

Some can even go out to a fancy restaurant and dine in solitude.

But, many of us find a sense of fear in doing activities like this, without the company of another body.

Why is this?

Well, for many of us, “staying busy,” (or appearing so) makes us feel at ease.

Our lives are filled with uncertainty and the less control we give ourselves the more vulnerable we feel.

We need to feel connected.

We need to feel close to other people.

We need to feel like we have a purpose.

The main driver of our hectic lifestyles is uncertainty.

To deal with the feeling of uncertainty, we cling to distractions.

We make ourselves so busy that we avoid spending any time with ourselves. Because when we are alone we can’t avoid digging deep. And facing ourselves, our true self scares us.

But fear not, this alone time is the most re-energising, growth propelling action you can take to free your mind from its afflictions. Just think about how much more productive, calmer and happier you could be without a head full of anxieties (or running from that head full of anxieties!)

Just imagine

Imagine what it would be like to disconnect every day for an hour?

To remove yourself from your life of distractions and just be alone, immersed in silence.

Imagine not trying to be productive but instead being lost in nature.

We all need downtime. There is no doubt about it.

Time alone makes us feel replenished as (even if only for one hour) we are not drained by external sources. The quietude gives our brains a chance to rest, the space for contemplation and nothingness. Once we are ready we can start to use this time to dig deep. But first, simply get used to enjoying the time alone. One step at a time.

In order to enjoy being alone, we have to stop letting uncertainty and fear schedule our time.  We must become comfortable with being alone and eventually, facing our truths. It’s far better to experience a momentary pain than to a spend a lifetime running from our fears.

See what happens when you give yourself one hour a day. I have no doubt you will find life to be calmer and you get nourished by the space and life around you.

 

10 simple ways to stop overthinking

overthinking

Overthinking causes huge problems.

One minute your fine and the next you are on the edge of your seat waiting for all of your nightmares to come to life.

The weird thing is that even though your fears may feel real and indeed give you the same sweaty anxiety of actual problems – they are entirely fictitious.

They are nothing more than figments of your imagination.

You simply went from 0-60 by just over-thinking. Scary right?

Well, when you overthink, your judgment gets clouded and your stress gets elevated. It can feel so real.

If this sounds familiar then here are 10 simple ideas to free yourself from overthinking.

1. Self-Awareness

Before you can begin to address our habit of overthinking, you need to become aware of it when it’s happening. Any time you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious – take a step back. Look at the situation and how you’re responding. Verify what’s actually real and what is not. In that moment of awareness, if you just take a step back, you can really make some long-lasting changes.

2. Reframe your thoughts

Overthinking is all about negativity. Instead of obsessing over what can go wrong, start to think over what can go right. In the majority of cases, overthinking is caused by a single emotion: fear. When you focus on all the negative things that might happen, it’s easy to become anxious and trapped. Next time you sense that you starting to spiral just stop. Visualise all the good things coming your way. Swap the bad for the good thoughts and before long your mind will reframe its thinking to become more positive. 

3. Force yourself into happiness

When we feel overwhelmed by negative thoughts the best tactic is; distraction. Just get up and do happy physical activities such as dancing, learning, running, drawing or meditation All of these things can distance you from the issues long enough to shut down the overanalysis. You’ll find that after these activities your brain will have stopped overthinking.

4. Get real

Put things into perspective. It’s always easy to create huge daunting problems but how many of them are even real? The next time you catch yourself freaking out ask yourself how much it will matter in five years. Or, even, next month. Get some objectivity and fly out of your over-thinking trap.

5. Stop trying to get it right, all the time

This is a huge factor. For those of us in need of perfection – stop waiting right now. Because it will never happen. Perfection is an idealism. Being ambitious is great but aiming for perfection is unrealistic and debilitating. The moment you start thinking “This needs to be perfect” is the moment you need to remind yourself, “Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress.

6. You only live once

No one can predict the future; all we have is now. If you spend the present moment worrying about the future, you are robbing yourself of your time now. Sound like a postcard but it’s true. Spending value time and endless worry on the future is simply not productive. Spend that time, instead, on things that give you joy in life.

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