Negativity - An Unattractive Behavior That Holds People Back

May 18, 2020

 

 

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, ..."  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

 

These words were written in 1859, yet they have a familiar ring, don't they? This virus has brought out both the best and the worst in all of us. For the next five days you'll be receiving what I hope will be interesting and perhaps enlightening and hopefully useful as we navigate these strange waters. 

 

Do you work or live alongside a negative person? It can be very draining, right? Negative people can suck the life out of a room and really impact morale and perspectives. Do you find yourself falling into negativity?

 

From now until Friday, I'm sending out observations about being negative and also how to turn it around. Today I am sharing how people justify their behavior and hold themselves back from promotions in all areas of life. I’d love to hear what you think after you give this a good read! 

 

Negativity - A Behavior That Holds People Back

 

Negative people will suck the energy from the room. Working or living alongside negativity can feel defeating and well, negative. It's an unattractive behavior that holds people back and they're often unaware of it. 

 

Negative people filter life through a lens of lack and pessimism. They usually see everything wrong with a situation rather than what’s right and they go through life focused on deficits. This can frustrate other people and cause unnecessary stress and worry. 

 

Negativity holds good people back from promotions

 

Being a team player, being solution-focused, and staying positive are some of the best traits of successful people. Dealing with difficulties with a positive attitude and not blaming or accusing others helps people rise to the top. Sometimes, when a person is caught up in their negativity, they can't understand why someone else can't see how miserable they are and offer them a better opportunity. They're missing the fact that positive, upbeat people are attractive -- those who can see the best in others and different situations. A boss is far more likely to reward someone like that than to try and rescue someone who is miserable.  People with a not-so-great attitude tend to get stuck in their careers and may not know why. Here are some common defenses used to justify their behavior: 

 

Thinking they are being "realistic" - Negative people justify their behavior by insisting they are “keeping it real” or “just being honest.”  It’s usually more likely that their spin on things is only one perspective and being negative rubs others the wrong way. 

 

Believing everyone agrees with them - Negative people tend to flock together. Little do they know that most of the positive people in their lives avoid them. Since most polite people won’t share the impact they have on them, negative people often are blissfully unaware that a significant number of people minimize contact with them. This leaves them commiserating with like-minded people and reinforcing their negative behavior. 

 

Insisting sarcasm and brusque comments are an acceptable communication style - Negative people tend to use sarcasm and jokes to communicate. When confronted with the impact their behavior has, they'll often justify their sarcasm or jokes as “just the way I am" or "I'm just kidding". We all know that "just kidding" always holds a ring of truth. The insistence that the socially caustic communication style is normal holds them back more than they realize. 

 

Believing other people are being too sensitive when they object - Negative people see confrontation as a reason to be defensive and not a chance to open a conversation. Often, they will justify their behavior by insisting others are too sensitive and need to lighten up or find a sense of humor. 

 

Of course we all have our down times. Sometimes it's seems easier to fall into a black hole and wallow for a little bit, but chronic negativity as a go-to response is a habit that holds good people back. It's limiting and doesn't allow for something bigger and better.

 

Now that we're all perfectly clear about negativity, let's do something about it. Tomorrow I'll start sharing my thoughts on moving beyond.  

 

 

Sparkles and Love,

 

 

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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with life support. 

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