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A Negative Vibe can be a Hindrance in the Search for Friends

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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July 7, 2014


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Being overly critical, uptight or highly opinionated are just a few of the things that can generate a negative vibe and potentially cause people to avoid us.

Sad to say but some people are seriously hampered in their efforts to forge friendships because of a continual negative vibe they give off.  Unfortunately, they are usually oblivious to it though there may come a day when they eventually suspect something may be wrong with the way they come across. It can be particularly troubling when it happens to be one of your friends. Why? Because if you know your friend is really desirous to make friends it’s somewhat disconcerting to realize how much resistance he or she is going to face. Deep scanning your past for negative incidents with others may help you discover what it’s likely to be. Considering what traits repel people and whether we have them is another way. Once known you’re then able to deal with it.

We are probably all aware of someone that gives off a strong negative vibe. You may have heard someone say, “That guy creeps me out.” Then all of a sudden other co-workers or friends chime in how the guy creeps them out to. In a worst case scenario many people may be giving this kind of person a wide birth when it comes to friendship.

I think anyone who has been struggling for sometime to make decent friends and has begun to suspect something is wrong with him or her should try the following exercise I’m going to describe. In fact, it could be a beneficial exercise for everyone to do. It may uncover a minor quirk or an annoying habit like being unreliable or constantly late that you are better off dealing with. I’ve done the exercise and it was helpful.

Before Project Fellowship started I had gotten to a point where I was wondering if something was wrong with me. At the time I was suffering from loneliness and depression.

Deep Scanning Your Own Life to Identify a Negative Vibe Generator

Scanning for Negative Incidents with Other People

My first step was to recall all the negative interactions I had had with people all through my life. This included people rolling their eyes at me, putting me down, making fun of me and incidents where people had negatively responded to something I had said or done. I found in my case that a number of incidents had something in common and suggested that I was a bit of an odd ball.

I didn’t know if this was a minor thing or a major thing. It didn’t matter though. Being odd is not a good quality to have. I have observed first hand how odd people are treated and what people think about them. Anyway, it was the best lead I had by far and I went with it.

My next step was to make a strong mental note to be mindful of what I say and do. I only had to dwell on my need to do this a few times. At first it felt a little strange to have a heightened awareness of my actions and what I said but it quickly became a process that I became unaware of. There have been times when a cautious yellow flag has popped up in my head letting me know I should proceed with caution in my conversation so as not to say something odd. At other times a red flag has popped up indicating odd behavior.

My last step was to have a mechanism in place in case I did or said something that was strange. I call it backpedaling. I would say something like, “Silly me. That can’t be right.” “What am I thinking? (laugh) Forget I said that.” “What am I doing? Duh!” (slap forhead). Odd balls are people who do strange things but usually don’t realize it. To correct your own odd ball behavior helps to either neutralize the vibe or take it down a few notches.

How did it work for me? Very well. I don’t think I’ve completely ironed out that kink but I would definitely say I have improved.

Scanning Your Own Life for Typical Behaviors That Repel People

Another way to discover a generator of a negative vibe in your life is to consider what traits repel people and whether you have them.

* Bizarre mannerisms and dark humor that comes across as a little weird and off-putting.

* An ‘in your face’ social interaction mode. Aggressiveness in conversation. Highly opinionated with the tendency of stepping on people’s toes.

* Being too direct with no concern of how the other person feels. A habit of criticizing people in the presence of their friends.

* Making fun of people. Putting people down for something they said or did.

* Arrogance and stubbornness. A condescending nature.

* Always negative and complaining.

* Oddball behavior and being overly uptight.

* Excessive talking when the situation calls for light conversation and allowing the other person to concentrate on what they’re doing.

If you are interested in doing this exercise add to this as much as you can and then proceed.

A strong negative vibe is a liability, not an asset. If you think you may be giving off one determine what it is and deal with it. For those of you who are wondering if something is wrong with you it can help give you closure on that question.

Can you add something to this exercise to make it even more beneficial? Tell us about the people you have met who gave off a strong negative vibe. In your opinion was it a serious liability?

If you have any ideas, wisdom or questions on this subject I’d love to hear them. What do you think?

 
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