You've potentially heard the expression that every problem has a solution, and you might have people in your life, maybe at work, maybe in your family, maybe some of your clients or people around you, that it's the reverse: For every solution, there seem to be a problem. Whatever you say, they always find a reason to bring you down, a reason why it's not going to work or a reason to be negative about it.

I will give you four sentences that you can use with these "Negative Nellies". But first, before you start with these tools to reframe the situation, you want to acknowledge that maybe sometimes the stuff hits the fan and it's okay.


First, we need to acknowledge what they are saying. Even if it feels negative, it's information. Potentially they've seen something that we haven't thought of about the idea that we're bringing to the table. Sometimes they're negative because things are happening to them. So, we need to acknowledge that, and not dismiss them.

If there's something going on, we first acknowledge that: "Yeah, you're right, that was not super fun." Or if they're complaining about the way things are at work, or they're complaining that the whole world is against them, or they're complaining that, "so and so doesn't like me", or, "I can never find some clients", or "my daughter or my son are going through their teenage years, and it's terrible." We don't dismiss their negative thoughts. We acknowledge them and we pay attention because they mainly want to be heard. We welcome their thoughts by repeating: "oh, you think that it's not going to work?" And then you let them speak first, and we acknowledge that their point is valid and that we value their opinion. Then when you have paid attention and listened to them, that's when you can use these four techniques.


The first one is, "What would you like instead?" If they are complaining about something, you can ask them: "well, what would you like instead?" We are chunking them up. We are trying to reframe by asking them what they would like instead. They're imagining what it would be like if it was different. Very often it will change their mindset to try to figure out what they would like instead.


Second piece is: "What will you choose to do?" "So, what are you going to do about it?" Because you have a choice. You can decide to stay in this. If you're so unhappy, you could decide to stay in this job, or you could decide to find something else. And once they realize that it's their choice, and sometimes they'll say: "oh, I don't have a choice, I have to stay!" No, we never have to. We can always make the choice of staying. And if you decide to stay, then you have to live with those circumstances or you need to adapt to them, or you need to do something about it. So, "what will you choose to do?" What are you going to do about it?


Then more likely they might come back with: "Well, I can't control that". So, "What can you control then?" What can you control out of this unfortunate situation that seems to happen to you over and over? So, what can you control? Is there something that you can control? Could you, if it's even... as some people tell me: "Well, what if it's a member of my family? I cannot NOT be their daughter, or I cannot NOT be their parent or their cousin?" Well, what can you control? Well, maybe you could see them less often. Maybe it's a coffee instead of a dinner. Maybe you can make sure that there's other people around, because when there's other people around, they seem to not be as negative. So, see what you can control. And the one piece that you can always control is how you react to it. If somebody is very negative, instead of letting them push your button, well, if we remove that button, nobody can push it. You can let them be negative, but it doesn't have to affect you.


And the last piece is: "You only have one life!" That's one thing that when somebody is complaining around me very often, that's what I would tell them. I would say, well, you know what? You only have one life, so I know that you will figure this out because you only have one life. So make sure that you enjoy every moment of it. It's ultimately, what would you like instead? What will you choose to do about it? What can you control? And if you control what you can control and you focus on what you would like instead, and you choose to do something about what you would like instead, then more likely you will make the right choice for your ONEL IFE that you have. Sometimes it just takes a reminder to let people know: Hey, wait a minute, this is your one life. Ultimately you're choosing this. If it's not okay for you, then do something else because your life is moving as fast as the world is going right now. It's moving fast. So let's make sure that we live our one life fully.

Next time that you face that negative Nelly or that person around you that seems to find a problem to all your solutions, then you're equipped now and you know what to do about it.


People don't leave their jobthey leave the co-worker they can't stand or the boss they don't respect.

People don't leave their marriage either!

They leave the spouse that doesn't listen to them or that doesn't "GET" them!

Download your FREE copy of the

THINK Yourself® A RELATIONSHIPS PRO Daily Reference Guide 

and get to know the four types of people around you.

  • What are the four Personality STYLES?
  • What does each STYLE intent, seek and desire?
  • What are each STYLE's strengths and weaknesses?
  • What does each STYLE dislike?

Check out some of my previous blog posts...

Why Is Everybody So Angry?

How to Get Someone to Be More Confident?

Being Uncool is the New Cool

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