You may feel and think negatively because people in your life are negative toward you or others. This negativity may make you feel bad about yourself, and in response you may act badly toward another person. It's a vicious cycle. When a friend, co-worker, family member, or even a complete stranger makes a comment that upsets you, it may set the tone for how you feel the entire day.
It shouldn't, but sometimes it does. The reasonable answer to this would be to tune out the negativity and ignore it, but it's easier said than done, right?
It can start to take a toll if you are already having trouble in your personal life, and then come across people who are spewing negativity. This is especially so, if it happens often (certain friends, or in the workplace). Negativity can be displayed in numerous ways, such as: being rude and dismissive, being passive aggressive, silent treatment, gossip etc. With this, it is easy to take this to heart and internalize what is happening. You may start to feel like you don't have control and that others are influencing your emotions.
But even though you may feel like you have no control, you actually do, people can influence how you feel... but only if you let them. Here are a few things you can remember to gain control and break the cycle of negativity, so you don't pass it on.
It is safe to say that the following may be true of someone who is negative to others.
• People who are being mean and rude, that is a reflection of the thoughts and feelings they hold about themselves
• Negative people decide to focus on you because then they don't have to focus on themselves. It temporarily distracts the person of how they feel about themselves
• Much of the negativity coming at you has nothing to do with you. It's coming from somewhere else, other unresolved issues the person is having in their own life
How to break the cycle:
Don't let negativity get the best of you. Negativity is often displaced, where the person being negative is angry or sad because of something else that has happened outside of your interactions. They are moving their frustrations onto you. Displacement is often used as a tool to deal and cope.
• Stop the cycle and tell yourself that you are not to blame for this negativity, blame is what makes us take words personally
• Take the higher road. Do not react to the negativity. This is what the other person wants. Stay calm
• Take necessary steps to assert yourself (only if the situation is safe) and let it be known that you require respect from the other person, which means you will not accept negative comments from them