Once you are aware of negative talk and complaining, your world will completely change. Positive energy is great for your health and you will feel that as soon as you become more aware of it in conversation. With only a few tips and practices about how to engage in positive conversation, you will get ahead.
In every single negative situation, you can always find a happy thought. By trying your best to find something to be grateful for, it will automatically have you feeling uplifted. A great example of a frequent negative conversation that may in fact happen to you almost every day is when someone complains about the weather. For me, when I hear any negative comments about the weather, I automatically recognize it and add in my positive comment about it. “The trees look so nice though when they’re covered in snow” or “the ground is so thirsty, this rain is great” something positive, and maybe sometimes a little humorous too. Now, many of you currently may hear that so called “weather complaint” and respond with “I know, it sucks” or “it’s awful. I heard it supposed to be bad tomorrow too.” Sometimes you will even get those people that will say, “it’s just way too hot and sunny today.” I just want to grab them and say, “don’t you remember the blizzard we had just six months ago and you were praying for the summer time?” The thing about being positive is that you have to live in the now. You need to appreciate what you are currently living in. You need to be aware of your surroundings and how you are responding to them. Of course you will not always be happy about everything, and you are not expected to be, but you can always be grateful in some way. I always try to view my glass, as half full, as opposed to half empty.
How many of you find yourself saying something negative during a conversation and then once the conversation is over, you walk away kicking yourself because you didn’t want to say some of those negative words? I’m sure we all can think back to a time when we did that. Or even a person that often traps us into doing that. The beauty in realizing negativity is that you can distance yourself from it. As the quote goes, “beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity.” You can feel good about your interactions and you can decide how you spend your energy. Keep yourself close to people that keep you uplifted and give off good vibes. The choice is yours.
Now, distancing yourself can mean a couple of things. You can physically distance yourself. This can include in person, and on social media. In person, if you know someone that gives off negative energy, simply don’t go near them and avoid all conversation. Later on, I will be talking more about how to get out of a negative conversation that you are trapped in. Next, distancing yourself from negative people on social media is one of the smartest choices you can make. It’s your social media page, you get to decide what you want to “follow” and receive. On Facebook, the hide feature allows you to still remain friends with someone, but it allows you to not be bombarded by their negative posts. You can utilize this feature to avoid deleting friends and cutting off ties. Twitter is a different platform in the sense that someone can follow you, but you do not have to follow him or her back. Be smart about what you choose to expose yourself to because after all, it is your life and your mental health!
The other option would be to mentally distance yourself from those people that are bringing you down. The greatest ways to release your inner positivity is through meditating, doing yoga, or simply sitting outside and enjoying nature. Surrounding yourself with positive messages through readings or recordings will keep you mentally focused on how you want to live your life.
In an every day life as a college student, you come across many negative comments and conversations. Picture this. You are sitting in class waiting for your professor to begin but they are running late. This is a class that you are passionate about and you actually like the professor. A group of students near you start talking badly about the professor. They keep looking at you waiting for you to join in. You obviously don’t feel the same way, but how do you join in the conversation without adding to the negative talk? The easiest thing to do is change the direction of the comments. Bring up something good about the professor, or something you enjoy about the class. Those students may disagree with your opinion, but you also weren’t drawing attention to their negative comments. Sometimes you need to say what you need to, and then back away and let other people take it however they chose to.
But what if you are stuck, then what?
In other instances, you may need to fully remove yourself from the situation. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable even being associated with that conversation, or even those that are speaking. You have the power to get up and walk away. Go to the bathroom or get a drink. Or don’t. They’ll never know. You can gracefully exit from a lot of conversations; you just have to be confident enough to. Of course the classroom example is miniscule, but this can apply to situations that are on a much larger scale.
You may not always be able to just simply walk away, but there are multiple phrases that you can say to get out of a conversation. When trying to leave, you are saying what you’re doing. It’s not a question, you are not asking, you are telling them that you’re leaving. In a perfect would, you would wait for a pause in conversation and simply say something along the lines of, “excuse me, I’m going to head to the ladies room,” or “I’m going to grab another drink,” and walk away. However, sometimes you can’t find the right time to sneak in that comment to excuse yourself.
You may find yourself trapped in a panic, and don’t know how to use your words to effectively remove yourself from the conversation or change the topic. In cases like these, use your body language instead of words. Through nonverbal communication, you can show that you are not interested and do not agree with what is being said. Become more disengaged and slowly begin to drift out of conversation. By doing this in small doses, it won’t be as obvious or rude, but will still be effective!
In all scenarios, it is always useful to have an exit strategy rather than winging it. You will more likely feel confident in your actions if you have a planned exit tactic. As crazy as it seems, it is something that will be very beneficial to think about and plan. Take a second now to think about how you would most comfortably exit a conversation.
By engaging in undesirable conversations, your mood can powerfully be affected. It all connects back to the glass; do you see the glass half empty, or half full? Those that see it half full will receive so many more benefits not only for their happiness, but for their health too. Research shows that positive thinking will reduce stress, increase life span, lower depression rate and even permit greater resistance to the common cold. How many of you knew that by simply being positive, you could reduce the risk of physically getting sick? The power of positivity is strong and is something that is entirely in your control. Do not allow negative people into your life or ruin your day. The most important action you can take is to resist engaging in negative conversations because you never know how it will backfire on you.
Positive thinking has been a passion of mine, and maybe it can be yours too.
This is a narrative Ted Talk that I wrote for a class assignment. Please feel free to leave comments! I’d happily love to read feedback 🙂