Rise Above the Negativity of Others
Rise Above the Negativity of Others
  • Posted: November 24, 2007
  • 461 words
Key Lesson

Any negative attitude on the part of others towards you is their pain, not yours.


In my job I must deal daily with several emotionally dark coworkers. What can I do to handle this situation better, besides getting another job?

I know that it is difficult to be surrounded by toxic people; however, as difficult as this is to understand, your present work circumstance is perfect for your continuing development, if you understand how to use it. I say "how to use it" because as long as you don't, wherever you go, you will continue to encounter "hateful" people, and your own negative reaction will use you up. Try this: Determine that when you walk in the door, your attention will remain with your reactions to these people and not on the people themselves. This shift in your attention will help you realize what it is you really need to be free of . . . namely, "you"! And "need" is the key word in this instance. You'll see, if you'll practice this approach, that it is just "you" jumping all over "you." Once this is clear, then you can jump out of "you."

Without reverting to their lower level, how do you get people to stop making their hurtful, cut-down remarks?

One of the reasons people pounce on or attack us the way they do, is that they are feeding off of us in many different ways, especially when we return a negative energy. For an amazing experience, try sometime consciously refusing your own negativity in the face of someone else's. Just go silent, and then watch what happens to the person who attacked you. The odds are, you will watch this person have a change of heart right in the middle of their attack. And even if they don't change their behavior, your new behavior will leave you feeling better about yourself.

In a world where people seem to become increasingly more rude every day, how does one cope and act or react when people seem to be so cold and basically indifferent to each other?

One of the important aspects of this Work is beginning to employ its principles in our everyday lives. What does this mean? Any condition we meet that is unwanted, such as a rude person, is not the cause of our stress. All conditions simply offer a momentary mirror for us in which it is possible to begin seeing what we have brought with us, within ourselves, into that moment. There is no sense in trying to change people without first changing the part of ourselves that believes our very sense of self, of well-being, somehow depends upon how others treat us. Step back from your own reactions. Don't give them your life, and you'll discover they have a life of their own . . . and that you want nothing to do with it.

Excerpted From: Seeker's Guide to Self-Freedom: Truths for Living, pages 154-156.

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