The Big Question of Life…

Is not the biggest question of life, “How do I become happier?”  I mean, to keep it simple, isn’t that what we all want?  It’s even written in The American Declaration of Independence:

“All men are created equal, That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The life and liberty parts are not issues for most of us; the happiness part is clearly a different story.  Most of us tell the same old story: we don’t actually seek happiness, but instead seek the best ways to avoid the negative. The Declaration would be more applicable if it read: “The pursuit away from negativity!” Think about it! How many times have these questions crossed your mind?
Why are some people so negative all the time?

How do I deal with negative people or situations, so they don’t bring  me down?

How do I live or work with a grouchy negative person without wanting to kill them?  (a little drastic, but I bet it has crossed your mind a time or two)

There are three ways to approach these situations. The first option is the easiest to do and works instantly… escape!  Get away as fast as you can. Run for your life! This method is simple, fast, and effective, especially for short-term relationships, such as someone you just met in a business or personal situation, a friend of a friend, etc.

Although the negative person is still negative, you won’t be subject to it anymore.  That’s why it is great for someone you will hardly ever see or never see again. Escape is also sometimes appropriate for a long-term relationship that is beyond repair. Sometimes, it is better to part ways, allowing each person to have a clean start in a different direction. This is a judgement call best made after the next two methods have been tried.

Because we have long-term relationships, escape is frequently not an option. We need to delve into how can we be happy around the not-so-happy people that are in our lives and are likely to remain in our lives, such as our spouses, family members, friends, and co-workers.  These situations are more difficult to handle and leave us with two basic options: confront or let it be!

First, let’s tackle confrontation.  When you confront someone for being negative, it is like flipping a coin. You basically have a 50% chance to come up heads (where you both win) or tails (where the confronted person becomes angry, increasing their negativity.) Be careful about how you approach your confrontation. If you confront someone because you just can’t take their negativity anymore, your frustration with them may come across as a personal attack, which causes defensiveness and denial of the negative behavior. As a result, no positive change occurs and the negative person basically goes on ignoring your “helpful” observation of their attitude.  (Just a little sarcasm on that last part)

If that flip of the confrontational coin lands heads up and they are receptive to their “unknown to them” negativity, you may trigger an awareness, which alone may be enough for them to work on changing their attitude.  I have found that most people who are negative don’t realize they are. If you are able to point out their negativity with their well-being in mind, without frustration, it can create big attitude changes, as long as they recognize that they want to be happy.  Unfortunately, some people don’t care and that’s when the first option (escape) may be the best choice for you.

The last and most effective option that works well with all types of people and in most situations is to let it be!  This is often the best option because if unhappy, negative, depressed, miserable people knew how not to be unhappy, negative, depressed, miserable people, they would be.  I’m not trying to assign blame. It is what it is, which does not release either party from responsibility.  First and foremost, you have the responsibility to yourself to do whatever it takes for you to be happy, in every situation. Likewise, other people are responsible for their own situations. Their negative behavior is for them to deal with, not you. You can only control how you react and, when you react to negativity, you give it power.  As it has been said, “They know not what they do,” so react accordingly. Don’t take it personally!  Whatever someone else is angry, negative, or depressed about is not about you.  It is about something going on within them.  Because they just don’t know how to deal with it, they project outward to whoever is closest, which gives their negativity more energy and actually validates their unhappiness!

The best anyone of us can do in any situation is our best, no more and no less. Although you have the options to escape from or confront a negative person, in many cases the best approach for your own well-being is to let it be. Stay calm, give the negative energy no power, ignore it, and take the steps that you need to for your own happiness as soon as possible.

The most powerful response to anything negative is no response at all. Great power is in the silence of the mind!

Once you realize the fact that everyone is doing the best they know how to at this moment, all your relationships, big & small will change!

All negative thought-feeling is not real, only seems real because we give it our energy-focus. Let it be, let it go, let in the good

When you forgive someone, you are not releasing them, you are releasing your self from negative thought & emotion!

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2 responses to “The Big Question of Life…

  1. It is best to approach a negative person with as much love as possible and from your highest self. I found the only way for them to respond is from their higher self and, although not initially, love will conquer the situation if you remain in love and not buy into the negative response. It works like magic. Love will conquer all. Great article, William!

  2. I just had this happen this morning – the coin flipped and landed on defensive and more negative. Unfortunately it’s a relative I can’t walk away from. But I liked your point:” Once you realize the fact that everyone is doing the best they know how to at this moment, all your relationships, big & small will change!” I am one of those people who is naturally happy. I wake up happy, I am friendly without trying. I sometimes forget people are not all wired like this – so I find rude behaviour SO offensive, thinking what does it take to be nice? I have to realize for some people it actually DOES take something and I have my own weak spots where I am weak.

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