There are many relationships that are struggling from a negative partner. In these relationships, we are left asking: how can I help my partner be positive before it ruins our relationship?
We can encourage positivity in our partner by being a positive example, helping them succeed at tasks which builds their esteem, and helping them to learn positive affirmations, which defeats a mindset of lack and limitation. This article offers several more methods to build a positive mindset.
With all the ups and downs in life, it certainly is difficult to remain positive. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed that we say, “What’s the point?” It’s at that point that we must weigh the benefits of a positive mindset against a negative mindset.
Related Article: How To Prepare For Winter In Paradise (in your relationship)
If we remain positive, even when all seems hopeless, we are likely to keep trying. It is though persistent effort that we reach our goals. If, however, we decide that life isn’t about being positive, and so what if we want to be negative, we are much more likely to be met with defeat in accomplishing our goals.
Life consists of self, livelihood, relationships, achievement, and in some cases, parenting. Each of these categories contain sub-categories too, and each of these sub-categories all play a part on our ability to function well, or, to become overwhelmed.
If we take each of those categories, and all that is involved in each, and do our best to be positive and encouraging, chances are, each will flourish and will be enjoyable. However, if we allow ourselves to get negative in any part of any of those categories of our life, that part will suffer and become a burden to some extent.
So, we understand why it’s necessary for us to remain positive and hopeful in our life and all that it contains; what happens when we get into a relationship with someone who doesn’t share this same understanding?
Why is my partner so negative about everything?
Optimism and pessimism are both learnable. Unfortunately, one takes effort to learn, and the other seems to come with very little effort.
A negative mindset is one where everything seems to have little purpose. The idea is, no matter what we do, it’s not going to work out anyway. What gets people to this stage? Nothing. That’s what.
What I mean by this is, by doing nothing in our lives, we become more negative, and we receive more nothingness. Because the negative-minded person sees everything as meaningless and pointless, he does nothing; nothing to improve at work, nothing to improve in self, and nothing to improve in the relationship.
So, by doing nothing, nothing happens. In that person’s eyes, the logic behind their negative thoughts become true, for them. They ultimately believe that nothing good will come of their life, so they give up and don’t put in any effort. The reward? Nothing.
What can we do if we have started a relationship with such a person, or have married this person? As unfortunate as the situation is, we have two choices: we can decide to abandon the relationship, and all that has been invested into that relationship, or, we can work with our partner to help them improve their perception of life and self.
By doing the latter, we get to maintain all progress that we have experienced in the relationship, including all the memories made so far and our reputation, and become part of a new process that builds the relationship into something enjoyable and long-lasting.
Each of us possess good qualities that are helpful for others. Help your partner become positive-minded, and unleash their potential to benefit them, you, your relationship, and virtually anyone else they associate with in the future. That’s what happened in my relationship; I was the negative one, and my wife helped me improve.
How can I help my partner develop a positive mindset?
If we decide that our relationship is worth saving, and most will be, then there are some options for us to move forward to help the situation. Of course, the result will be completely up to the individual who is negative, but it will be through our persistence that we will ultimately be met with success.
The success of this venture really does ride on the shoulders of the positive partner, at least at first. The negative person already believes this plan is pointless. It is up to us to keep positive, focused, and patient.
Be sure to understand that their negativity isn’t your responsibility. Your responsibility it to do what you can to help your relationship. You can only do so much on your own.
In this article, I have, and will continue to put strong emphasis on the behavior of the negative person. In some regards, I may come across as overly exaggerating the behavior, and in other regards, some might say I am being too nice.
I was very negative. In everything. I’m not exaggerating. It was very destructive to our marriage, and even more destructive to our overall success in health, finances, and wellness. When we get too negative, this attitude can cast a large cloud over us, and all exposed to us. So, I don’t take this lightly now, and if you value your relationship, neither should you.
I have compiled a list of things we can do to help a negative person change their mindset. These are:
- Be a positive influence
- Practice positive affirmations
- Help them build esteem by accomplishing tasks
- Practice gratitude and appreciation
- Avoid condemnation and negativity
- Be encouraging
- Stay strong and focused
- Embrace a positive environment
How to be a positive influence
All of these are important, but this is of utmost importance for success. This is one area where we can’t be slack, even for a moment. The negative person will be looking for flaws in our plan. We really must practice what we preach.
By consistently showcasing a positive attitude, we can prove that it’s possible. How we go about that depends on our ability to understand our own emotions. If we spend time with a negative person, there is strong potential for the negativity to wear off on us.
Take breaks. Evaluate the progress and take some deep breaths. It is important to keep our self refreshed and calm when trying to help someone develop a new thinking pattern. Everything we are telling them is going against their inner beliefs.
We can remain positive in our own life by eating well, getting some exercise, becoming efficient in our careers, and possibly most important, getting enough sleep. By excelling in these areas for ourselves, we will be met with more success, confidence, inspiration, motivation to do more, and a deeper appreciation for our abilities.
