If you’ve blogged or spent any time on Facebook, you’ve encountered people who will give a “positively negative” comment, comments that may to sound positive but end up sounding negative because of a word or phrase that they add in it. It affects those who post afterwards, like your comment or comment after a “positively negative” comment. Your connections can even show signs that they’ve been “worn down” by the emotion of that comment. Whether the positively negative person is blind to their negativity or they’re trying to be witty or sarcastic, the bad impression is left for all.
What if you are the positively negative person?
How will you know?
Look at a comment before you hit “share” or “send”. Does it sound anything like this – “I read through your post and found something of value – finally.” Or, “It’s the first time I read through your post without getting bored.”
Are you the one at a gathering when people say “congratulations” to someone for their promotion and you say “It’s about time.”?
Are you the bearer of doom and gloom? Are people suddenly quiet or preoccupied when you’re speaking in a group? Do you comment on a status update or a post and suddenly a lively conversation turns to you being the last to post?
Not all of these are sure fire signs that you are a positively negative person, yet they can be symptoms. If you suspect you are, it’s time to ask a good, trustworthy friend if you are. And then listen to what they say.
How do you handle the positively negative person hanging out on your Facebook page or blog?
Don’t judge or assume – if they’ve only done it this one time. You never know what challenges someone is experiencing and it costs you nothing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Maintain your positive outlook – when you have a positive outlook, negativity won’t spoil that for you. Maintaining your positive outlook will rub off on others and will keep a positive focus on your responses to their comments.
Keep your emotions in check –There are times when negative people really use up our patience. When you feel that you are about to reach that, stand back and take a while before giving a response. Ensure that your response does not signal emotional stress; make sure that you still respond with a calm tone.
Remember what you can lose and gain – if you think about this, you will come up with better and appropriate responses to negative people. Keep in mind that when you talk, you are wearing your personal brand. Whatever you say and however you deal with others will reflect on your brand. If you get emotional, you might lose more than that negative person. If you know how to handle that person, you will gain your audience’s trust, respect, and loyalty.
Don’t discount the comments – reading negative comments may drive us to discount what the message is truly saying. Read comments and look out for points that you may learn from. If you read their comments with the willingness to learn, you will still benefit from such comments.
Accept the reality of negative people – some people see the glass as half empty, other see it as full. That’s just life! Accepting will just give you a better hand in dealing with them.
A great question to ask yourself when you do feel compelled to counsel someone who seems to be “positively negative” all the time is to ask yourself this. What matters most to me – being right or keeping the relationship?
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm and Director of Client Communities of Momentum Factor-focused on the direct selling industry. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.