Positivity gets all the publicity. You hear about daily positivity, positivity in the workplace, tips to be more positive. Well, move over positivity, it’s time for negativity to shine.
Now, when you hear about negativity, you’ll likely think about negative things, bad ideas, grumpy cat, scowling coworkers and a generally unpleasant experience. Despite the concept of positivity being ideal, for many people, it is a hell of a lot easier to be negative than positive, making it a very contagious demeanor.

In the depths of such negativity, what probably doesn’t cross your mind is the different types of negativity. Different types of negativity?! Isn’t negativity, well, negative?!

Stay with me. We aren’t talking slightly negative versus super negative. Negativity is a force indeed, and it can be constructive, derailing, or a method of preparation. Negativity can be used for good. Negativity can be used for change. Or negativity can throw an entire project off its course to the point of no return. Choose your negativity wisely.

Constructive Negativity
Constructive negativity comes by way of complaints and suggestions, that while may come across as negative, are actually constructive ideas in hiding. While you may not want to listen to a complainer or take their suggestions seriously, you may find a gem hidden in the depths of their moaning and groaning. Whether it is a customer, employee or vendor, their negativity is an ugly version of constructive criticism.

That’s not to say every complaint is valuable, as some people may just truly be negative persons who can never find the silver lining, or may in fact just need an outlet for their frustration. But if you can get to the root of such frustration, you may figure out how to make sure no one else has to experience it.

Negativity can be especially constructive if it spawns organically rather than one bad apple souring the whole batch. In this scenario, several individuals had the same experience or drew the same conclusion independently. If you have various unrelated resources providing similar negative complaints, it’s safe to say this may be an area of concern worth fixing.
On the other hand, negativity does spread like wildfire, especially with social media. It’s much easier to be negative than positive. That being said, it is important to decipher when you may have a valuable piece of negativity or a viral piece of negativity.

Derailing Negativity
This is the type of negativity that most people connote with negativity. This is the type that can take a minor irritation and escalate it into a serious issue. This is the mountains out of molehills negativity. This is the negativity that must be stopped in its tracks before it destroys all it surrounds. This is the type of negativity that positivity seeks to drown.

Negativity has the power to destroy relationships between employees, between employees and customers, from customer to customer, vendors, and so much more. It typically spawns from a small issue that just keeps rubbing someone the wrong way until it is no longer a small issue.

It is important to be able to identify this type of negative behaviors so you can prevent them from spreading. When one employee is unhappy, that person holds the power to spread the negativity to anyone he or she encounters. Other employees will feel the negativity, or have the negative light shed on an issue that wasn’t otherwise an issue to them. They can then continue the chain to customers they interact with, and may lose support in the products they are supposed to represent.

If you’re able to identify a negative behavior before it spreads, you are able to then repair it. The cause of the behavior can be anything, and eliminating it can be simple or extreme, depending on the situation and the root of the trouble. Whatever the case, keeping negative behavior in check keeps it from spreading and wreaking havoc on all it encounters.

Negativity as a Method of Preparation
I suppose this can relate to constructive negativity, but it really deserves a category of its own. Many people utilize negative forces as reasons to prepare for the worst case scenario. We wear a seatbelt not because we want to be in a vehicle accident, but because there could be negative repercussions if we don’t wear one and crash.

Many actions we take are to prevent something negative from happening. We take self defense courses to prevent thug attacks, and we buy insurance for the just in case scenarios. Preparation helps us to deal with the unexpected curveballs that life throws at you.

There are inevitable negativities, and these are the ones that allow us to think ahead, look at potential problems, and come up with solutions for them. These are, by far, your most valuable negatives. By identifying them early, you won’t encounter a derailing negative, and your constructive negatives will be few and far between.

When you have a solution for a problem before the problem occurs, you’re a step ahead of the competition. Not only that, you won’t waste resources cleaning up messes that could have been prevented. Planning for these negatives can prevent them from actually becoming negatives.

Negativity is a force to be reckoned with, and when you know how to handle it, it can be used as a positive. When it is used as a resource to help you to prevent issues from arising, it becomes a positive. When it is constructive and identifies existing problems, it allows you to repair an issue thus becoming a positive. And when you’re able to identify a source of negativity in your workplace or business, you can prevent it from spreading.

The power of negativity. A force that is just as strong as, if not stronger than positivity. Knowing how to control and deal with such strength turns negativity into a positive. With so many negative forces out there, being able to identify them gives you a power far stronger than the power of negativity itself.

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