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How to Deal with Negative People

Ask the right questions

To get to the root of why a person's opinion is the way it is, one question you might want to ask is the simplest 'why?'

"Why?" is the most powerful question you can ask a person who is giving you their opinion because it allows you to determine what assumptions inform their opinions.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Deal with Negative People

How to Deal with Negative People

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-deal-with-negative-people-5988560

lifehacker.com

4

Key Ideas

Dealing with negative people

It's primarily about learning to differentiate between the opinions you should consider and the ones you should ignore.

You'll always run into negative people, so the best thing you can really do is figure out if their advice is worth following or not.

Find the critic's baseline

... before you assume they are being negative.

By spending a little time figuring out how they usually are (if they are optimistic, pessimistic or pragmatic), you will be able to differentiate between the times that they are just being themselves versus the times that they may be recognizing something truly noteworthy.

Follow the "Three's company" rule

Just because a person's a pessimist doesn't mean they're not right. And an easy way to figure if their advice is worth following is to simply ask around and figure out if a consensus exists that falls in line with the person's view.

If it's a unanimous opinion, then perhaps that person isn't as pessimistic as you think, and you should consider their advice.

Ask the right questions

To get to the root of why a person's opinion is the way it is, one question you might want to ask is the simplest 'why?'

"Why?" is the most powerful question you can ask a person who is giving you their opinion because it allows you to determine what assumptions inform their opinions.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Lao Tzu

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this,..."

Lao Tzu
Take every experience as a lesson

Whenever you find yourself in an unpleasant or difficult situation, try to see what you can take away from this very experience.

Try to perceive your experiences as lessons and to understand them, so you can feel at ease with the others and with yourself. 

Read between the lines

Whenever you deal with difficult people, take into account two aspects: you should not let their actions affect your life in a negative way and you may want to try first to understand them, rather than just to judge them. 

After all, they might be fighting a battle you know nothing about.

3 more ideas

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Mentally strong people admit when they're embarrassed, sad, disappointed, or discouraged. They have confidence in their ability to deal with uncomfortable emotions head-on, ...

Rejection And Pushing Limits

For mentally strong people, rejection serves as proof that they're living life to the fullest. They expect to be rejected sometimes, and they're not afraid to go for it, even when they suspect it may be a long shot.

If you never get rejected, you may be living too far inside your comfort zone.

Treat Yourself With Compassion

Rather than think, "You're so stupid for thinking you could do that," mentally strong people treat themselves with compassion. 

They respond to negative self-talk with a kinder, more affirming message.

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Acknowledging Emotions

Trying to minimize the pain by convincing yourself—or someone else—it was “no big deal” will only prolong your pain. The best way to deal with uncomfortable emotions is to face them head-on....

Rejection and pushing limits

If you never get rejected, you may be living too far inside your comfort zone

You can’t be sure you’re pushing yourself to your limits until you get turned down every now and then. When you get rejected for a project, passed up for a job, or turned down by a friend, you’ll know you’re putting yourself out there.

Treat yourself with compassion

Whether you got dumped by your long-term love or blindsided by a recent firing, beating yourself up will only keep you down. Speak to yourself like a trusted friend.

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Begin from a place of curiosity

Lean into the conversation from a place of curiosity and respect (for yourself and the other person). 

Even when the subject of the conversation is difficult, the interaction can ...

Listen and observe
Focus on what you’re hearing, not what you’re saying. Genuine attention and neutrality encourage people to elaborate.

You don’t actually need to talk that much during a difficult conversation. Instead, learn to listen, reflect and observe.

Be direct

Address uncomfortable situations head-on by getting right to the point.

Foster an honest and respectful discussion and make sure both parties speak about the details of an issue. 

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Avoid tension and build rapport
Avoid tension and build rapport

This underscores the importance of starting on the right foot.  If you upset the person you’re trying to help, they’ll wall themselves off. 

It's important to use empath...

Focus on collaboration

To get someone to act on your advice, it’s going to mean giving up at least some of the credit for it. 

When the person receiving your advice feels like they had a hand in creating it—with guidance from you, the expert, of course—they’re far more likely to act on it.

Show your work

In this case, you’re showing your work because it instills trust, and trust is critical for acceptance. 

When you show you work, the person you’re advising doesn’t have to take your recommendations on blind faith. They can see exactly how you got to your advice and buy into it along the way.

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Questions for the Important Traits

Grit- ask on how determined a person in pursuing his dreams.

Rigor- ask if there was a time he considered a data to make a decision.

Impact- ask for what he have co...

When asking questions on the candidate's unique contribution..

Probe: give me an example…

Dig: who, what, where, when, why and how on every accomplishment or project

Differentiate: we vs. I, good vs. great, exposure vs. expertise, participant vs. owner/leader, 20 yard line vs. 80 yard line

Applying STAR questions

SituationWhat's the background of what you were working on?

TaskWhat tasks were you given?

ActionWhat actions did you take?

Results- What results did you measure?

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4 different types of difficult people
  • The Downers (the Negative Nancys): almost impossible to please, they always have something bad to say. They complain, critique and judge. 
  • The Know It Alls: The...
Disengaging difficult personalities

Don't try changing people, try understanding them.

When you try to change someone they tend to resent you, dig in their heels, and get worse. The way to disengage a difficult person is to try understanding where they are coming from.

Finding The Value Language

When trying to understand difficult people, search for their value language.

A value language is what someone values most. It is what drives their decisions. For some people it is money; for others, it is power or knowledge.

Constructive Criticism

It's often the only way we learn about our weaknesses and without it, we can’t improve. When we’re defensive, we run the risk of missing out on this important insight.

Feedback’s not...

Stop Your First Reaction

At the first sign of criticism, before you do anything—stop. Try not to react at all.

Even a few seconds are enough for your brain to process a situation:  you can halt a dismissive facial expression or reactive quip and remind yourself to stay calm.

Remember the Benefits of Getting Feedback

Namely, to improve your skills, work product, and relationships, and to help you meet the expectations that your manager and others have of you.

Also, try to cut back any reaction you're having to the person who is delivering the feedback, even if it's hard to receive criticism from someone you don't fully respect.

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Use The "Sandwich" Approach And Be Specific On The Expected Results

"Sandwiching" your critique between two positive things about the person's softens the blow, and avoids it coming off like an attack. The mix of positive and negative makes people more likel...

Give Feedback, Not Instruction

Keep your criticism to your observations, and the impact they have. Don't try to fix the problem, just identify it.

Offer to help fix the problem, and to support the solution that the other person comes up with. Unless you know how to do the work your coworker is doing, don't try to solve it for them—they'll ignore your feedback and you.

Give Kind Criticism, And Remember The Point Of It

The point of your criticism is to help someone improve, or to correct a problem, and your feedbacks should carry that message. If you’re doing anything but that, reevaluate whether you actually have legitimate criticism to give, or you just need to talk to someone.

Offer positive and specific suggestions to alleviate the issue at hand, or identify the problem clearly without talking about the person, just the issue.

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Identifying problems

Optimists tend to avoid difficult conversations and this could lead them to miss the opportunity of addressing critical issues. 

Pessimists inherently look for the problems more than ...

Hearing only agreement

Pessimists are good role models for those who are "yes men". 

If you only have around you people that agree with you, you are being set up for failure.

Unprepared for the downside

Optimists often fail to have a Plan B because they believe they can control all the elements within Plan A.

Pessimists can alert a team regarding the risks that would require a Plan B.