We all have or had negative relationships in our life. Those relationships can occur within our family, our workplace or maybe even our neighborhood. Of course we try to avoid the people that cause us negativity and stress in each encounter, however sometimes that’s not easy. None of us are often able to switch workplace, neighborhood or family because of one or several negative relationships. So the consequence leaves us with finding effective ways to deal with negative acquaintances.
Here are three ways to change negative relationships so that your well-being and positivity are no longer influenced by destructive encounters.
1. Boundaries: If you have negative relationships with people and you feel resentment, this is often caused by your current inability to set boundaries. Whenever we fail to show individuals when they stepped too far verbally, our resentment and negativity boils up and ruins our day. This usually means we are not only unhappy about the encounter but even more unhappy with ourselves and our inability to say the right things.
Setting boundaries is a skill no one is born with so we all have to figure out how to confront the right people at the right time. However once you learned how to set boundaries, you will feel proud of yourself and negative relationships don’t bother you as much since you don’t take the negativity back home. Being able to set boundaries raises your self-esteem and self-respect in ways you might not be aware of.
Be honest with the people around you when someone says something that is inappropriate or hurtful to you. Clarify with others that they went too far and that they need to respect your boundaries. No matter if you have to do so in person, in writing or on the phone. Setting boundaries does not only mean being fair and straight, but also showing respect to yourself and your own emotions. Be aware that every time you make a point to insist on your boundaries, you will release more resentment and toxic animosity.
2. Appreciation: If there is a person in your life with whom you have a difficult time relating, there is a simple trick actors use that can help you turn your feelings into a positive mindset. Find something - anything - about another person that you like. It can be their clothing, their persistence, their ability to maintain a great family - whatever it is, focus on it and appreciate them for this ability. You will never be able to influence someone you don’t like and you will not live in a positive environment as long as you feel judgement and resentment. So treat it as a game and when you meet a person you feel negative about, find any detail or ability about them that you can appreciate. There is always something, however small, that you can relate to. Actors use this trick in order to create chemistry with co-actors and you can use it in order to turn around your negative relationship.
3. Spring-cleaning: Another way to turn around negative relationships is to spring clean your environment from negative relationships and shorten your conversations with negative people. The less influence others have over your time, the more you can create your own positive environment. When you need to have conversations with negative people, don’t get too involved in what the argument - mostly there is no real basis, evidence or conclusion in the points they are making. Think to yourself: "Does this even apply to me? Is there any real truth or meaning to it?"
Instead of focusing on the negativity of others, imagine a plexiglass screen around you where the negativity cannot touch you. Using our brain for simulations like screens or walls can be very effective and with the right mental focus you can use it to maintain your positive outlook anytime anywhere.
There are many ways to turn around negative relationships and here are three that can work for anyone. Make sure to establish boundaries - the ultimate sign of self-respect - and find ways to appreciate something small about people who seem out of reach. Shorten your conversations with negative people and put your focus toward positive future outcomes instead of current negative influences!