However, if we are worn down, we will struggle to have enough motivation for ourselves. We won’t want to spend our energy trying to build someone else up. Instead, we are vulnerable and at risk of adopting negativity too.
Related Article: How To Develop A Healthy Relationship
Do Affirmations work?
When a person says a negative phrase, they are essentially saying a negative affirmation. As they say something, they are affirming that to be truth to them. Affirmations can be negative and positive alike.
“Everyday I wake up to another day of frustration” is an affirmation which yields another day of frustration. That’s where the focus lands and that’s where it stays. We tend to go in the direction of our focus.
“Everyday I wake up to another day of opportunity” is an affirmation which yields another day of opportunity. As we go about our day, we are focused on how to improve virtually anything and everything. This dedicated focus allows us to see opportunity the negative person won’t see.
We can help our negative partner by helping them to understand the power of their negative speech and focus. Even if we aren’t well versed in this, any attempt will help.
Affirmations require action. We can’t simply say, “I have a million dollars, I have a million dollars…” and expect to manifest a million dollars. Instead, we can state, “I am constantly seeking opportunity to earn a million dollars and I believe I will reach my goal.” Now, we can go about our day with this goal in mind and with a positive attitude and seek out opportunities to improve our chances for achievement.
If your partner is struggling with negative thoughts, consider working with them to create a handful of positive phrases they can repeat as they feel negativity coming upon them.
How does accomplishing tasks help build self-esteem?
When I was in a negative mood, I didn’t want to do anything. The mere thought of doing something made me instantly see another chance for failure. So, I avoided doing anything.
What we can do in this situation is to offer to work with them on a project of some kind. We can figure out some activity that will result in gain. We can say to them, “Hey, I need to do this project this afternoon and I can get it done faster if you would be willing to help me.”
It’s a sideways approach to get them to improve. We can tell them that by helping work on a project that they will feel better and improve, or, we can simply ask for their help, which will help them feel better as they realize success by the project’s end.
If we ask them to do something on their own, they likely won’t. Even if they see the value, it wont matter. By asking them to help us, they are more likely to do it because it helps us succeed. As a negative person, I always helped others succeed; I just didn’t do the same for myself. I didn’t see myself as worthy.
It is the successes in our life that directly affects our self-esteem. Many small successes add up to tremendous growth in our esteem. Every great experience helps us feel like we can do more. However, many failures and days of negativity add up to diminished esteem.
This is a confidence-building exercise. Keep it simple, keep it positive, and give them lots of praise for the work. We don’t need to be fake about it. Be genuinely grateful for their participation and give credit for helping you get it done quickly.
How to be an example of gratitude
The fastest way to gain a wealth mindset is through gratitude and appreciation. Much of my negativity was caused by focusing on my lack and limitations. Had I sat on my couch and spent time thinking of how great my family is and that I am intelligent and creative, I wouldn’t have been able to sustain negativity.
We can be helpful to people who suffer from an attitude of lack and limitation by being a walking example of gratitude and appreciation.
We can talk about the best parts of our relationship; we can remember our best times; instead of being frustrated about the five percent we are short on the financial budget, we can be thankful for the ninety-five percent that is there.
Once we start the ball of gratitude rolling, it’s hard to stop. If we can wake up beside our partner in the morning and spend a few minutes with them talking about the best things the day has to offer, there is greater chance of inducing a positive mindset in them. It might still turn negative soon, but each day will get better.
The mindset of lack and limitation runs deep. I had this attitude for many years. This means year after year, day after day, I continuously pounded the words, “I’m not good enough, I can’t do anything right, I’m always broke, everything I do fails, I’m never going to be successful” into my mind.
This is why it takes time to turn a negative thinker to a positive thinker. We must help them realize new beliefs about themselves. We can help them try things, and by teaming up with them, we can help them succeed. Then, we can prove to them that they can accomplish things and that they can succeed.
How to avoid becoming negative towards negative people
A very important thing to remember is that we don’t want to be harsh with the person. They are already looking at life as though it’s no good. If we are negative and condemning to them about them and their attitude, it will only make them worse.
Understand, this will discourage them further and will wreak havoc on their self-esteem. There will be times where we just want to say, “Enough with the “poor me” attitude; I’m sick of you acting like a loser all the time!”
This is damaging.
Of course, we want to show some tough love and tell them to just stop already; and we can. We just need to figure out a more productive way to do so.
Think of things like, “Early in our relationship, you were confident and willing to try; what can we do to get back to that version of you?” or, “Our relationship can be anything we want it to be; would you be willing to learn some relationship skills with me to bring it to the next level?”
By reminding them that something is possible and letting them know that you will work with them to accomplish something, they are more likely to agree to try. Again, self-esteem grows with positive experience and accomplishment of goals. Set small goals and help them to work through them.
