I’m Really Not a Negative PersonPosted by bdynamics on Apr 6, 2012 in Burnside Dynamics, ethics, professional | 0 comments
I have heard that comment by a few people in the past couple of weeks. It is usually following some negative statement they just made or a negative tone they just used. Most people don’t understand that being negative can be a good thing. In the world we need both negative and positive to exist.
Consider a magnet. For it to work, it needs both negative and positive attraction. They balance each other to create the force of a magnet. Consider the cells of your body. We need both negative and positive ones. And what about electricity? Yup, more positive and negative.
So, what’s the problem? Too much of one can cause a major problem when you need balance. It would be great to have a positive attitude as much as possible. However, there are times when you just need to be negative. People that hold their negativity inside, generally explode. Whether literally or figuratively. If you hold in your negativity – it will find its way out. Generally, this will happen through the tone of voice you use, the words you choose or your body language. Holding in negativity can cause many people to get sick. You need an outlet.
Learn to be negative in a constructive manner. Step 1: Stay calm! Step 2: If it needs to be verbalized, state what the “issue” is and what needs to happen to get to the result you desire. Placing blame or adding tone doesn’t help. Be factual. Step 3: Take a breath – you usually need one here. Step 4: Do a reality check. If no one is bleeding or dying, you might just need to “let it go”. Step 5: “Let it go” by breathing out and changing the subject immediately. The more you dwell on it, the longer you hang onto it and the more negative it becomes.
“But I am a Yes person and don’t like to cause conflict.” I am not asking you to cause conflict. I am asking you to let reality breath. You don’t have to be a jerk and you don’t have to let others be a jerk to you. Saying yes when you really mean no is an irritant to both you and the person to whom you said yes. When you are not truly committed, you don’t give it your best. Your words, your actions, your body language, your tone and your efforts will give you away.
How do you say no when you aren’t good at it? Practice it. Say it to yourself first. When you are deciding what to eat for breakfast, make a few suggestions to yourself and verbalize “no” to the ones you don’t want and a resounding “yes” to the one you truly do want. You won’t hurt your own feelings. You are just being honest in your decision. Then go get dressed by pulling out a few different outfits. Return the ones you don’t want to wear to your closet and tell each one, “no, thank you.” When you get to the one you are actually going to wear, let it know by saying, “yes, this is it.” You will find yourself practicing “no” more often than “yes”. Time to go to work, but there is probably more than one way to get there. Think of the ways you are not going to go and say “no, thank you” to each one. Then when you think of the way you are going to go, verbalize, “I am choosing to not go the other ways, however I think this would be the best way to go.” Then get to work.
Once at work someone might ask you something that you feel will need a negative response (if you are being truly honest with yourself). If it is a clear “yes” or “no”, just smile and politely say “no, thank you.” You already practiced that one a few times earlier so it should be pretty easy. However, if it is not that simple and you think there is a better way, state that. You practiced that one by getting to work. If the answer is no, then what would turn it into a yes? Never lie or make something up. You will only feel worse, so stay true to yourself. In most instances a simple polite “no, thank you” does the trick.
Let your negativity out in a calm fashion. If you keep tucking it inside, it will ooze out of you without you even realizing it. Keep it in check and stay in charge. A little properly-placed negativity will balance out your overly positive side by letting you be true to yourself and others. If you truly are a negative person, that’s the subject of a different blog for a different time.