How to Overcome Negative People in Your Life
Do you have people in your life that are demanding of your time and drain you of your energy, and then leave you feeling exhausted?
Do you have people in your life that sometimes drive you crazy? They’re demanding of your time and drain you of your energy, and then leave you feeling exhausted. They switch your mood from great to down right awful. It’s quite selfish of them, isn’t it?
I’d love to tell you how you can neutralize these negative people, but first we’re going to start with you.
What are your boundaries – are you going to allow people to vent on you?
What are your limits – will you tolerate people being late?
What are your standards – will you allow people to yell at you, put you down, or curse at you?
If thoughts of having an experience like this exhausts you, and makes you feel like a door mat, then why do you keep putting up with it? I think it’s time you started raising your standards. How do you want to be treated? Do you want to be treated with respect? Do you want to be treated as a valuable person? Would you rather be someone that people go to for advice rather than complain?
Separate Yourself from the Monkeys
If only we could snap our fingers like a genie and make these people disappear! But we can’t so we need to figure out how to deal with this. Start by asking yourself these questions:
Am I part of this issue that they’re having and I’m here to help them solve it?
Are they coming to me for advice, or to brainstorm with then?
Are they coming to me for a friendly ear and just want me to listen?
My girlfriend Dana, introduced me to this great saying, and it goes,
not my moneys, not my circus
Whenever someone comes up to me and starts this drama about anything, I think in my head, not my monkeys, not my circus. This puts a picture in my mind of me sitting in the audience watching this person on a stage in the arena, performing this great act. I’m removing myself from that situation, because it’s not my monkeys, not my circus. It’s not my problem, and I certainly don’t need to be part of their drama.
Communicate What’s Expected
When I visit the gym for a workout I usually share some stories with my trainer. This time we talked about our clients, he told me that there are people who sometimes don’t show up for their session. They don’t call or communicate anything to let him know they’re not coming. And while he’s telling me that, I thought, You can do that? You allow that?
He goes on to tell me that sometimes he has appointments for new clients and they don’t return his phone calls or emails to confirm. Then he says, “If they don’t show up, that’s okay, I’m here anyway.”
Now that doesn’t sit right with me. I show up for my training sessions everyday because I’m expected to, and if something comes up where I can’t, I try to give him as much notice as possible to cancel or change my appointment. I do this because that’s what I was told was expected of me at the get go.
I have a fantastic life coach and whenever I book my session I do it online and pay for it then. She has an excellent system.
One day we were chatting about our businesses, and she says she’s so grateful that I pay ahead of time. I was a bit confused by her comment, since I thought that was the only way to do it.
She goes on to say that some clients she has to follow up with to get payment after they’ve taken the session. And sometimes she doesn’t see the money until days after. I thought, you allow that? So I told her that I assumed clients had to have their session paid for before the session. For me, this is how I understood how she works. But for some reason she allows this to happen with other people.
You have to start setting that standard for how you want to be treated in business and in your personal life. This is just how you work, no exceptions. The key is, you have to communicate this.
The Inconsiderate Venter
If someone comes up to you at the office and they interrupt you to talk about their spouse, or a friend, or co worker, what do you do? You really don’t want to deal with this sort of thing because you have mounds of work to do and don’t want to get involved in someone else’s drama.
When someone is talking to you and telling you their problems, the best thing that you can do, is just listen. Listen to them and listen for clues of what they’re saying. If they’re complaining about someone say, “it sounds as though you really care about this person, maybe you should go talk to them.” Or, “I’m not the one that should be telling you how to handle this. Maybe you should talk to this person.”
Cut off the Angry
What about someone who calls you up and they’re angry. They’re mad about something and they’re taking it out on you. They tell you it’s your fault and you need to fix it. Your positive attitude just got thrown out the window and you feel incredibly deflated.
When someone is angry, they’re not angry at you… unless you did something. They’re angry at a situation. Something isn’t right. You have to understand that it isn’t a personal attack on you. It’s just something they’re trying to figure out and they’re really grappling with that.
One time, I received a call from another professional and this person was yelling at me and he was angry. I couldn’t get a word in. This went on for about a 30 seconds, and there was absolutely no break in the conversation. I couldn’t answer any of the questions he had, and he just went on and on, blaming me and blaming the situation. I had to hang up on him.A moment later he calls back and says, “I think we got disconnected.” I told him, “no, I hung up on you.”
When he asked why, I told him it was because we weren’t having a conversation to try and solve this. If you want to figure this out we need to have a conversation. He paused, and said okay.
What I did with that situation is I cut him off. I made him stop and think that his tactic wasn’t getting him anywhere. I clearly communicated that I’m not putting up with this way of dealing with it.
What are you willing to deal with?
I could’ve sat on that phone and allowed him to yell at me and drain me of my positive energy. I also may have started yelling back at him. How does that solve the problem? You need to stop it and say, “no I’m not dealing with this sort of thing and this is how I want to deal with it.”
As with my friend who has to chase after people to get payment. Set your standard of how you want to be treated and stick to it. “The next time you come in I need you to pay before the session.” Have these conversations.
Deal with it Right Away
The book, The Myth of the Nice Girl, by Fran Hauser, has an amazing section on how to deal with bullies or any sort of abuse. She says, deal with it right away. If you have someone at the office who is constantly demanding of you and not very nice to you, just cut them off. Go to this person at the next opportunity and tell them that you don’t like the way they’re talking to you and this is how you expect to be treated. Don’t go in angry, and don’t do it with a crowd. Go in calm and you’ll leave with a better result.
Telling them what they’re doing isn’t right, might wake them up. They might have been treating everyone like they’re treating you and not even realizing how much of a negative impact they’re having.
Value Yourself First
Make sure you set those standards and keep those monkeys in line. It’s really important that you value yourself first and then others will respect you. But if you allow this activity or treatment to continue then they’re going to think this is okay and it’s welcomed. It’s up to you to make that change and stop it.
Not my monkeys, not my circus. Remember that when someone is talking negatively, or spilling their beans, or venting on you, and bringing all their drama onto you. Not my monkeys, not my circus. It always makes me laugh imagining myself sitting in the audience and watching people with all this drama. Enjoy the show if you want, but know that you can leave the event at any time.