Negativity.. and working alongside it!
I'm a creative person, and mixed with that I also consider myself a very positive person. Shouldn't that be a good thing?
In day to day working life, i come up against hoards of negative people. They stand around looking deflated, as if everything they touch is going to break, as if there's no point trying anything because it's never going to work, as if they will never succeed because life is so hard on them. Ok, perhaps thats slightly over exaggerated but I can tell a negative person from a positive one within 5 minutes of conversation.
I find it exceptionally draining. I can have an idea or project that is filling me with excitement and promise to have it knocked down to the ground in seconds. Don't get me wrong, there is a difference between a realist (which us creative types need in our lives) and a negative person. A realist will say "great, it could potentially be brilliant but HOW are we going to make it work?" whereas a negative soul will instantly strike with a "yep, thats an idea. It will never work though. Its too difficult, too out of the box, too expensive". As a creative individual, it's hard enough to work with a realist, let alone a negative person!
So, what do we do when we find ourselves forced to work alongside these people in business?
I recently found myself in that situation and their dreaded negative vibes were starting to have effect on me. I found myself not just feeling less upbeat, but also smiling less. I was worrying much more than usual and second guessing all decisions I'd made. I felt a "tension" that hadn't been there before and I started to doubt just how capable i was at running my own business! Yes, thats how ridiculous the situation had become. If this was a staff member, I would have taken a different course of action.. perhaps encouraging the individual to take on more responsibility, realise and release some of their own potential which would then perhaps raise their confidence and make a more positive (and productive) employee. But unfortunately I didn't have that option, this was a client I was working alongside.
So, after 6 weeks of being on the brink of morphing into a negative person I managed to find my way out of the situation and directed the client to another member of my team to work with (this particular person having an exceptionally straight talking, confident and REALIST personality!) I couldn't allow myself to absorb the negativity. When it starts disrupting my working and personal life, I had to make the decision to remove myself from the situation. Whether or not it was the right decision is yet to be seen, but at least I'm smiling a little more often now! :)
P.S. On the flip side, I can imagine my endless positivity must have driven him insane. Constant buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm... I bet for negatives, us positive people are exhausting to be around!!