Q: Dear Todd, I work in a restaurant and the environment is usually very negative and toxic. What’s the best way to deal with negative and difficult people without getting triggered?
Todd Answers: That is so draining to be surrounded by people who bring you down day after day. The best thing to do is focus on people’s energy rather than what they say. I don’t mean some invisible mysterious energy. I mean the intention and cause behind people’s words. When you do this, you will almost always find that their words may be negative or critical, but their energy screams pain and insecurity.
We tend to put too much attention on words and not enough attention on people’s energies and attitudes. Focus on the spaces between words, the sounds that make up words, and the space between you and others.
By doing this, you shift your focus from people to energy. You stop internalizing other people’s mean words and you just recognize their hurt and pain for what it is. You can’t control others, but you can always control your focus. Negativity and toxicity, like poison, can only hurt us if we choose to drink them.
Starting your day with meditation can be a great way to managing your work stress entire day. Here’s a guided meditation that you can add to your schedule.
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