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Are You a Lantern or a Lamp?

Are You a Lantern or a Lamp?

The greatest freedom we have and the one many people give up is the freedom of choice. You have the freedom to choose who you want to be and how you want to impact the world.  Whether or not you intentionally exercise that freedom of choice, you impact the world around you.

What is your impact?

Is it positive? Do you leave things better than when you found them? Do you even care?

More specifically, what is your impact on the people around you?

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I encourage people to take an inventory of all the roles they play in life.  For example: I’m a dad, son, brother, uncle, grandson, cousin, friend, employee, trusted adviser, etc.  You get the point.  What is your expectation for yourself in each role? How do you want to show up?  What impact do you want to have?  Most importantly, are you meeting your expectations? If not, what needs to change?

If you’ve read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” you may recall the Emotional Bank Account.  It’s a brilliantly awesome concept for managing your relationships. Simply, your relationship with someone is like a bank account where you make deposits and take withdrawals.  When you do something positive that is a deposit.  When you do something negative that is a withdrawal. Like your bank account, the more deposits you make the more value and reserves you build up.  The bigger the positives, the bigger the deposit.  The bigger the negative, the bigger the withdrawal.  You want to build as much value and reserves as possible.  This means you care.  Where people get into trouble is the take too many withdrawals, forcing the account into the RED. This isn’t good.

Just be cool and make deposits!

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Another analogy I like to use is: The Lantern & The Lamp

Let’s start with the lamp.

Lamps are valuable as they shine light wherever they stand. Lamps help people see clearer and allow them to maneuver in the darkest places. However, a lamp’s impact is limited. Many lamps stand in one place and do not move. They stay in one position, and therefore only shine light in one place. You have to come to the lamp, and many times they are only valuable if you are beneath them.

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How about the lantern?

Though they serve the same purpose, the lantern’s opportunity to impact is much greater, which makes it more valuable.

For starters the lantern is mobile.  Wherever it goes, its light benefits everyone around it. It isn’t designed to stand above people or stay in one place.  It will go wherever light is needed.  It can be hung high or sit low, which gives it the ability to provide light from different perspectives.  It’s designed to go beside you. Its handle is its offer to help; just grab it!

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Are you more like the lamp or the lantern?

Do you stay in one place and only shine your light on those who stand beneath you?  Or does your light shine everywhere you go, impacting everyone around you?

I like the lantern.

The unfortunate reality is many people aren’t even aware they possess this light and have no clue of their potential to positively impact people and the world around them. Maybe it’s with their spirit or attitude or passion. For some reason many people don’t allow this light to shine.

That’s a tragedy!

Take some time and think about all the roles you play in your life and the expectations you have in those roles.  What does your Emotional Bank Account look like in each role?  Are you making deposits or taking withdrawals? What if you were a lantern and allowed your spirit, attitude, and passion to confidently shine on everyone around you?  Think about the impact you would have on them.

Think about the impact this would have on you!

Shine!

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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