I'm positive you're negative

Bob Goldman on

I don't mean to be negative, but don't you hate working with people who are negative?

And negative people are everywhere.

It's true! No matter whether you deal with co-workers, spouses or cocker spaniels, at some point, you will come face-to-face with a negative Norbert. About that, I am positive.

Aja Frost can help.

Frost is the author of "7 Perfect Replies to (Politely) Shut Down Negative People," a recent post on The Muse website.

For many years, Frost dealt with negative people by trying to avoid them. It was a strategy that "led (her) to miss out on important relationships with people who, complaints aside, were good to know."

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Of course, at your work, avoidance would never work. Too many of your co-workers are just black holes in Allbirds. If you avoided them all, the only person with whom you could talk would be on your iPhone. Her name is Siri, and, frankly, she's fed up, too.

Frost also tried "commiserating with the venters."

"Not only was this bad for my mood," she admits, "but it encouraged people to keep grumbling around me."

From these false starts, the "7 Perfect Replies" were born. It's a technique for "responding to unhappy statements in a way that shut down the pessimism while still keeping the conversation alive."


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