Some people never seem to get past their pessimism – while others crave the desire to change. For some, being negative is a terrible habit to break, leading them down a road full of broken relationships, failed aspirations, and a sense of inadequacy, only to constantly blame others for their negative outlook on life.
Here are 5 ways to make a positive impact on a negative person.
1. Choose Empathy
While most people don’t feel positive 100% of the time, there are tactics that elevate a cheerful attitude. You can instill the love and compassion they crave. Perhaps they are overwhelmed with pressure from friends, family, or work; maybe they’ve been fired and have kids to take care of or lack the stability they’ve sought after for months, years, or decades. Nothing will leverage a positive attitude like when you allow them to feel understood because everyone wants it, but not everyone receives it. Choose empathy.
2. Choose to Listen
There are those who look to others they trust for advice and support. To the individual who is engulfed in a negative spirit – the last thing they want is advice, but rather the opportunity to be heard during moments of frustration. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion proverbs 18:2. Often, the negative person may not necessarily be speaking words of truth, but rather speak to things that have not been thoroughly analyzed or thought through. Choose to listen despite your opinion. There is a time to speak and a time to listen.
3. Choose Encouragement
Propelling the potential in others is a discipline, adding value to those in need is a small start to a large outcome. Seasoned leaders do this with grace, humility, and a desire to bring out the best in others, regardless of their circumstances. What are they passionate about? What brings them to life? What empowers them to live with a smile? Being negative does not mean that they are hopeless, it is simply an opportunity for you to find common ground and work your way up from there. Choose encouragement.
4. Choose to Observe their Nonverbals
Though a side-effect of negative people is complaining, there is in fact much more being revealed and communicated if you observe their body language intently. Sometimes during those dark and frustrated seasons, people often resolve to negative self-talk or destructive behavior as a means to be reminded by others of their worthiness. Choosing to observe their nonverbals can give you key insights into their true emotions, thus giving you the opportunity to have a stronger, more trustworthy relationship with them.
5. Choose Empowerment Through Joy
Those living a life of negativity understand the strain on their life and the impact on their relationships. Getting someone to go out and experience activities that elicit happiness and excitement are the best cures for a nagging mind. We often experience emotions through our body, which is why doing something completely out of their ordinary might be the flame needed to change their thinking. Do they love sports? Take them to a sports game. Do they love concerts, arts, and museums? Go show them a good time. Choose empowerment through joy.