Punch Puppies In The Face

I know I can’t be the only one around here that hates negativity. In fact, a while back I wrote a blog about how much I want to punch Debbie in the face. Maybe I’m a freak of nature, but I tend to see the “good” in what might appear to be a bad situation. I’m rarely one to sulk, beg for pity, or blab someones ear off about “how difficult my life is”.

Whenever I feel even an ounce of cynicism come over me, I make a conscious effort to remind myself how good I have it. Fortunately, the majority of my friends and family are all pretty happy people. Unfortunately, I have a few acquaintances that don’t quite share in my enthusiasm for life.

I have developed a strategy for dealing with negative people. It’s extremely simple and rather effective. All ya have to do with Negative Nancy is agree with her when she is complaining about something. After all, If you try and offer a word of encouragement, it’s not like she’s not going to listen…right? So, why don’t you spare yourself some frustration and concede to Nancy’s point.

For example: Nancy gets upset with you because you don’t call her as much as she thinks you should. Instead of trying to argue with her, tell her “You’re right Nancy. I sucked at calling you. I’m a terrible friend.” This leaves Nancy with nothing else to say. Heck, she might even end up admitting you really aren’t a bad friend. Booya for playing Jedi-mind tricks on Nancy.

I’d like to leave you with a funny little story…

An avid duck hunter was in the market for a new bird dog. His search ended when he found a dog that could actually walk on water to retrieve a duck. Shocked by his find, he was sure none of his friends would ever believe him.

He decided to try to break the news to a friend of his, a pessimist by nature, and invited him to hunt with him and his new dog.

As they waited by the shore, a flock of ducks flew by. they fired, and a duck fell. The dog responded and jumped into the water. The dog, however, did not sink but instead walked across the water to retrieve the bird, never getting more than his paws wet. This continued all day long; each time a duck fell, the dog walked across the surface of the water to retrieve it.

The pessimist watched carefully, saw everything, but did not say a single word.

On the drive home the hunter asked his friend, “Did you notice anything unusual about my new dog?”

“I sure did,” responded the pessimist. “Your dog can’t swim”

How do you deal with negative people? Any special tactics or tricks? Any people particularly close to you that always try and bring you down? A lot of women frequently battle with a poor self-image… What’s the best way for us men to snap you out of it?

p.s. Click here to watch an awesome video about a couple that found good in a “bad” situation.
Warning: It’s a tear jerker.

12 thoughts on “Punch Puppies In The Face

  1. My husband is a self admitted pessimist. It drives me absolutely crazy! I like to dream and imagine but I am sensible enough to be realistic, so when he starts with his negative comments I call him right out on it. This usually forces us to discuss the pros and cons of whatever the situation might be…so I guess it's not a terrible thing, gives us balance, hehehe.

  2. My brother is a Negative Nancy. He finds the bad in EVERYTHING, or he will just bring up random negative things. He also thinks he is all that and enjoys arguing. My tactic is to just avoid him. I choose to associate myself with people who are happy and not conceited.

    I’ve told him he’s being negative, and he doesn’t care. He is okay to be around sometimes, he can be nice too but often I just can’t stand to be around him. It’s sad really.

  3. Just like with a puppy, I ignore the bad behavior and ask that my friends point it out if I ever start acting that way. It’s working so far πŸ™‚

  4. I’m married to a pessimist and I’m an optimist. It’s interesting to say the least. Luckily, we’re best friends so we can call BS whenever the other one goes too far. He doesn’t ever try to bring people down though…he’s just pessimistic towards himself and the world in general. It leads to a great diversification of our retirement funds…

    BTW, my hubby asked me to tell you that “it’s negative to not like negative people.” Yeah, you can smell the maturity…

  5. I was expecting a “bad” financial situation video. Yikes, you got me crying my eyes out here. Maybe a bit more detail/warning for your pregnant audience…we are rather emotional.
    About body image stuff…just be a safe place for us to vent. I finally had to tell my husband, just let me complain about my booty once in a while and then support me when I say I want to go to the gym before work (by support, I mean kick me out of bed in the morning when I want to hit the snooze button:). Also, please do not complain about losing weight or not gaining weight…my husband is probably down about 5 pounds in our marriage and I have gone up and down 70 pounds…yes that was pregnancy weight, but it is still drastically unfair!

  6. You seem to have mostly optimistic readers, lol. I’d have to say that I’m a bit of a PESSIMIST. (Not a mean one though!) While I’ve been trying over time to get better at being more optimistic, it’s not always easy. I think a part of me believes that being overly optimistic about some things sets you up for disappointment when things don’t go well. If you’re expecting the worst but get something “less worse” it’s easier to handle!

    When talking to other people I don’t ever put them down….I just like to, well, point out the possibilities and make sure they’re prepared to consider that things won’t always go just as planned. In my mind I feel that I’m trying to protect them, but I always forget that it doesn’t seem that way from the other side. I’m working on it.

    • I don’t feel like being optimistic sets me up for disappointment. I feel like I’m optimistic and still realistic. If something bad happens, I just use it as a life lesson. I mean, afterall, one bad thing in the midst of 10000000000 good things is pretty trivial.

  7. I call myself an optimistic pessimist. I may expect the worst, but I continue to hope for the best.

    And before you go calling me out on the pessimism, my husband and I have had a lot of crap to deal with, so I think we’re allow SOME pessimism. That is, we get burned out, we vent about how much it sucks and then we go back to trying to make the best of the life we have. (Which include three very serious, chronic health conditions, so I’m not just whining about having a bad hair day or anything.)

    As for poor self-image. My husband has to deal with this all the time. The approach he’s found that works is, when I get down on myself, to just give me a bit of a look — something that expresses patience/worry/resignation — and says just so long as I remember that I look great to him and always will.

    I think that’s the best approach. He’s not trying to argue with how I perceive myself — whether it’s healthy or not, I see what I see — but he’s also being supportive and reminding me that he loves me and thinks I’m beautiful.

    It keeps us from arguing and it reminds me that I want to lose weight for health, as much as aesthetic reasons. And that I have a ridiculously patient husband.

  8. @QL girl: Bravo on admitting that. Many people would not dare to say that in public space. The thing is we are biased (overlooking the discrepancy between “what i am” to “what i want to be”) and have the tendency to want to look good in front of people.

    @Crystal: β€œit’s negative to not like negative people.” lol, there’s some truth in that. The emotion is still negative regardless whether you direct it at negative people or puppies.

    I don’t think pessimists are pessimistic all the time (otherwise they would not be able to function in society) and the same goes with optimistic people.

    I think I’m realistic with a dash of optimism… especially when things are great πŸ™‚ On the other hand, I have had bad situations where I have been pessimistic. That’s life. Isn’t the point of being optimistic about being able to bounce back?

    As for handling the negative people, I normally do the same approach; concede, apologise profusely or confirming their opinion. Most of the time, they will turn around and disagree with me. Go figure.

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