“Am I my brother’s keeper?” ~Genesis 4:9Advertising
If you were put into a situation in which you could–you didn’t have to, but could–help a total stranger, would you? What if the individual was the member of a social category that was opposed to your values, morals, ethics or personal preferences, such as the “wrong” religion, ethnicity or socio-economic status, or lived on “the wrong side of the tracks”, would you still help them?Advertising
Social activist and YouTuber “The Mane Man” decided to conducted a social experiment to try and answer this very question.Advertising
Dressed in full Muslim garb, “The Mane Man” ascended a bridge and pretended to be distraught over how he and other Muslims were being viewed and treated. He feigned being on the brink of suicide. As people walked by, he reached out to them and asked them to do one simple thing to help him. Deliver a note to his dad.Advertising
People didn’t just respond to this young man’s desperation, they compassionately embraced and encouraged him. Without knowing who he was, what he’d done or what had brought him to this pivotal moment the bystanders proceeded to de-escalate the situation and to show him that he was valuable as a person–despite what other people may think of him. The unwitting participants stopped what they were doing and asked the young man to come talk to them. “I really want to hear your story, ” one young lady said. Another couple stopped to help and then flagged down two police officers who happened to be passing by. Even the police officers showed gentleness and compassion and offered him sage words of advice.
The last lady who stopped to help wept with the young man.
At the end of the day, we are all humans doing our best to navigate life. When we strip away all of the superficialness and have the courage to see past our prejudices and preferences, then are we able to connect with the humanity that exists in all people. This experiment illustrated that we are all a part of the same brotherhood and that makes each one of us “our brother’s keeper.”
Last Updated on January 18, 2019
7 Ways To Deal With Negative People
Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.
But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.
1. Limit the time you spend with them.
First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.
In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.
Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.
2. Speak up for yourself.
Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.
3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”
This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.
But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.
4. Don’t make their problems your problems.
Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.
This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.
Why else would they be sharing this with you?
5. Change the subject.
When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.
Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.
6. Talk about solutions, not problems.
Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.
I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.
You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”
Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.
7. Leave them behind.
Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.
If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.
That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.
You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.