We all know people whose pervasive negativity is difficult to manage. You know, these people for whom everything is always black, nothing ever goes the way they want, nobody understands them, it only happens to them, etc. Sometimes it is easy to limit the influence that these people have on our own life, because it is enough to space (or even cut) the contacts … But what to do when this deeply negative person is part of our immediate entourage? If a relative, a close friend or a spouse is involved in this vicious circle, it is not always easy to know how to react, how to help him, and especially how to protect yourself.
You are not responsible!
We are each full-fledged, with our own way of seeing things, understanding and analyzing the situations we have to face. We cannot explain how, in the same situation (the loss of a job, for example), some people will get depressed, sink into becoming “vegetables”, while others will use this situation as a springboard in order to better bounce back and reorient themselves in a field that has always fascinated them … It is a question of character, self-confidence and in the future.
Obviously, when we are confronted daily with negative thoughts and words, it is not easy to stay put and keep our good mood, even if we are generally of an optimistic character … It is however essential to come back often and remember who we are, what are our goals in life, what are the things that generally affect us. It is necessary to realize that the state of mind of your spouse or your relative, if he can change your mood on occasion, cannot change the person that you are basically.
We have already told you several times, but before anything else, you must understand that the negativity of your loved one has nothing to do with your own personality, what you are, the way you react to different life circumstances. Whether it is a mental disorder per se (depression) or a negative outlook on life, it is not you who is causing this. You are not responsible, you are not at fault, you are not guilty!
How to help?
Remember that it is impossible to help someone who refuses to help themselves. So if this spouse, this family member, this friend does not realize his negative state of mind, it could take very, very long before the situation improves. However, do not despair … By patience and compassion, you should get there, together …
In some cases, it will be necessary to call a competent professional, take medication and undergo therapy. Other times, negative feelings will subside on their own after a while. Whatever your personal situation and that of your loved one, remember that it is a slow and painful process. It is indeed a question of completely changing a perception of life that can be anchored in the self for years.
One thing is certain, it is not by simply ignoring the situation that it will improve. Through time, understanding and love, you should be able to make the person concerned understand the extent of their problem … which is the first step towards healing.
How to protect yourself?
Detach from it
One of the dangers, when you live with a negative person, is to get caught up in the problems of the person you love, without taking time to think about yourself. It is absolutely essential to remember that we exist, apart from the other, and that we have personal needs. You must not get lost in the black hole of the other, you must be able to detach yourself from it and say sometimes (even if it is only mentally): “enough is enough, I’m taking a break!” Above all, don’t forget yourself! The fact that your loved one is unable to enjoy the little pleasures of life should not prevent you from enjoying them.
Take care of yourself
On occasion, don’t hesitate to be “selfish”. There is perfectly healthy and acceptable selfishness, which is one that allows you to take care of yourself. Of course, it is very easy to forget yourself when someone seems to be asking for our full attention, but it is not by doing this that you will be most effective.
Don’t feel guilty about wanting to have fun on occasion, going out, going to restaurants, meeting friends, etc. Anyway, whether you stay with your negative loved one or not, there is a good chance that their mood will not change … On the other hand, yours could clearly improve after a girls’ night out or a game of hockey with friends!
To protect yourself
Sometimes it is essential to forge a “shell”: words and expressions should simply bounce on you without touching you, without affecting you. So, without ignoring the situation, it is sometimes good to ignore it, for example, by not systematically commenting on the other person’s negative tirades. He or she complains every day about the temperature, their pseudo-nullity, the lack of money, stupid, incompetent or stupid people in their environment …
It is not useful to abound in this sense, to give it right or wrong. Just try not to “hear” and direct the conversation to another topic. Some may think that this attitude will not solve anything at all, and this is probably true, but it will at least allow you not to encourage the other in his darkness … even if it is only partially postponed.
Even if this situation sometimes seems insurmountable when faced with it, remember that this is never the case. Think about yourself, release your stress regularly, express yourself without judging others or making you feel guilty, and try to keep your own good mood! Courage…