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How To Deal With Negative People

How To Deal With Negative People

Negative people are everywhere, although hopefully you’re not one of them. Most people prefer the idea of a calm life where problems are solved without conflict but In reality, that’s a little bit difficult to obtain. However, Daisa Catalina has some methods, a system even, that you can you to deal with the negative people you are faced with:

There are moments in our lives when we invariably end up confronting other people’s negativity. While conflicts are a natural part of our relationships, getting caught in negativity can sometimes ruin our best days. So how can we avoid falling into the trap of being put down by negative people?

This is a question that has been on my mind since childhood. I grew up in a loving family. But like most families, mine had its issues too. So the loving environment was occasionally disturbed by some pretty nasty conflicts. Most of the time, everything was latent. Still, negativity could be felt and because I was caught somewhere in the middle and never actually took sides, I was used as a means of venting frustration. Others would come to me and tell me their side of the story. I would simply listen, though in my mind it was just pointless drama which hurt and felt bad. Sadly, I couldn’t do much to change things.

So I had to develop a strategy to help me cope with the situation. In time, through trial and error, I managed to build a system that helped me avoid being dragged down by negativity. It’s been tested over and over again and works whenever I use it. Please note that this technique can be also applied effectively when dealing with difficult clients.

1. Avoid Confrontations When Emotions Are Intense

This is a general rule of successful conflict management. It’s actually what my folks didn’t do – they usually bottled up all sorts of unsaid things and acted on their emotions, when these reached a high intensity. The result was a mini-explosion, which could have been avoided if they decided to vent first and then discuss the issue.

Why should you do this?

The reason is simple. When your emotions are at peak they take you over. You stop thinking rationally and you lose your mental-emotional balance. You literally become your emotion and everything you say and do is a result of that. From that one-sided perspective you cannot make good decisions nor take proper action.

So vent your emotions first and proceed into conflict solving and solution finding afterwards.

How do you vent your emotions effectively?

I personally love to journal through them and I believe this is the best approach you can take. Journaling helps you acknowledge your feelings, which is very important for your sense of well-being. It also directs your focus and helps you go into the problem solving part too.

A second approach would be taking a walk through the park. Connecting with nature is a great way to release negativity. The physical activity will help your body release endorphins, which will give you a good feeling. Working out has similar effects too.

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And while you can take control over your own emotional response in a conflict situation, there’s always at least one other person involved. They may not have taken the time to vent out their negativity and are ready to throw it at you.

If you find yourself in such a situation, proceed with the next steps.

2. Stay Aware

When we’re confronted with strong emotions in someone else, something in us reacts as well. Our bodies get into fight or flight mode and we feel the urge to retaliate or withdraw.

The key is to become aware of these emotions, notice and acknowledge them. Denying what we feel always backfires. The easiest way to stay aware is to keep the focus on the body and the breath.

I used to make this mistake in the past. I kept repeating to myself that I am calm and I tried to calm myself down in various ways, but all failed miserably. It was only when I started acknowledging and feeling my anger, that improvements started showing.

When you stay aware, you are able to feel and notice every emotion you have, but you also have the power to look at them as an observer. You can shift from “I am angry” to “I’m feeling anger”, which makes a huge difference.

Being angry means you are one with anger. Feeling the anger means it can freely flow through you and you can consciously choose to respond from an empowered state. You just have anger, but you are not anger anymore. That makes it easier for you to let go of it, just as if you were letting go of something you hold in your hands.

I have given the above example with anger because it’s the most common situation, but it can be applied to all sorts of emotions, like shame, guilt, resentment, etc.

3. Acknowledge The Other Person’s Feelings

I’ve noticed that a conflict gets disarmed really fast whenever I agree with the other person. By agreeing, there’s virtually no more room for a confrontation, so the intensity of the other person’s emotion drops considerably.

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It’s a brilliant way to stop those people who use you as an outlet to vent their frustration or negativity. It spares you a lot of time and nerves.

What do you do when you really don’t agree with the other person?

Well, that’s the most common situation and I have a solution for that too. What you can do is agree with their feelings, not their opinions.

If they say they feel outraged because this and that happened, you can simply say “Yes, I can understand how that made you feel outraged”.

That’s it!

Truth is, they did feel outraged and your agreeing to that fact is not a lie. Of course, you may not have felt outraged in a similar situation, but that’s irrelevant.

Most misunderstandings occur because we expect others to react like we do and we hold ourselves as standards. But we’re prone to being wrong, because every individual has a different personal history and reacts in their own way.

4. Discover The Other Person’s Good Intention

Everyone enters a conflict with a good intention for themselves. That intention may be setting boundaries, freeing up repressed energy, getting more comfort, expressing themselves, etc.

The bottom line is that they get into the conflict with the expectation to get something good in the end, even if it’s just a good feeling.

These positive intentions underlie all our behaviors. But sometimes we choose destructive behaviors to fulfill such positive intentions.

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In managing conflicts, it’s wise to look beneath the surface to understand what the positive intention of the other person is and respond to that. Sometimes their behavior may hurt us. But as long as we are aware that they have a good intention and we identify it, then we can act in an empowered manner and with more kindness towards them.

Sometimes it’s difficult to identify the positive intention. And at other times we may be prone to making false assumptions, which lead us on a wrong path.

The easiest way to find out what a person really wants is to simply ask them. It’s usually something specific, so the answer shouldn’t be hard to obtain.

You can say something like: “What do you actually want from this? And what good will it bring you?”. You may want to dig a little deeper too at times, if the real intention isn’t expressed from the beginning.

Having discovered the positive intention, you can proceed with problem solving.

5. Let Go Of Being Right

I know this is a really tough one and it’s much easier said than done. But it’s an essential step.

So far I have explained how you can disarm someone’s negative emotions. The second part of solving a conflict is finding solutions together with the other person.

So the discussion shouldn’t be about who is right or who is wrong. It should be about what can be done to creatively find a common ground and a proper way to solve the issues.

Blaming and holding on to the need of being right will only amplify negativity.

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The truth lies somewhere in the middle. If you insist on being right and having things your way, you’ll recreate negativity and conflict in the future. Think about the long-term effects on the relationship and focus on finding solutions.

6. Whatever Happens, Know You Did Your Best

There may be times when you apply all the steps above and you still don’t get the expected results.

This is likely to happen when you work with lots of people and do some sort of customer service work. I know from my own experience in customer service, that some people just won’t cooperate, no matter what. You can’t please everyone, even if you strive to do your best all the time.

In the beginning, I used to feel bad about such situations. I knew how I did everything I could to help some customers and they were still unhappy. But then I understood that it was about them, not about me. I really did all I was capable of doing.

So even if you won’t reach your desired outcome, give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself for having done your best. As long as you strive to do your best, your conscience can be clean. Sometimes it’s really just about the other person and you don’t have control over their reactions and feelings.

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way and shifting the mindset from “I wasn’t able to solve this” to “I really did my best in this situation” has helped me bounce off the negativity of others very quickly.

This approach also helped me avoid getting emotionally abused by others. I acknowledged my limits and stopped trying to do everything to please everyone. I did my best as long as it was within the confined limits. If others didn’t respond well to that, I had the satisfaction of having done absolutely everything in my powers, while also keeping my integrity.

Daisa is a Personal Development Junkie keen on bringing out the Awesomeness in people. She blogs at BecauseICanDoIt.com, inspiring others to reach their highest potential, live with passion and become unstoppable.

How To Avoid Being Put Down By Negative People | Because I Can Do It

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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