Life Coaching/negativity

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Question
I am 30 years old single guy and i have problems dealing with people on regular basis. It's like i want to avoid them all the time. When i am introduced to someone, i generally have positive thoughts about him/her. Then i get to hear some negative things about that person from someone and my entire way of looking at that person changes. Also i have found that i attract negative remarks about others from a lot of people. It is as if they would tell me negative things about someone which they wouldn't tell to others so blatantly. Often it makes it difficult for me then to relate with people as i become prejudiced. Is bitching the only way of relating with people? How do i get out of this issue of being chosen as someone who has to listen to all the vent and complains others may have? Is there some problem with my personality?

Answer
Hi, Prashant

I know that it is hard to be in a place where it's hard to deal with people on a regular basis. It's also very hard to hear the negative things people have to say about others. It's like confirming our worst thoughts about humanity; that people really can be that mean and cruel.

Often, when I'm out and about, especially when I take the bus, strangers tell me all kinds of things. It could be something they are angry about or something deeply personal. The common thread is that they need someone to talk to. They want to know that someone is listening. Right now, that's what you are doing for those who are talking to you. Unfortunately, hearing the negative is affecting your view of other people; like you have all of these secrets and you have no one to tell them to.

Here is what I have to do:

1. Remember that what they tell me is just their opinion.
2. If they are telling me, it's because they need to tell someone.
3. I make my own decisions regarding how I feel about people.

If you find yourself hearing too many negative things, politely excuse yourself, go somewhere private if you can, and take some deep breaths. Think about more positive things and, if you are a spiritual person, pray and repeat a mantra that helps you remember that you are in control of your thoughts and feelings.

Eventually, when people start to see that you are not listening to negative things, they will find someone else to share it with and it won't be you. This may take time and you don't have to make a big production out of it. You just have to change how you think and behave when these situations come up. After all, you are the only one you can control and you determine how others treat you.

If I can be of any further help, let me know!

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Wendy Stewart

Expertise

I can answer questions about goal-setting, empowerment, conflict resolution/communication, Christian spiritual concerns (especially for Catholics), and weight loss/body image issues. I can also help you decide if you need coaching or therapy.

Experience

Starting from leadership roles before I even got to college, using what I have learned as a graduate of the Naval Academy and Naval Officer, I have been able to coach and guide people of all ages to help set and reach their goals as well as create more balance in their lives. I am also a certified personal trainer, youth sports coach and an Independent Beachbody Coach. Through those roles I get to help people be well mind, body, and soul.

Organizations
Disabled American Veterans, IDEA Health and Fitness and the American Council on Exercise

Publications
Examiner.com, Livestrong.com, Associatedcontent.com, and eHow.com.

Education/Credentials
B.S. History, United States Naval Academy; B.S. Business Administration (Human Resources concentration), University of Baltimore; MBA (in progress, University of Maryland, University College; M.A. Theology (in progress) St. Mary's Ecumenical School of Theology

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