3 Ways to Deal With a Pessimist

Do have that one person in your life that is a pessimist? Here’s a few examples on how to deal with them.

Let us take a line from one of our favorite pessimist, He turned around angrily on the others and said “Everybody crowds round so in this Forest. There’s no space. I never saw a more spreading lot of animals in my life, and in all the wrong places.”  That was Eeyore, our depressed little donkey from Winnie the Pooh.

Thousands of people have the same mentality as Eeyore, they are gloomy, negative, downbeat, defeatist, and feel as if the world is going to end.  Another term I always use is melancholy.  This is a person or personality that is always sad, sorrowful, faces depression and unhappiness.  The cloud is always following this person.

Now we all get pessimistic and melancholy from time to time.  Even as leaders we get gloomy and depressed, seeing the glass of water as half empty sometimes.  But it shouldn’t define who we are and our personalities as leaders.

Let me give you 3 ways on how to deal with a pessimist:

1. Understand Yourself First

That may sound strange when dealing with someone else, but it was a very valuable lesson passed down from one of my life long mentors.  Before I can deal with someone else’s attitude and seek to change the atmosphere, I must first understand myself and deal with my own attitude.

When you lead your team, your family, or congregation, ensure that your attitude is top priority, that you have completed maintenance on yourself so that when you go to lead you can lead with the utmost confidence.

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
― Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

It is not that we should have the “me first” mentality but rather the “if I am not right as the leader, nothing around me will be right” mentality.

Tell yourself this over and over.  “I must start with me.  I must look in the mirror.  I must evaluate myself.  I must change myself.  I must change my thinking, my attitude, and my outlook.  If I worried more about myself as I did others, I would be a better person.  If I changed myself more than I tried to change others I would be a better leader.”

Now that we have laid a foundation, let us look at the second thing we should do.

2.  Have The Pessimist’ Best Interest In Mind

When you get depression negativity, sadness, and attitude together, you have have a concoction straight from the pits of Hell itself.  It is a brew that boils and steams, then poisons every individual that dare partakes of that devilish drink.

As a leader we surround ourselves with individuals of different personalities and walks of life.  Different races, backgrounds, and religions form our teams and those we come in contact with.  Unfortunately, we must understand that we do not have the luxury of choosing the cream of the crop top notch attitudes in every situation.  And many times we simply have to work with what we’ve got.

So how do I work with a pessimist?  Well one thing you can do is make sure your attitude is one that has this person’s best interest in mind.  What is your ultimate goal with this individual?  Do you really care for them?

You don’t want to manipulate and hijack their personalities, although that’s a thought! LOL!  Here are a few ways you can have their best interest in mind.

  • Show them you care
  • Congratulate and reward the desired behavior
  • By all means work on their weaknesses, but magnify their strengths
  • Lead by example.  “A positive attitude is better caught than taught!”

Show this person that you value their input and they have a very valuable place on your team.  People tend to want to be involved and make things work when they feel they aren’t alienated and sense that they are an integral part of the family, team, or congregation.

3.  Communication Is Key

According to HBR.com there are three ways to deal with a pessimist:

  • Create Awareness
  • Reposition Negative Statements
  • Involve the Whole Team

Unraveling these three actions would take a lot longer than one blog, but the thread that binds them together, is great communication.

Most leaders get and remain frustrated at these individuals and cannot properly lead them.  This is mainly a cause of not having the proper communication skills necessary to facilitate individuals of with different personalities.

Here are the 4 “Be’s” we can do to improve our communication with pessimistic people.

  1. Be honest-Do not let this attitude slip by.  It can disease the whole team and undermine your ultimate goals.
  2. Be patient-Building effective teams does not happen over night.  Helping a person maintain a positive attitude day in and day out will ultimately create the desired outlook in their lives.
  3. Be proactive-Always work on it.  Spend time encouraging, instructing, and guiding.  Teach!  Teach!  Teach!
  4. Be firm-If this person is absolutely not willing to change, fire them!  Fire them from the team, from being your friend, or remove them from your organization.  Cancer spreads and so do pessimistic people.  Some people will never come to grips how their attitude affects everything and everybody.

As leaders we should master our verbal and non verbal cues to dealing with different personalities.  You should position yourself in such way that you can help lead these types of personalities to being productive teams members.

In conclusion,

The leader is a person with a vision, that understands their team, and the different personalities that the individual represents.  They can take these personalities and maximize their strengths so that the entire team compliments one another and in turn deliver the ultimate demonstration of teamwork.

This means at times we have to work with less desirable personalities.  But it also means it gives us an opportunity to be true leaders.   Are you up for the challenge?  Do you see what you need to do?  Think of your own ideas, I would love to hear from you on your thoughts.  Keep on leading and one day you will be the successful leader that you have always dreamed about.

 

Dustin L. Carr

thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com

 

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3 Ways To Deal With Negativity

How many of you have “those” people in your life that are negative? Here’s a good starting place dealing with this issue.

To some people it is just second nature.  To others it is their main nature.  A carnal beast lurking around your mind, scouting the first available opportunity to tear into your brain and emotions  with the utmost furiosity.

