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How to Respond to a Negative Situation

How to Respond to a Negative Situation

How to Respond to a Negative Situation

The sad truth is that "Life ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It can be a very mean and nasty place".

You often need to negotiate with a person who is giving you highly emotionalised negative feedback.

In real life, practically nobody uses the words, "Negative feedback". Instead they use other words to describe the same thing.

  • Arguments
  • Failure
  • Breakdowns
  • Criticism
  • Rejection
  • Defeat
  • Blame
  • Complaints
  • Conflicts

And these negative situations tend to generate the corresponding negative emotions in both parties.

  • Anger
  • Upset
  • Annoyance
  • Frustration
  • Stress
  • Tears and
  • Tantrums

If you are to make progress, you will need to know how to handle these negative emotions, (both yours and theirs). You need to move quickly to resolve the negative issue and to restore the relationship back to its original congenial state.

How would you do that?

In order to achieve these goals, you need to learn the following model:

Five steps to an experience

Your personal experience of any situation is not one thing. It is composed of five things fused together. Your personal experience of any event is process consisting of five parts.

  1. The objective facts of reality.
  2. The evidence of the facts as revealed by your five senses.
  3. The identification of the facts (or perhaps the MIS-identification of the facts).
  4. The subjective evaluation of the (mis) identified facts.
  5. Your emotional response to your "evaluation of the facts".

There are therefore two major sets.

  1. The objective set (comprising of the facts as identified by direct sense perception).
  2. The subjective set (comprising of the evaluations, opinions and judgements you make and your emotional responses to them).

Distinguish between the two forms of language; objective and subjective

Objective language

Objective language is the language of facts as revealed by direct sensory evidence and primary perception.

It is non-opinionated; non-evaluative; non-judgemental; non-emotional.

Subjective language

Subjective language is the opposite: it is the language of opinions, evaluations and judgements; it is highly emotionalised; it is about your personal feelings.

When people are in a negative state, they generally start their communication at the extreme right-hand side of the above model; by verbalising their negative emotions, derogatory opinions and by using highly subjective language.

Responding to Negative Situation Summary

Your task is to:

  1. Listen to their negative emotions and derogatory opinions without interruption.
  2. Empathise with them (without necessarily agreeing with anything).
  3. Separate the facts from their feelings.
  4. Separate the facts from their opinions.
  5. Act only on the evidence of the objective facts.
  6. Base your responses on a logical evaluation of all the available evidence of the facts.
  7. Recognise that emotions, have NO power to change the facts.

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