When’s the last time you had to deal with a difficult or negative person in your life? Or the last time someone said something with the intention of hurting you? No matter where we go, we will face people who are negative, people who oppose our ideas, people who piss us off or people who simply do not like us. In these instinctual moments, we may lose track of our higher selves and become driven to protect ourselves when attacked. This too is natural. However, as humans, we do have the ability to control our responses. I know it’s not easy, if it was easy, there wouldn’t be difficult or negative people to begin with. So why should we strive to control our responses in these situations?
The bottom line is that the only person we hurt is ourselves. When we react to negativity, we are disturbing our inner space and mentally creating pain within ourselves.
When we respond impulsively, we usually do so in a quick, honest and straightforward manner; but when you sit back and think about it, is this really the smart thing to do? And what would doing so honestly be solving? The answer is-absolutely nothing. Have you noticed that when you fight back, it feels really satisfying in your head, but maybe not so much in your gut? I’m sure at some point in your life, you’ve experienced a similar situation- where your stomach becomes tight and your mind begins racing, am I right? Rarely can any good come out of reacting against someone who is in a negative state. It will only trigger anger and an additional reactive response from that person. If we do respond impulsively, we’ll feel more compelled to defend ourselves going forward. Have you noticed that the angrier your thoughts become, the angrier you become? It’s a negative downward spiral.
I’ve found that once I allow negativity in one area of my life, it starts to seep into other areas as well. When we are in a negative state or holding a grudge against someone, we don’t feel very good. We carry that energy with us as we go about our day. When we don’t feel very good, we lose sight of the most important aspects of our lives. People are as entitled to their opinions as you are. Allow them to express how they feel and let it be. Remember that it’s all relative and a matter of perspective. What we consider positive can be perceived by another as negative. While I’ve had a lot of practice dealing with negativity, whenever I’m caught off guard and end up resorting to a defensive position- the result never turns out well for me.
The point is, we are human, and we all have emotions. However, by making use of our emotional intelligence, we’ll not only be doing a favor for our emotional and mental well-being, but we’ll also have taken control of a situation that would have otherwise gone badly.