photo: v.h.d.on flickr

photo: v.h.d.on flickr

You’ve all been there:

You’re having a great day. Maybe your best day ever.

The planets are in alignment and everything is going your way. Everywhere you go, doors open. Birds fly in synchronized patterns above your head. People smile and give you cash.

Nothing can stop your positive juju and seriously slammin’ vibes!

Or so you thought.

Next thing you know, you turn a corner and run into a friend. And not just any friend. Oh no.

You run into Grumpy McGrumperton, the grouchiest, most negative person you know.

You ask him how he’s doing, and he says “Terrible.”

You ask how his job is going, and he says “It sucks.”

You ask about his health, and he says “I feel awful.”

Before you know it, your positive mood has shrunk to the size of a wrinkled pea. You slouch away, bitter and angry.

Why did Grumpy have to ruin everything?

photo: KamrenB Photography on flickr

photo: KamrenB Photography on flickr

We all have Grumpies in our lives. Friends, family members, co-workers. Sometimes we have a bad day and we’re the Grumpy McGrumperton.

So, how do we handle the Grumpies of the world? How do we interact with them and maintain a sense of well-being?

In an effort to answer these questions, I’ve devised the following list. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be Grump-proof in no time!

8 Tips for Dealing With Negative People

1. Don’t Be a Clone
photo: Craig Sunter on flickr

photo: Craig Sunter on flickr

It’s all too easy to let the Grumpies of the world make you Grumpy as well. If you find yourself catching their mood, take a breath and release their negativity into the ground. Or out into the ethers.

It’s not yours! You don’t have to keep it!

Also, if you catch yourself critiquing Grumpy – either in your mind or out loud – be gentle with yourself. Take another breath, and let the critique go into the earth or out into the ethers.

Not yours!

2. The Nightmare Approach
photo: Tony Alter on flickr

photo: Tony Alter on flickr

Doreen Virtue suggested an approach that’s worked really well for me with the Grumpies in my life.

As they recount their tales of woe, listen to them like you’re listening to a friend tell you about a bad dream. That way, you can empathize without taking it too seriously.

Grumpy really believes that everything is horrible. That’s a hard place to be. It’s okay to show compassion for him and his beliefs about his life.

But it doesn’t mean you have to set up a tent and stay there!

Remember that Grumpy’s stories are like a bad dream. This will help you to move on.

3. Say Hello to Your Inner Grumpy
photo: Phil and Pam Gradwell on flickr

photo: Phil and Pam Gradwell on flickr

The law of attraction is always working, even and especially when Grumpy comes to call.

I’m not saying you’re exactly like him, but it can be helpful to notice where and when you maybe, sorta, have a slight tendency to be just a wee bit like him.

When you discover these places – and you will – you can transform them with positivity. With just a little effort, your nega-mations can become affirmations. Your grumbletudes can turn to gratitudes!

And you have Grumpy to thank!

4. School’s Out for the Summer
photo: Michael 1952 on flickr

photo: Michael 1952 on flickr

It is not your job to school Grumpy. Do you hear me?

It is not your job to turn Grumpy into a more positive person.

Have you ever been in a bad place, and someone tried to make you happy? It’sannoying.

You can certainly share about yourself from a positive, oh-so-happy perspective. But trying to force your Happy McHapperton vibe on Grumpy?

It’s rude and aggravating and not nice.

So put your pencils down. Class is over.

5. Bring on the Love
photo: Sean and Lauren on flickr

photo: Sean and Lauren on flickr

Really. Love is always the answer, isn’t it?

The best thing you can do, as you’re standing there listening to Grumpy and his troubles, is to love him. Let the love start in your heart and flow throughout your entire body.

You don’t have a say a word to Grumpy about what you’re doing. Indeed, it’s usually best not to.

And while you’re at it, remember to send some love to your inner Grumpy. He needs it too. Even if he thinks he doesn’t.

Whatever the question, Love is the answer.

6. Walk Away
photo: DieselDemon on flickr

photo: DieselDemon on flickr

This may appear to contradict the previous tip, but they actually go hand in hand.

Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone is refuse to support their negativity.

You do not have to be held captive by someone who wants to spew their toxic tales all over you.

After you’ve spread some stealth love, walk away! Do it with respect and kindness, but get those feet moving!

You have a right to be happy, and if listening to Grumpy moan and whine isn’t working for you, get a little distance.

Then you can go back to step 5 and send some more love his way.

As one of my teachers once said, Some people are better loved from afar.

7. Surround Yourself with Positive Peeps
photo: Joris Louwes on flickr

photo: Joris Louwes on flickr

Speaking of keeping your distance from the Grumpies, one of the best ways to do this is to be intentional about who you choose to have in your life.

There are billions of people on this planet. Out of all those people, we only get to hang out with a small portion.

Why not pick the positive peeps?!

Why not pick those people who will make you smile and laugh and snort your drink out of your nose?!

Life’s too short to be weighed down by the Grumpies. Including our inner Grumpy.

If there are people you have to be around – family members, coworkers, etc. – remember Tips 1 through 6. Working these steps can transform the situation so that:

A) Grumpy starts to change on his own, or

B) the situation changes to no longer include Grumpy.

And last but not least:

8. Transform Grumpy in Your Mind
photo: ewan jade on flickr

photo: ewan jade on flickr

Now that you’ve worked the steps and are surrounding yourself with positive peeps, there’s one last thing you can do for our friend Grumpy.

You’ve heard of visualization, right? Maybe you’ve used it to change your health, or your relationships, or your self-esteem.

But you can also use it to help Grumpy.

See him as happy. See him living a rich, fulfilling life.

Every time you think of him, take a few moments to picture him in the best circumstances imaginable.

We all deserve to be happy, including Grumpy. Picturing happiness for him is a step in this direction!

One more thing:

I said earlier that these tips are simple. And they are.

But that doesn’t mean they’re easy.

Nevertheless, if you practice them consistently, I guarantee you’ll see results.

Before long, you’ll be handling the Grumpies in your life with grace and ease. You’ll be such a Love Machine, the Grumpies of the world won’t even faze you!

photo: kevin poh on flickr

photo: kevin poh on flickr

How do you handle the Grumpies in your world? Add your tips to the list!

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