Picture the scene…. You’ve just got into work, feeling good about the day ahead and ready to get started. Then in walks that person. The one who, no matter how hard you try to be optimistic, seems to find the downside of everything. And suddenly the room seems a little darker. Maybe you only need to see their name in your inbox for your stomach to knot slightly.
Do you have a mood hoover? Someone who can make anything into a drama, or a monumental challenge. Someone who can drain away a buoyant mood in seconds, leaving you feeling deflated….?
Stopping them from making you feel bad doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to avoid the person.
I had a colleague whose whole life was ‘Woe is me’. She liked to create the impression that she was tough and gutsy, but if complaining was a sport, she could compete for England; and she wasn’t easy to avoid. I genuinely tried to be a supportive, friendly ear. But it became quite frustrating to have every positive suggestion batted away like an irritating fly. She wanted was attention, not support. It became exhausting.
So after one particularly draining conversation, I took a few quiet minutes to ask my inner creative how best to have her not bother me. Up she popped in my mind’s eye, but instead of being in the room with me, there she was on a big screen. I could still clearly see and hear her, but she wasn’t there in person. And I let it play for a while – seeing her in broadcast mode, completely unresponsive to anything I’d offered to the conversation. My energy came right back up, and I felt so much better.
And the next time I saw her? All those negative effects were gone. She was just a person, broadcasting. Those few minutes imagining had completely changed the way I felt. What will your creative come up with, to deflect the effects of your mood hoover?
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