Everyone has a name for them – you’ve probably heard me refer to them as Mood Hoovers, there are so many other names for them – Black Holes – Drains – Energy Vampires – what honestly are the main traits of these people and why do they do it? Having read this introduction, you have just visualised someone in your life, that’s how powerful they are!
Reading time approximately 3 mins.
What are the common traits of these negatively minded people and how can we cope with them better, if we accomplish that then surely our lives would be filled with joy without that rain cloud of doom following us around? Wishful thinking I hear you say, however is it? Really – you are in control of what you think, who you hang out with, where you play and what you choose to do so surely giving these negatively charged people a wide berth is in your control?
A great quote I read is as follows. David J. Pollay – The Law of the Garbage Truck. His belief is that,
“Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier.”
These are not scientifically researched traits of negative people, it’s simply my opinion and I know you will have others that can be added to this list along with your own ways of managing them – please share them, who know there could be some real gems unlocked and shared with the community.
The chemistry just isn’t right
It doesn’t matter what you do or think the chemistry just doesn’t work. In fact, they are probably a very nice positive person for some strange reason they just irritate the **it out of you and make you feel rubbish for no apparent reason. These can be clients, staff or family members alike heaven forbid they are all three. Your choice here how you give them a wide berth and not absorb their fumes. REMEMBER A CORE POINT HERE IS IT’S NOT PERSONAL – its chemistry – you were never BFFs with everyone at school, clearly this isn’t meant to be so move on.
Always worrying about something
The sun is out, the holiday season is in full flow, the weekend went well everything appears to be going in the right direction. But ‘no’ whatever is about to happen next is bound to go wrong, someone will probably die or failure in a catastrophic fashion is about to happen – they’re only changing the printer cartridge. Get it in perspective!
Tell everybody what to do
Bossy Boots – ‘you don’t want to do it like that you want to do it like this!’ Harry Enfield circa 1980’s, Why do they do this, because it covers their own insecurity and beliefs that by telling others what to do they can look important and superior. Leaders must earn respect not just shout about it in a self-important way, nod agreeably and then move on.
They enjoy secrecy and gossip
The saying goes “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people and gossip” which feeds into creating little cliques and sharing secrets behind people’s back – it all becomes a bit poisonous and unsavoury. That’s not to say people with secrets are gossips and negative in their mindset – these are traits of negatively minded people we’ve all got some secrets!!
Pessimistic outlook on everything
‘The sun is up’ – ‘It’ll probably rain later’ – ‘Don’t forget to get the currency for our holiday’ – ‘The rate will have gone down by the time I get there’ – The default position is to look on the dark side of life, it’s easy to do when you have a poor run of luck in recent times, it’s very easy to get caught in a loop and assume that is how it will be for everything. A client of mine wears a band around his wrist that he snaps every time he replays negative stories in his head or out loud, believe me when he first started doing this he had bruises on his wrist.
They have very thin skin
Don’t challenge them – oh no – that can be very dangerous – they can’t take criticism, positive observations or constructive feedback. That’s a personal affront and will end in tears, in the world of coaching you have to ask permission to share an observation and even then it’s not always welcomed. If this is done in a clumsy manner it’s very obvious what you are doing so tread carefully and only supply a small amount of the feedback at a time, they can’t hear it all at one go no matter how severe or necessary the feedback is!
Complain a lot
Moaning Myrtle was one of my favourite characters in the Harry Potter books – she really did sum up and act out the negatively programmed people followed by that whining streak and throwing herself down the toilet. Some people just aren’t happy unless they have something to moan about – it really doesn’t enhance the mood and will certainly end relationships. I recall the theory of Transactional Analysis here Parent / Adult / Child – which one are they being here, more often than not the child and they want you to fix it all for them. Move on
Stay inside their comfort zones
The grass may be greener but its very different, I’m ok right here where I am thank you very much – by trying to have a go I might risk failing and my fragile mindset can’t handle that, so I will stick with what I know, it’s not only easier but safer to. We all get caught up inside comfort zones especially as we crave security in life so pushing the envelope takes effort and doesn’t come naturally to everyone, they do say tomorrow isn’t yet written so you can achieve anything – with a little help!! Without trying the chances are they will miss out on the good things of life which in the end is their choice.
Manage to put a negative spin on good news
No matter how good the news is there is a negative ‘take’ that could directly affect them even though the result has nothing to do with them directly – it’s amazing when this happens. I have had to catch myself when I’ve sat open mouthed and someone has managed to twist what 99% of the world could see is positive great news into a problem and it’s not fair or rubbish. Amazing.
Remember after all this it’s easy to point the finger at other people and what they do or who they are however the biggest negative speaker in your life lives between your ears. You would never let anybody else speak to you the way that little voice inside your head does.
Managing negativity is a choice, we all have rubbish to deal with in our lives, whether that be health, taxes, a boiler breakdown or your lottery numbers not coming in today. How you deal with these situations is a choice. Throughout this article you have thought of people that I have described in your world, how they act and sadly how they make you feel – shouting and ranting doesn’t work – is it time to take control and move, create a greater distance between you or just stop taking it personally – it’s their baggage not yours.