Sometimes there are people in life with whom you just don't see eye-to-eye. Maybe they rub you the wrong way or, even worse, just don't seem to like you and you can't figure out why. Ed and Deb Shapiro explain why another person's negativity may have nothing to do with you and what you can do to improve the relationship.
No one likes to be in a negative situation, but you don't always get along with everyone all the time. Once, when we were with the Dalai Lama, he said to us, "If we were together all the time, then we would quarrel!"
However, if someone is being dismissive, fault-finding or disapproving and this is making you feel unworthy, insecure or lacking in self-esteem, then it may be because there's a hook somewhere in you for that negativity to latch on too, a place where it can land that triggers all these hidden self-doubts.
For instance, imagine your mind is like a beautiful garden. If you let a pig in your garden, you will have a hard time getting it out, as pigs really like tasty gardens! In the same way, negativity is like a pig that gets in your garden and causes havoc.
How can you get unhooked? Rather than adding fire to fire by being equally as negative, there is another way. In our article "Turn Your Workplace into a Caring Place," we shared the story of how Helen, who had a critical and negative boss, was able to turn the situation around by focusing on kind and caring thoughts toward both herself and her superior.
When you extend kindness toward yourself as well as toward the person you are having a challenging time with, then an extraordinary thing begins to happen: The hook within you begins to dissolve. This means there is nowhere for the negativity to take hold or to land. By embracing yourself with kindness, you are strengthening and reinforcing feelings of self-empowerment, worthiness and personal value. Sending kindness to your adversary transforms her so she's able to release the conflict. It also acts like a shield so any remaining negativity does not penetrate; it cannot land. You can learn how to do this with the loving kindness meditation.
Deb shares a personal story of how she unhooked negativity in her co-worker