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Do You Unnecessarily Point Out Flaws?

Do You Unnecessarily Point Out Flaws?

I was at the pool recently with my son when a stranger tapped me on the shoulder. “Your bathing suit top is on backwards,” she said. Embarrassed, I hurried to the restroom and put the suit on correctly. Was I glad this woman I didn’t know pointed out my mistake? Not particularly. I was actually a tad annoyed because she’d made me feel insecure. And who did she think she was, anyway?

Then there’s the time that I sent out pre-printed holiday cards and a casual friend asked if I knew that there was a typo on the card. I didn’t understand his need to point this out – if I knew about the error, then surely I was already feeling badly about it. If I didn’t know, then his alerting me to the typo wasn’t going to change the fact that the cards already went out and there was nothing I could do about it.

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If They Aren’t Close, Mind Your Own Business

I believe that the only people with whom you are entitled to proactively bring up mistakes or flaws are your immediate family members, your best friends, and your direct reports. Everyone can improve, this is true, but these are the individuals who will most appreciate and value your desire to help them in that capacity. These are the individuals who can have a sense of humor about minor criticisms and take them in the spirit in which they are offered.

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At Work, Do You Say it with Tact or Not at All?

In work situations, you risk alienating colleagues and/or managers when you point out their mistakes or flaws. For example, suppose your office-mate stutters a lot in group meetings. Should you bring it up to him? In my opinion, the answer is no. He probably can’t control his stuttering, and as tactful as you think you’re being, you’ll probably still hurt his feelings. If his manager wants to address it, that’s her prerogative.

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Don’t Be Mr. or Mrs. Fix It

It’s not your responsibility to ensure perfect conduct the part of your colleagues, so even if you have an obsessive attention to detail or feel morally outraged about an issue, let it go. Unless your action can keep a grievous mistake from occurring in the first place, it’s not worth the potential damage to your reputation.

I sense that some of you might find fault with this point of view. So let’s open the forum – what do you think?

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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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