Responding to Negativity

How to be positive when the other is negative?

Staying positive when others around you are negative can be trying. Though difficult, it is well worth the effort.

Our social brains that are easily influenced by others unconsciously get seduced into joining in with the complaints, negativity, gossip, and territorial tiffs. Defenses in one person breeds defensiveness in another. Yet, how much better if we are able to rise above the fray, stay constant in our own values, and take the high road—not from a place of superiority but from a deep conviction that stems from experiencing and knowing that this is our only salvation. Anything less takes us down a road that leads to pain, suffering, resentment, anger, dissonance, and ruptures in relationship.

The practice today focuses on how to stay the course when the going gets tough.


  1. Think of a phrase that you could say to yourself that will help you take the high road and be the person you want to be...even when someone else is not.
  2. Write it down.
  3. Say it several times to yourself while breathing deeply and easily and relaxing.
  4. Find a body posture or movement that helps you stay centered, grounded, and relaxed. Practice it while standing, sitting, even walking.
  5. Combine your body posture or movement, breathing, and phrase, anchoring in this state of being for yourself. The more you practice it while not stressed, the easier it will be to do it when stressed, i.e. when someone around you is being negative and you want to stay positive.
  6. As you practice your body posture or movement, breathing, and phrase, begin to notice how your body feels. Pay attention inwardly to the tone of your muscles, the level of tension or relaxation in your body, where your breath is going, etc.
  7. As you practice this flow state of being centered, add your awareness of the state of your body.


  1. When you find yourself in a situation in which someone else is expressing negativity verbally or non-verbally, employ this practice of finding your flow state of being centered.
  2. From that state, find words to express your positive thoughts or feelings. Rather than comment on the negativity around you, allow yourself to say something to the effect of, “I am going to do whatever I can to help the situation resolve positively.𔄙 You might say something like, “I've found that I don't feel so good when I complain. I would rather work to find a good solution.”
  3. If you are working hard to stay centered and are not able to find words that are positive, allow yourself to remain centered and quiet. Consider removing yourself from the situation gracefully. As you engage in this practice, you will find that it becomes easier to calm yourself down and stay centered, or to remain quiet or say something positive.
  4. Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts and for the steps you are taking to be positive in the face of negativity.

As usual, please write in about your experience.

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