Negative Reinforcement Further ideas and concepts[ edit ] Distinguishing between positive and negative can be difficult and may not always be necessary; focusing on what is being removed or added and how it is being removed or added will determine the nature of the reinforcement.
You try to make an effort to stay positive. But the people you work with are so negative. Or, the people in your family are so negative.
How can you keep your positive attitude even when surrounded by all that negativity? Try some of the following tips for staying positive even when surrounded by people who have a negative outlook on life. Some of these tips are ideas for reducing the negativity while other tips help you to calmly accept your circumstances.
The suggestions include both concrete actions you can take, and ways you can change your attitude to accommodate your environment. First attempt to understand what you are really up against.
Observe, as dispassionately as possible, what is actually happening, and examine the interpretation you are placing on what you see. What are the words, the actions, the tone of voice, the facial expressions?
What emotions do you sense behind the words and actions? While negative words and actions are always unpleasant to be around, it is helpful to distinguish among those cases in which someone has simply fallen into the bad habit of negative talk, times when they have brought a past upset into the present, and the most difficult moments when they are actively hostile to the current situation.
Assume the best about the intentions of those around you. Unless you have facts to prove otherwise, assume that the negative talk is simply the bad habit of complaining.
Don't take it personally. Even when negative talk is directed toward you, don't take it personally. Negativity is basically selfishness, and their selfishness is about them, not about you.
Yes, this is very difficult to put into practice. When you are the target of the other person's complaints, and especially their sarcasm, it is very hard not to take it personally.
Try, however, to remain objective and assess whether their is any rational basis for the criticism. When the criticism is unfounded, know that the other person is simply venting their own pent up hostility in your direction, and don't take it personally.
Have compassion for negative people. While it is unpleasant to be around negative people, it is far more unpleasant to be an negative person. Each of these people is highly troubled.
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