This is the challenge of the individual that seeks a positive lifestyle, and like Jeffrey Gitomer says, “A YES attitude!”  The challenge is to stay positive in a negative world.  Let us look at a few reason why people become negative.

  • They were raised in a negative household and never broke the curse.
  • They aren’t fulfilling their dreams, so they knock you for yours.
  • They aren’t happy with themselves.  If they can’t be happy neither will you.
  • They live in a comfort zone, and if you disturb it, then they will disturb you.
  • They have tunnel vision.  If you have different ideas, they will stamp them out.

Turn on the evening news, go to a town hall, visit the average church, view your Facebook, or look at your job and those you work with and you will find this world is reeling from a cataclysmic burst of negativity.

Allow me to give you a few ways to handle negativity:

1. Accept The Challenge

When I come across negative people, the temptation is to be negative back.  But on the contrary we should use this as an opportunity to inject positiveness into someones life.  Your life is surrounded by negative people, and when you are outnumbered the best thing to do is overcome it by remaining positive.

It takes lots of discipline to remain positive.   Your patience will be tested, you attitude will be checked, and it definitely will challenge you.  But accept the challenge, because you can make a difference in others.

I had a boss once that told me, when a customer pulls on the drive, and they ask how you are, you look them in the eyes, smile, and say, “The best you have ever seen!”  So I accepted the challenge and I made it my purpose to say it every time, and customers jaws would drop, they couldn’t believe that someone was so happy.  I have built a lot of friendships and loyal customers simply from being positive.

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.

-Jack Canfield

Another thing you need is dedication to the challenge.  Make up you mind each and every day that no matter what negativity you encounter you will remain positive.  When we do an act everyday, consistently, and on purpose it eventually becomes a lifestyle, and it will be something you do not have to think about, it will be something that you are.

Finally, you need determination.  It is hard to stop a determined person.  Just as much as some are determine to derail your positive lifestyle, so must you be determined to curtail your negativity into positive energy.

Make it a point right now to take the challenge of creating a positive lifestyle.

2.  Build A Power Group

Building a power group is very important to sustaining high performance and goal setting.  There is power and solace when you meet or speak with those in your inner circle.  What is a power group?

  • A like-minded group of individuals with the same goals and same passions.
  • An oasis in the desert when you need encouragement.
  • Those that can grow you and help mature you.
  • Mentors that expand your mind and horizons.

What does this have to do with dealing with negativity?  Everything!

Remember this, “you become like those you hang out with.”

-Someone with common sense 

This is something I am passionate about.  I observe people that have a constant negative worldview and I look at who they are congregating with and I am absolutely convinced that negativity begets negativity.

Now for the sake of humanity, be friendly to everyone and never critical, but for the sake of your mental and spiritual well being, gather with those that build you up rather than tear you down.

Where are these negative people?

  1. Family
  2. Church
  3. Work
  4. Social networks
  5. Fringe friendships

It is important to identify where these negative people prowl, and then develop rules of engagement.  In other words, you set parameters on how much contact you will allow yourself with these individuals.  I’m not speaking of isolation but rather insulation.  Protect your attitude like a mother protects her helpless child from a giant grizzly!

Having a power group is a great way of accomplishing this. *WARNING* Do not choose people that will always agree or just make you feel good and fluffy.  Choose a diverse team that will challenge you, inspire you, correct you, encourage you, teach you, then watch your attitude and lifestyle sore through the sky!

3.  Saturate Your Mind and Spirit

Leadership maxes out your resources on a consistent basis.  Your energy, emotions, and your spirit will be drastically tested to their limits.  Many leaders have good motives and strive to put everything they have into their cause, but are left with an empty tank and running on fumes.

Without pumping positive things into your mind and soul you will become critical, burned out, grouchy, depressed, and left with low physical energy.

Here are some things you can do to saturate your mind and spirit:

  1. Read good books– Bible, Self-help books, good positive novels, anything John C. Maxwell, anything Jeffery Gitomer, anything Zig-Ziglar, anything Norman Vincent-Peale, anything “Chicken Soup For The Soul” -Jack Canfield.  So many more books, you can look them up and see which one interests you.
  2. Sign up for a YouTube account, Pandora, and other popular apps to download popular speakers, encouraging music, funny videos.  Hook it up to you speakers in your car, carry your earbuds everywhere you go, and saturate your mind every chance you get.
  3. Do not live on social media– Social media can be a blessing and a curse.  Use it to build others up not to air out your dirty laundry.  That’s all I want to say there.
  4. Start everyday off right–  Prayer/meditation, reading, and breakfast to fuel your day.

I will repeat myself intentionally, make being positive a lifestyle!  You will do this by saturating your mind and soul.

Conclusion

Build up your life, throw away the trash, help others, strive for your goals, don’t let anything stop you, push away and repel negativity, smile more, laugh more, live more, vacation more, have fun, enjoy life, don’t be all business, chill sometimes, and just enjoy the journey.

Get your journal out and write some steps your going to take to begin and maintain a positive lifestyle.  I would love to hear back from you to see what you came up with.  God Bless you!

Dustin Carr

thesuccessfulleader.wordpress.com