If you're trying to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle my hope for you is at worst you deal with indifference from people in your life and at best you have supportive people in your life. Unfortunately in some people's lives there are straight up negative people. People who want to drag you down to their level because they realize that they don't have what it takes to reach their own goals and watching you reach yours just kills them. I uncovered one of these negative people in my life this week and while they aren't someone I am particularly close to, my first reactions were anger and resentment. However, because I know that anger and resentment pave a road of self-destruction that I'm not interested in driving on I decided to let it motivate me. Here are five ways you can allow negativity to motivate you as well.
Refuse to fall into the negativity trap
Can you imagine how being negative all the time must feel? To have only miserable, defeating thoughts swimming around in your brain? To constantly beat down others because you feel so bad about yourself? What a miserable existence. As a realist I know how this feels from experience because it is easy to let my realism slip into negativity. Trust me when I tell you that you don't want to fall into the trap that the negative person has set for you. If they start throwing negative baggage your way, get up and take a short walk and repeat a mantra of choice to yourself. Mine is "I deserve a healthy life." By temporarily removing yourself from the toxic situation and reciting your mantra, you are more likely to keep your mind in a positive place.
Use your progress as something positive to talk about with the negative person
If the naysayers are negative about your weight loss goals, chances are they are negative about lots of other things as well. Not only are negative people not much fun to be around, their negativity can limit the conversation if you aren't armed with something positive to talk about. If you stick to your goals and talk of nothing but success when they are around you, pretty soon they will run out of negative things to say when they see that it isn't working on you.
Seek to inspire the negative person
Maybe your negative person is someone who let the negative people in their world bring them down to the point of giving up on their goals. If you refuse to give in to their negativity perhaps you are the inspiration they sought but didn't get from their friends or family. Attempt to be the person who changes their attitude. If you succeed instead of an enemy you may win an ally.
Take the opportunity to evaluate your goals
While it's true that some people are negative about anything and everything, others simply aren't good at constructive criticism and when they try to offer advice it comes out sounding like they are being negative. If someone is down on you for wanting to lose weight, consider the fact that they may be attempting to offer constructive criticism. Check in and make sure that your goals are realistic.
The Nancy Jar
Have you ever known someone with a swear jar that they put money into every time they swear in an attempt to stop swearing? Why not use the same concept to start a behavior? I call it the Nancy jar (short for Negative Nancy). Keep a jar or container with you when you're around your negative person. Each time they say something negative add money to your Nancy jar. When you reach one of your goals take the money you've accumulated from the negative comments that have been thrown at you and do something to reward yourself. Go to a movie or out to eat or buy yourself something that you've been wanting.
The people in your life who are negative about your weight loss and healthy living goals aren't necessarily trying to knock you down as much as they are trying to build themselves up. Set realistic goals and channel negativity in your favor instead of letting it bring you down and what you can accomplish will surprise you. You deserve a healthy life.