These goals might be something like, “Let’s read a chapter in a relationship-enhancement book and agree together to practice one exercise in the book for a week.” This isn’t too long. Take the lead and encourage them to follow. At the end of the week, give them much praise for their effort.
It’s not about the little task that they did over the week; it’s the improvement in their esteem that is most beneficial.
How to be encouraging to negative people
If someone is negative-minded, chances are that they also practice some form of negative self-talk. This is very damaging to self-confidence and esteem. We don’t want to add to that.
Instead, we want to be as encouraging as possible to help lift their moods as quickly as possible. My wife was constantly encouraging to me. She knew I had lots of esteem issues, and she certainly could have told me day after day that I was just dead-weight in the relationship. But she didn’t. She did the opposite.
Most times she tried, I would fire back a negative comment in attempt to refuse her compliment. I needed the compliment; my pride wouldn’t have it, however. I wanted to beat myself up and punish myself for as long as possible for all the mistakes I had made in my past.
But she kept saying encouraging things. She kept reminding me of the good in me, and the good I had done in the past. She reminded me of my skills and talents, and how those things helped us in various ways. She tried to remind me to focus on the good things and not the bad.
It was a variety of things that eventually led me to jump out of my rut and start working with her instead of against her. One thing I do know: all the positive material she shared with me, any counselling appointments we attended, and her positive persistence all stayed with me.
Sure, I was negative then, but when the breakthrough finally happened, I was filled with knowledge that helped our relationship to flourish. So, as encouragement to the trying partner; don’t give up. In time, you will see fruit from your labour.
How to stay strong and focused
It is inevitable that somewhere along the way, their stubbornness is going to wear on us. What is important to remember is that this is a process. It won’t happen in one day. This journey will be made one step at a time.
It is good to monitor progress, but it is best to keep focused on the end-result. If we want an exceptional relationship, then figure out what that looks like to us, and imprint that in our mind. This will give us a benchmark to aim for.
By knowing what it is that we want, we can find or purchase material that will help us learn the skills that will get us there. If it is easiest to put on a video, then find the material on video. This series: Love and Respect Video Series made a big impact on my marriage for both my wife and I at one of our lowest points. Ask you partner to sit and watch it with you. Let them know they don’t need to do anything, just watch.
If possible, engage in conversation afterwards, but if the conversation starts taking a negative turn, such as; “Well, that’s possible for them because they live in a fancy house and are making tons of money from these videos,” or something like that, then simply thank them for participating, and free them to do something else.
In time, the information will wear on them, and they will start doing what they’ve been seeing. And hey, any forward movement will be good.
How to create a positive environment
This final activity is very helpful. To understand this best, we must understand, what we fill our minds with is what will come back out.
Instead of putting on a drama show that is full of drinking, swearing, fighting, cheating, murder, and negativity, try putting on a podcast of something positive and educational; something motivating.
What we need to understand about our thoughts is that they are our beliefs; we either believe we can or can’t.
Thoughts that say, “I can,” are helpful and empowering. Thoughts that say, “I can’t,” are limiting and destructive.
This means, that a person who is negative most of the time, has limiting beliefs; they believe that whatever they try to do will only be met with failure. Thus, limiting them to mediocrity.
In choosing something educational to listen to, pick something that will be beneficial to the undesirable behavior. Becoming well versed on the topic of limiting beliefs might help the negative person to understand that they have a choice of what to believe; a positive thought, or a negative one.
We can only think one thought at a time. If we can help them understand this too, they will then hold the power to change their way of thinking at any time by replacing the negative thought with a reinforcing, positive thought about themselves.
It’s a choice. But if we can help them to embrace this habit, their life will change for the better, which in turn, will help us achieve the relationship we desire.
I know a good amount about negativity because I mastered it. I spent the better part of seventeen years of marriage being negative and stubborn. This doesn’t mean that your negative partner, if you have a negative partner, will take this long to turn around. That depends on your efforts and tactics and their willingness to change.
My wife was encouraging to me from day one, but never in our relationship did we spend time learning about what feeds negativity. We didn’t learn of how to overcome negative thinking; instead, we focused on marriage courses and books and activities to try, without dealing with the root problem; my thinking.
It was when we learned about limiting beliefs, and our ability to choose our thoughts, that things really started to change. Now, we are well on our way to realizing an ideal marriage; the one we have envisioned.
And, you can too. Inspire your partner to try. Encourage them often; be their cheerleader. Tell them of what you see the relationship growing into and find educational material that will help build your relationship skills together.
And finally, create a positive environment where you strive to fill your minds with positive, uplifting and encouraging material. In due time, you will start experiencing the relationship of your dreams.
If you have anything helpful to add to this conversation, please leave a comment as this will surely help others struggling in this area.