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You Should Probably Shut Up At These Critical Times

You Should Probably Shut Up At These Critical Times

Talking can help you connect with others, but it can also destroy relationships. Here are some critical times when you should shut your mouth—before you put your foot in it.

1. When you don’t know who is around you.

No matter who or what you’re talking about, always be careful of who else is around. You may want to complain about a recent project, or simply talk about a family issue, but if you don’t know who is listening, you could say something offensive or inconsiderate.

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2. When you’re surrounded by gossip.

Gossipers love to pull other people into their webs. Don’t let this happen to you. If you gossip with a gossiper, whatever you say can and will be held against you—plus, you’ll probably be the next person gossiped about.

3. When someone asks about your love life.

It’s best to keep details of your love life private, especially if you are spreading negative information about your significant other. It will only harm your relationship, and if he or she finds out you’ve been talking about them, it could end the relationship forever.

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4. When someone is telling only you useful information.

You rarely get the opportunity to get ahead, so next time someone starts sharing useful information with you—and only you—stop talking! Listen to what they have to say, and start thinking how you can use the information to improve your job performance.

5. When the door is open.

It looks bad to talk behind closed doors, but talking out in the open can also lead to problems. Anytime a door is open, always picture the people standing in the hallway—just out of your sight but still in earshot. If you are comfortable talking with the door open, you better be comfortable with all your co-workers knowing what you’re talking about.

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6. When someone is telling you a secret.

This is a crucial moment for you to stop talking. A secret means someone wants to confide in you, so if you jump in and start talking, the other person will think you don’t value the relationship. Instead, just be quiet and appreciate their confidence in making you their confidante.

7. When you are about to say something negative.

No one wants to hear your negativity. So, it’s time to shut up unless you have a valid concern about someone’s safety. If you’re just spewing problems and negativity, no one will take you seriously anyway. Everyone will just dismiss you and think you are too lazy to help.

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8. When you’re about to lie.

Lying never really works. When you get caught you will ruin the trust you’ve built. Next time you’re tempted to lie, just don’t say anything.

9. When you’re about to make an excuse.

People who make excuses all the time are annoying. Next time someone asks you to help with a project, just focus on what you need from them to get started. This way, you will be proactive, and you will enlist them to help you get started.

10. When you want to “one-up” someone.

“One uppers” are people who always have to beat what the other person is saying. For example, if someone tells you they ran two miles, a one upper would say, “Really? I ran five.” If you’re really passionate about an activity, it’s natural to want to “one-up” someone, but hold back. It only makes you look desperate.

Next time you want to speak up, make sure what you’re saying will be a positive influence on the conversation and the person you’re speaking to. Learning when to speak and when to shut up is one of the fastest ways you can develop trust within your organization.

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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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