We've all had to deal with negative forces in our lives. I suppose that, how we deal with these things shows our true character. For a long time, I allowed the negativity to get me down. Misery definitely loves company but, negativity craves it. Joining the forces of negativity and allowing it to take over is sometimes hard to fight. It's an important fight though.

Some people will never be happy for others. Some people will never have a positive word to say and will always revel in the downfall of others while despising their triumphs. It's annoying when you have to deal with negative sales people, strangers or others that you may pass during your day to day lives. It's spirit crushing to have to deal with it from a family member or close friend.

*courtesy of google images

But, what can you do? Is it possible to change people? Is it possible to turn the Negative Nellies into Positive Paulas?

Cynical Robin says no. That you can't change people. That people are who they are and will always be that way.

But, the more positive person I've tried to become over the last few years says that there is always hope for change. It's a tough road though. Especially when every person that negativity has encountered has ignored the need for change and accepted the person and their ickiness as unchangeable. If a man puts his pants on backwards his whole life and no one ever tells him different, it's a little more difficult to convince him that there's a problem. Apathy and acceptance is sometimes seemingly bred from a place of not wanting to stir the pot or not wanting to appear rude or maybe just wanting to avoid a confrontation. I get that. I really do. But, shouldn't we, as human beings, strive to help our peers to be better people?

*courtesy of google images

But, how can you do it? How can you get a negative person to wake up and see what they are doing to people? Is it really possible?

I'd like to think that it is. I'm sure that the age old recommendation of how to deal with a bully "Don't let them see it bothers you" is applicable and somewhat helpful. And I do, generally, try to apply that when faced with a super negative person. It can still hurt though. It always hurts when someone who is supposed to care, someone who is supposed to support us, just flat out doesn't. It hurts when it's you that is being affected by the negativity and it hurts even more when it's your kids being affected. I know every parent out there can attest to the fact that when something negative affects your kids, the anger blinders come on pretty quickly.

And, let me stop here and say that it infuriates me that people seem to get a pass this time of year because "It's the holidays". Really? Shouldn't the holidays be a time to be nicer to people? Since when are the holidays a free pass to be shitty?

One of the best things my mom ever taught me was actually taught starting at a very young age. She always told me that when confronted with an angry or bitter or negative person who cannot be reasoned with, simply "smile and nod". She always said that refusing to give someone like that what they want, to bring you down, was a much better retort than anything you could think to say. I do this a lot. Smile and nod and vent to your best friend. And, for those sporatic situations when dealing with difficult people, this definitely works. But, I'll be honest, when dealing with repetitive negativity and prolonged exposure to miserable people, I find it harder and harder to smile and nod. Life is just so short. It's hard for me to justify having those kinds of people in my life. It's hard for me to justify the stress and sadness and stomach aches that I get from those kinds of people.  And it's impossible for me to justify having those kinds of things from those kinds of people affect my kids. I just won't let it happen.

So, I keep smiling and I keep nodding. I vent to my closest confidants. I breathe and listen to my amazing husband tell me to let things go. I focus being positive and trying to be a source of happiness for as many people as I can. I tell myself that one day I'll get brave enough to figure out how to tactfully ease someone away from being a truly negative and miserable person. I tell myself that by keeping that smile, forcing positivity towards those people, I am doing my part because positivity is just as powerful as negativity. And, I keep my belief in Karma.

*courtesy of google images

How do you deal with negative people? What about when that negativity starts affecting your children? Should the holidays be an excuse for treating others poorly?