I am surrounded by critical and negative people. Friends and family alike. How do I say “no” and break down the barriers to find a happier place? – Gabriella in Milford, Connecticut
Gabriella, do your friends and family seem negative because they are venting? Are you their safe sounding board? That may be one thing to consider. And while of course you want to be supportive and offer a caring shoulder, you are absolutely right that there must be balance.
Ask them to share a triumph that week, what went well, or something they are proud of. Encourage them to look for the good. Let them know it helps you visualize possibilities and find a better path. Point out something they did or you shared together that made you happy or had a positive impact for you. Continue to be considerate and listen, but look for opportunities to steer the conversation in a way that empowers you both.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.