So you walk into the office and say a cheery “good morning” and you are greeted with a grumbled “yeah” or even worse, a glare that says “don’t talk to me”. O.K. Well alrighty then!
I don’t know about you, but my automatic reaction will be to come down to that level of negativity and think “fine – see if I greet you again”.
What I say to you is “please, please, please don’t do that”, because if you do the negativity will become a part of the office environment. And if you’ve ever worked in that type of environment, you don’t need me to tell you how draining it is on energy, customer service, and creativity.
And for those who would tell you “just quit and go somewhere else”…..it’s not like the job market is exactly rosy right now, and unfortunately sometimes you could go from a bad situation to one that’s worse.
In reality, I’ve been blessed because most of my working life has been spent in positive, pleasant working environments. But even in those environments, there has been the occasional negative soul that feels compelled to make sure that because they aren’t happy no one else around them is going to be either.
I’m no expert on this, but here are some ways I’ve managed to make the best of this situation. First of all, I get that some people don’t want you in their space, and sometimes you just have to accept that and back off. You can’t make someone be more positive if they are choosing to be negative. But that doesn’t mean you have to become negative. I don’t think someone else’s negativity justifies your negativity. Think about it. That does nothing but create a vicious cycle. You don’t eliminate negativity with more negativity.
And don’t take it personally. You have to realize most negative people are negative toward everyone, not just you.
Lastly, recognize this is a process. Some people will always be negative, so you may have to just back off and leave them alone. And you aren’t going to change the situation in a day or two. Negativity is a habit, like any behavior, and it takes work and time to change it.
Just know that your positive attitude will make a difference and not only will you be a happier person but your work environment will be a much more pleasant place.
Here are two great Web articles on this topic:
For employers: http://www.briannorris.com/articles/overcomenegativity.html