Okay, I admit it. I don’t always focus on the positive. In fact, one of my personal struggles is negative self talk. My brother gave me advice that helps me a lot with that, which says:
Let people be themselves, and you be you.
Just yesterday, I was in a meeting with someone who is a one-person black hole. She and her negativity drain all the positive energy out of the room. What’s more, she’s mature and soft spoken so she doesn’t look the role of a consummate destroyer, but that she is!
On other occasions, I know my negative reaction would show through on my face. But yesterday, I decided to let her be herself while I remained my usually cheerful and smiley self.
My first step to do this? A silent full breath whenever I heard myself “going there” about her in my mind. This isn’t just a mental technique, more oxygen to your brain literally helps you think better.
Next, I smiled before everything I said to her. People almost always react positively to my smile! I also went with her instead of against her. Time consuming? Oh, yes! But I eventually scored the victory I was working towards — and this is the key — I won without doing anything that I would later regret.
I “went with” her withering look and response, “Oh, your department doesn’t do webinars? Our department does them all the time.” And when she insisted on support from our department’s “civilian” tech rep who would have been at risk given her high standards and habit for judging and deriding others unfairly, I deftly smiled and mentioned that having her department’s more experienced rep do the job would obviously be better for her superior webinar presentation style.
BAM! She literally stuttered while trying to regain the upper hand. Her goal for the meeting was to have our department do all the work, but her ongoing underlying intention to feel superior got in her way.
By focusing on the positive both in terms of what she said and how I reacted to it, I saved the day for my department while giving myself a boost for not having scowled at her inappropriate comments.
Anticipating work with this particular colleague used to fill me with dread. Now that I’ve become a Jedi at staying positive around her, I look forward to working with her because of the very many opportunities to be successful with my new skills.
:c) SMILEY TIP — No matter what the situation, there is always a silver lining. Find the good that is always present and keep it at the forefront of your mind.
Thanks for sharing a smile!