Hi. I’m Cheryl Chapman and you’re watching Cheryl TV, a place where you can learn how to choose a life of freedom. So this is Follow-Up Friday where it’s all about following up on questions that come from you.

Today’s question comes from Maria and she writes, “Hello Cheryl. I have a question for you that I hope you can help me with. How can I stay positive around negative people? I’m a kind of half-full glass type of girl. But when I’m around the half-empty glass people, I find it makes me feel less positive. I hope you can help. Many thanks. Love, Maria.”

Maria, what a brilliant question and I want to acknowledge you for being a positive Polly. So first thing, let’s look at the definition of “positive”. Well, in its simplest format, it’s being constructive, optimistic or confident whereas negative is being unpleasant, disagreeable and gloomy.

When described like that, why on earth would anybody want to be negative? Well, some people have a fear of being happy. So get ready for a word that you can use at a dinner party to impress your guests. The fear of being happy is cherophobia. Those people that suffer from this believe that if something is going well, then something bad will happen.

Do you know anybody like that? So many books will tell you to just keep away from these people, this type of people. They’re negative! But that’s not helping with the problem. That’s just avoiding the problem and it’s certainly not solving it. I mean what if the person is someone you just can’t avoid?

OK. So how can you deal with someone who is negative? Firstly, let’s investigate a little bit further. I’m sure that you would agree with me that our minds are amazing pieces of software. I mean think about how much information we take in every single day. Look around and say how much information is in front of you now.

So we have three ways to filter that information, so our brains don’t explode. One of them is the ability to duplicate information that we can use to different situations. So in the case of a negative person, you may hear words such as, “Every time something good is happening, it always goes wrong!”

Now the words “every” and “always” tell us that this person is duplicating. I mean I bet it doesn’t always go wrong every time. However, think about trying to tell this person that they’re wrong. That would be like trying to convince a Man U supporter to support Man City or that black was white or white was black because everybody has a different view of the world.

Think about it. A tall person obviously has a different view of the world to a smaller person. A car driver will have a different view of the road to a cyclist.

So whose view is right? Obviously the truth is neither of them is wrong. They’re just different. That’s correct. Just because a negative person chooses to view the world and feel differently than you do, you can’t change that and likewise, they can’t change you either. Aha! Can you see? You can choose to be affected by negative people or you can choose not to be.

Basically it’s not the negative people that affect you. It’s you that allow them to get to you. Get it?

So the easy answer is how can you stay positive around other people rather than how can you avoid becoming negative.

So let’s look at a couple of techniques that you can use when you’re in a negative situation to stay positive. Firstly, have a plan. Have a positive saying or a song or an image that you can use if you feel you’re being affected.

Now for many years, I’ve sung a Donny Osmond song in my head.

Don’t worry. It’s just going to stay in my head. I use it if I want to be positive. If you’re asking yourself, “Who is Donny Osmond?” well, to me, he’s a bit like a modern day heartthrob, like Harry from One Direction. He’s a heartthrob, right? Maybe just ask a young female relative.

And rather than an old Donny tune, maybe you might have a recent and more popular song.

Pharrell’s Happy song. That always gets my foot tapping.

Anything that makes you smile will work because I believe when you wear a smile, it’s like a force field against negativity. Secondly, make sure that you’re writing and reading a grateful list. If you focus on what you’re truly grateful for, then you can stay positive.

Now there are so many other ways that you can keep control of your positivity. But for those of you who want to know a technique for a negative Nelly, here’s one that you can use to distract them. Ask them a question.

If you find that the conversation with a negative person is spiralling into moaning, redirect the conversation by asking them a question. Now this needs to have like a positive edge to it.

For example, “I love this colour blue on you. Where did you buy that scarf?” because the minute you ask them a question, they have to stop and think of an answer and that distracts them.

So here’s the takeaway for today that you may want to share with the world. You can look at the negative side of what you can’t control or you can look on the positive side of what you can.

So my question to you is, “Are you ready to focus on what you can control, which is of course you?”

Thank you Maria for such a brilliant question. I’m sure that there are lots of people who resonate with this, which means that if you do, please share your comments below. Maybe you could share a time when you overcame some negative situations. Maybe you had a light bulb moment today that you want to share as well.

I hope you’re enjoying the video series. I know that I am and if you are, then please consider to subscribe and share with your friends. If you would like to have some more personal insights from me or connect with me, then please come across to www.cheryl-chapman.com.

Remember to live, love and laugh every day and continue to be you in your unique way. I will catch you next time on Cheryl TV.

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Love Marion (& Cheryl) xx

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