“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”
― C. JoyBell C.
Negative people can suck the fun out of any situation.
It can be tempting to tell them to change their attitude, or to avoid them entirely. However, doing so is not in the spirit of compassion. When a person perpetuates negativity, it is likely they have absorbed quite a bit themselves. They don’t need your judgement or ridicule. They need your kindness. They need you to hold them in their darkness. They need you to help them find meaning and joy in their life again.
Here are twenty things to say that might help your negative loved one come back to the light:
- It makes me sad to see you in such a bad mood. I really care about you, you know.
- What can I do to help?
- I’m going to walk dogs at the animal shelter tomorrow morning. Want to come?
- I don’t think all this worrying is getting us anywhere. Let’s try to think of some solutions, instead.
- I know it’s silly, but would you mind smiling for me? You don’t have to, of course – but I could really use a pick-me-up.
- Your friend/co-worker/spouse was just telling me how wonderful you are. You really mean the world to them.
- Surprise! I baked you some cookies.
- All this talk about politics/midterms/drama is stressing me out. Can we switch to a more upbeat topic?
- Let’s list three good things that happened today. I’ll go first…
- I heard you’re a wonderful painter/singer/volleyball player. I had no idea! Tell me more about that.
- We’re both super stressed out. We should do something relaxing this weekend. How about brunch or a spa trip?
- Let’s draw cartoons about what’s bothering us. I’ll bet mine will be funnier than yours.
- Tell me about your favorite childhood memory.
- I know how you feel. It really sucks. I hope this moment in your life passes soon, and something better comes along.
- Tell me about your pets/children/nieces and nephews. Do you have any pictures?
- Let’s get outside. You seem like you could use some sunshine.
- Wow, you have the best job/abs/car/husband of anyone I know. You’re so lucky! Sometimes I wish I were more like you.
- Can I take something off your workload? You seem overwhelmed.
- Come here. I could really use a hug.
- I hope you feel better soon.
“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action,” wrote Steve Maraboli.