How to Deal with Negativity and Come Out on Top!
Dealing with negativity is part of life. Plain and simple. Now more than ever, girl world is filled with opportunities to be embarrassed, insulted or totally crucified both publicly and privately. Sure the old school arenas still exist: school hallways, the cafeteria, sleepovers, etc. But with ever increasing access to technology, girls are constantly connected, making them easy targets for criticism, judgement and a whole host of mean girl behaviors. From nasty Facebook comments to mean tweets to confrontations at school, girls are always at risk for a personal attack.
When faced with negativity, girls have options. Unfortunately, the one I see them choose most often is the “emotional melt down, I-suck-at-life, woe is me!” approach. Needless to say, this does not make them feel any better or help to mitigate the situation. AT ALL. So, next time you or your daughter are confronted with some negativity, try these strategies on for size:
1. Check Yourself: It never feels good to be criticized. That said, what feels like negativity can often be used as constructive feedback. While our instinct is to shut out or deny other people’s negativity, such situations can provide a great opportunity to self-reflect. So ask yourself: is the information I’m receiving true? And if so, how might I shift, change or adjust to become a better version of myself? If you can’t think of anything to do on your end, then move on to the steps below.
2. Don’t Retaliate: Retaliation never works. Ever. Even if it provides a brief moment of satisfaction, I assure you it is fleeting and almost always backfires. If you feel compelled to confront your nay-sayer, I urge you to use my H.E.A.L. Method to resolve the conflict. By initiating a constructive conversation, you will save yourself a whole lot of pain and angst!!
3. Less is More: When others spew negativity at you, it’s important to remember that their motives often include jealousy, insecurity and fear. In these cases, the aggressor is looking to get a rise out of you. By ignoring the behavior, and refusing to believe their negativity, you are taking away their power. I encourage you to resist the temptation to jump into the boxing ring, and simply walk away or turn a blind eye.
4. Forgive and Release: This is tough but I know you can do it. Forgiveness is truly a heroic act, and is born out of the willingness to feel compassion for those that wrong us.
When you truly accept that the negativity coming from others is rooted in their own “stuff”, it becomes easy to find compassion for them. From this place, you can forgive them for their actions and release your own pain. Make no mistake, this is absolutely easier said than done. But in the end, you will experience the closure and peace of mind that you truly desire.