Living in the real world requires us to peacefully exist with all types, including Ms. Debbie Downer and Mr. Doom and Gloom. Whether the negativity is coming from your spouse, your co-worker, or your best friend, here are some ways to rise above from

Remember that it’s a process. Like anything, your response to negativity isn’t going to instantly change. Unfortunately, there’s not a switch we can flip to make ourselves less susceptible to bad vibes. But by staying engaged with proactive solutions, our dealing-with-negativity muscles will grow stronger over time.

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Place limits. When a co-worker corners you and wants to mouth off about the boss, many of us have a natural desire to be empathic. Empathize with the gripes of your colleague too much, though, and you could feel yourself dragged down by complaints that aren’t even yours. Listen to your co-worker and be polite, but be firm; remind them that you’re busy and only have a few minutes to spare.

Remember what it’s really about. When people lash out at you with a response that is totally disproportionate to the situation, think about where their behavior is coming from. If all you’re doing is ringing up their groceries, chances are it’s not about you. That negativity is an outpouring of what’s going on with them — maybe they hate their job or are dealing with intense stress. Is their behavior appropriate or kind? Absolutely not. But it’s a barometer for the state of their life, and not a reflection of who you are.


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