“Do not listen to those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious.”
We must all relentlessly guard against being the one that is “patient zero” for this disease. Have you ever this person? I am sure that everyone has been at one time or another because negativity and complaining is just so contagious.
How can you ensure that you aren’t opening yourself up to being infected by one of these zombies? There are two tactics that I use regularly.
First, stop the conversation when it is getting started. If someone is “weeping and complaining” be upfront and tell them that you aren’t going to listen to negativity but would love to have a conversation about how they can address whatever challenge they are facing. In my experience they will either embrace the opportunity or stop the conversation altogether.
Second, listen politely for a moment but then reframe the situation they are complaining about back to them with questions around how they can take action to influence the outcome. Don’t stand for excuses or complaints, continually reframe with questions back to the actions they can control.
There are plenty of additional great ways to challenge those that “weep and complain” but the most important thing is to make sure that you never allow yourself to become one of the zombies that are infecting others. You can use the tactics I outlined above with yourself just as effectively as you can with others…