"I Hate This...and I Hate That Too!" How to Handle Negativity

Imagine your friend says to you, 

Friend: "I hate this project/job. Our group meetings always take so long!"

Now, the best way to reduce your friend's negativity as well as making him feel that you understand what he's going through would be to mirror his emotion and then focus on a positive outcome. So, here's what you might want to say to your friend:

You: I can sense that you're upset. [This is the part where you mirror his emotion]

...and you'd like to have shorter meetings, right? [This is the part where you focus on the positive outcome, i.e. you focus on what he would like to have rather than focusing on what he doesn't like].


1. Mirror the Emotion
"I can sense that you are ___________" (Insert emotion: upset, angry, disappointed)

2. Focus on what she'd like to happen
"and you'd like to _____________, right?" (insert the positive outcome she's expecting). Adding the "right?" at the end of the statement shows that you're clarifying with her that you've understood correctly.

This formula will help you reduce the other person's negativity because it'll make him/her feel understood, and it'll help your friend focus on the solving the outcome rather than simply complaining about it.

My hope is that if you feel that you've learned something useful on this blog, then you will decide to share it with your friends because it would help me gain enough readers to so I can share this knowledge with them. Thanks! Share