Sometimes I will hear people talk about something and I will hear alot of negativity in the statements. This is especially true on twitter, reddit or other semi-anonymous forum. A former boss did this frequently. I ended up helping people by using a special trick I call Negativity Filtering.
How does it work?
Basically, you just think about what they said and ignore/erase every part of it that’s negative and see what’s left over. In other words, if a robot was trying to interpret the actionable parts of a statement, what would it be? Pure logic and dispassion, no reaction to the invective.
Example #1: Email
The old boss sent an email to engineering yelling at them that no one cares about a particular bug and they should fix it right away and they all suck. The boss used ALL CAPS in most of the email.
There is a bug that seems important.
Example #2: In Person
The old boss told an employee in person that they didn’t know what they were doing because there was a typo in a document. They clearly should be fired for incompetence and even a monkey would do a better job.
There is a typo in a document.
One might ask, “But can’t the boss just be more positive?” My answer is yes, obviously. However, I wish everyone would be nice and positive and understanding, but that just isn’t the world in which I live. So instead, I take some responsibility upon myself and use the negativity filters.
Last Example: Donald Trump
His Tweets are so negative, it’s hard to deal with. However, if I erase all the negativity, I am often left with something normal.
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
Happy New Year to all. Love!
See, there was something nice on the inside of it! Negativity filtering works. People often have good things inside of their negative statements.
Next time you think someone is being negative, try the trick. Filter out the negativity and see what’s left. You might be surprised.