We all know at least one grouch — someone who, even if we attempt to stay positive, never has anything nice to say or always seems down in the dumps. There’s nothing shameful about having a bad day. It happens to the best of us. Having this mindset every day, however, can be toxic and bring down the mood of everyone nearby. Thankfully, there are plenty of creative you can deal with negativity gracefully and keep your cool, even standing next to the grumpiest person in the room.
Shake It Off
A key reminder when dealing with a grouch is to understand that in most cases, it isn’t about you and you can’t control their behavior. Sometimes, all you can do is shake it off and leave them be. Letting the little things slide will be a lot less exhausting for you, and help you keep a positive outlook. Do your best to move on without passing judgment and the negative-Nelly in your life may pick up on and eventually mirror your positive attitude and body language.
Question the Situation
Someone who is grouchy or having a bad day may not even realize that they’re being rude, so often times saying, “You seem irritable today. Is there something bothering you?” can help. Who knows? By just asking, you may even be able to get them to open up about something you can help with — or give them someone to talk to. You can offer empathy and compassion without climbing into the pit of despair with them.
Simply Be Kind
Your first instinct might be to ignore someone who is in a grouchy mood. In certain cases, like at work, that may not be an option. So just be kind. Instead of allowing someone’s sour mood bring you down, don’t be afraid to smile and say hello. Lift them up. Offer to give a hand when they’re having trouble with something. Negativity can spread like wildfire, but so can love and kindness if you give it a little time and patience. Sometimes a simple, “I hear you” or a hug can turn the tide.
It’s easy to get nervous or irritated around someone who’s in a bad mood, but you owe it to yourself to be the master of your own happiness, even if there are a few bumps in the road. Life is a precious thing — you might as well fill it with moments you can enjoy.