Don't Feed The Beast! Stay Positive!

OK, so I know that you can all identify with this.  Sometimes, we run into people who do not share our propensity for positive thinking.  They enjoy spewing negativity when things do not go their way.

How you react to these situations is critical! A misstep here cou

ld result in a major headache, one that just will not be cured with Advil or Tylenol. Here's my solution…

Don't react at all! Are you confused?

Type your response if you really have to, but don't hit the post or send button.  Once you engage in the negativity-trap, they win.  And they love it when they get others to feel as miserable as they do! But, these people cannot be convinced or won over, so don't try.   Just let it go. The majority of the people out there, the rationale ones, don't pay attention to them either.

Don't feed the beast!



  1. Patrick,
    Thank you for sharing.
    I do try to always find the positive side of things and try to take the “high ground” At times it is difficult and I fall into the trap and respond or as you said feed the beast. In the end I do believe we will get further and be able to make more significant changes by staying positive and modeling in a positive way what we want and expect
    Thanks for the reminder

    October 8, 2010
  2. Thanks Akevy – Selfishly, I wrote this post as a reminder myself not to react to something ridiculous. It felt good not to get drawn in!

    October 8, 2010
  3. Amanda Dykes said:

    LOVE IT! Negative people kill me!! I’m so bad about ignoring negative things so it shocks me when other focus on the negative. I did not just do that, I so just said at the lunch table (very sweetly and with a smile like us Southerners do so well) to a coworker, “I am sorry you hate kids and teaching” and walked off. I so should not have done that! But you know (I’m being devil’s advocate), I usually do keep my mouth shut and people in return walk all over me. So sometimes it is OK to stand your ground. Or you will end up like me “Amanda The Door Mat.” Even around our PLN. I get mean DMs a lot and just blow them off and keep on following and smiling. Speaking up about your beliefs and ideas is not always bad Patrick. 🙂 Plus your ideas are usually dead on!

    October 8, 2010
    • Amanda – I agree! Sometimes we need to say something and your response was perfect. It really didn’t extend the conversation, but instead shut it down. I am always trying for a respectful response which is what I think you did. Thanks for your response!

      October 8, 2010
  4. Tara Benwell said:

    I think Eckart Tolle mentions this in A New Earth. I try it regularly, but I often forget. Love this reminder, as well as Amanda’s comment. I jump on the purple bracelet bandwagon often. Attempting to live a “complaint free” life is useful at work and at home.

    October 8, 2010
  5. 8amber8 said:

    As a perpetually peppy person, I am amazed at how many people, although smiley, open their mouth and are confusingly negative. I honestly don’t think thy even realize tht thy are negative…i have mastered the art of the smile redirect. I quickly steer the conversation back to the optimistic direction, smiling the whole time
    and don’t even give attention to their nay’sayN. I just shut it down. Quickly. Smiley. MoveN on-ly.

    October 8, 2010
  6. rob said:

    Great reminder. .especially as more and more is asked of schools and our teachers.

    October 8, 2010
    • Amber, Rob, and Tara – Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your optimistic outlooks!

      October 8, 2010
  7. Janet Avery said:

    Patrick-your post is so spot on! We must be on the same wavelength this week. It is so easy to let those negative people get to you-which in turn can causes us to veer away from our vision. Thanks for the reminder to move on by ignoring the negativity.

    October 8, 2010
  8. A great post and one that i could write many comments too. I also write posts as reminders to myself and this one shares the mantra I have had this year; unleash a wave of positivity. There have been so many things this year that have not worked out for the better for me but I will not allow myself to get negative. It will lead to nowhere, however, it is incredibly disheartening to see the same people return more upset after summer vacation and even more negative. How does one avoid the permanently negative people?

    October 8, 2010
    • Hi Pernille,
      There is no way to avoid negative people. All we can do is control the way we react to them. I would say this though, if I find myself in environments where negativity is the dominant emotion then I will no longer spend time in those environments.

      October 9, 2010
      • Lyn said:

        Very true. Negative people abound. I like your thoughts about avoiding the places where they habitate 🙂 Also important that we remember we can only control the way we react to those situations.

        October 11, 2010
  9. Kathy Perret said:

    Great post, Patrick. Negativity breeds negativity. We need to set positive examples for others to follow. Both adults and students need to be apart of an organization (school) that accentuate the positive. We have so much to feel good about and celebrate. Feeding the beast just gets everyone down. Thanks for the powerful reminder!

    October 9, 2010
  10. Krista Sly said:

    Thanks, I can never have enough reminders about dealing with negative people.

    The authors of Top 20 Teens and Top 20 Teachers use a tornado to demonstrate what happens in a school when staff decides to get involved in negative talk with negative people. Great analogy to demonstrate the power negative people can have if others decide to join.

    October 10, 2010
  11. Joe Bires said:

    I don’t disagree at all with the idea of ‘don’t react at all’ (I have done this many times), however one must remember that ones’ lack of reaction may be perceived by the person being negative as a lack of empathy for their ‘plight’ and this perception may actually inhibit your further relations with this person.

    While your reaction may be correct, what are you ultimately trying to get the person who is being negative to do? If the answer is stop being negative around you, that may work, but if the answer is to actually positively embrace a change then inhibiting your relationship with them is the last thing you want to do.

    As with everything, it’s complicated and the reasonable answer is rarely, always the correct one in every situation.

    October 10, 2010
  12. Joan Young said:

    Thanks for the reminder Patrick. It’s so easy to get drawn in and then realize later what we should have done differently. I appreciate the way you tucked such great wisdom into a brief post! Thanks for sharing.

    October 16, 2010

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