Other people suck. Just kidding…but sometimes it sure can feel that way! Dealing with people who complain or are negative can be draining. Both negativity and positivity are contagious. In our recent survey, Gloria asked if we could share some tips for managing negative energies or colleagues at work.
Here are ten tips for managing negative energies at work:
1. Focus on Yourself and What’s in Your Control.
Remember who you are and what’s important to you. Why are you here? (in this job, this situation, this room…what’s your deeper motivation?) There’s something that matters to you. Maybe it’s having an impact with your work, or providing for your family. Get clear on your values and what matters to you, and make a decision to not let other people’s negativity derail you. Stay committed to your truth and your priorities if you want to deal with negative energies at work.
Focus on what you can control. Only things that can be initiated by you or are in your control are worth your time and attention. Use the five powerful questions in step ten below anytime you feel stuck.
2. Exit Stage Left.
Refuse to get sucked into other people’s drama. If people around you are being negative or gossiping, remove yourself from the conversation. Leave the room if necessary. If you’re worried about offending people, try saying; “I need to go to the bathroom / make a call / get a glass of water,” and simply excuse yourself.
Leave the room or leave the conversation. When that’s not possible, redirect the conversation to more positive topics or simply stay quiet and go to your happy place inside. (Try this (free) 30 Day Meditation Challenge to feel more calm and peace in just 5 minutes a day)
3. Be a Gossip Free Zone.
Don’t gossip. Gossip lets people know you’re open for drama. It can be tempting to talk about others, especially as a way to build a connection through a common enemy. But in the end, gossip is a form of drama. Make a commitment to live a gossip-free life, and stop yourself whenever you say anything negative about others. If people are gossiping around you, leave the conversation or say; “I’ve made a commitment to only say positive things about others…so I’m just gonna be quiet!” That’s a great way to deal with negative energies at work.
4. They Go Low, You Go High.
When in doubt, remember Michelle Obama’s wonderful words; “When they go low, we go high.” Be the better person, don’t stoop to other people’s level if they’re trying to drag you down.
Remember you’re bigger than this. Life is bigger than this. When you’re on your deathbed, this situation won’t matter at all. Reframe by refocusing on the bigger picture and being the bigger person.
5. Acknowledge Your Triggers.
If you get sucked into other people’s drama, can’t stay neutral or calm, it means you’re triggered in some way. Something they’re doing is a match for a pain point in you. Otherwise, it wouldn’t bother you to this degree.
Get curious by asking yourself; “Hmm, what does this remind me of? When have I felt this way before?”
Do the work to clear your own triggers, and much of the drama around you will simply dissolve.