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Send Thank-You Notes; Real Ones

Send Thank-You Notes; Real Ones

It’s really easy to send email. It’s fairly easy to find and use a telephone number. So, what do you do when you really want to thank someone for something? I say, go back to the good old snail mail and send a Thank-You note. Here are some thoughts:

  • Get clever about the notes– Don’t just go buy a box of nice matching stationary (unless you’re a stuffy law firm or an actuary). Try something different, something eye-catching. Go buy comic books from the dollar bin and a package of mid-sized rectangle stick-on labels. Try cutting up matching-sized stuff that normally would go into your recylcling bin. Do something to set your thank-you apart from the rest of the mail. (Bonus- if you size it identical to a typical post-card and make it out of card stock (cereal boxes?), you can pay less to mail it (in the US at least).
  • Be specific– Don’t just send a “thanks” and sign it. Write something more direct, “Fred- It was great talking with you. I’m excited about posting the interview soon.” That helps people remember WHY they’re getting the thank-you.
  • Market just a little, but not a lot– Use the thank-you card to strengthen your brand, personal or otherwise. With my “Fred” example, maybe I’d add on, “Keep checking in at Lifehack.org for that interview.” Of course, I’ll email Fred when it’s posted, but he’ll get the thank-you card as a visual reinforcement. Bonus: if you make a really attractive note, they might post it at their desk, so consider having your URL or something visible on that side.
  • Do it quickly– Thank-you notes aren’t all that useful if you wait a few months to send them. Set a time limit of 2 days to get it out. Move this item high up your list of priorities.
  • Don’t email about the thank-you– It just seems tacky to send email saying, “Did you get that thank-you note I mailed you?” Send it and forget it. Then, if you want more contact, email the person on some other topic. They’ll be prompted to say, “Oh, hey! I got that thank-you note you sent, Chris. That was really clever. I can’t believe you sent me an empty tin can as a note!”

YOUR TURN

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What did this make you think about? Can you open up the hack a little more? What are some of YOUR best thank-you hacks? (By the way, you know who sends a GREAT thank-you note? Patricia Ryan Madson.

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–Chris Brogan writes about creativity and self-improvement at [chrisbrogan.com]. Add hisRSS feed. Oh, and would you be his friend on MySpace?

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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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