“The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do.” -unknown
Imagine having an idea you feel will rock the world. But sharing your idea with others can lead to devastation when telling the wrong person. Our hopes and dreams can come crashing down when we hear words of doubt from not just acquaintances but those close to us. These are called “The Naysayers.”
This article will teach you how to avoid succumbing to them- and how to stay positive when confronted with just the opposite…
Naysayers are people standing in the way of your dreams. They could be your neighbor, your coworker- even your parents. And because they may be close to you, they often times win. I’d like to begin by telling a story about my boyfriend’s battle with several naysayers. Dave’s life-long dream of opening a motorcycle/ATV repair shop is just month’s away- but getting there was rough. After defeating naysayers that said construction was the only way to make great money, he decided to obtain his motorcycle repair diploma through a correspondence school. He then defeated naysayers that told him it was “just” a mail-order class. Then the biggie- Dave had been buying parts from Donny for years, even considering him somewhat of a role model. However, when Dave mentioned he wanted to open his own shop, Donny’s attitude changed. “Why do you want to have a garage? You’re just asking for trouble!” A few weeks later, Donny announced he was building an addition, and I had to educate a confused Dave about naysayers.
Donny didn’t really hate what he did- he was just trying to get in the way. It got worse, actually preventing Dave from landing a vendor. The salesman called to decline Dave’s application saying he didn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with Donny- we were too close. Donny had lied- at 45-minutes away, we’re not close. Donny had lied. I grabbed the phone and asked what he meant. “Donny said you are about 5-6 miles away, as the crow flies.” As the crow flies? Do crows ride ATVs? I told the salesperson to go on MapQuest- topography doesn’t lie. It’s funny how some people are so willing to train and inspire the new generation, and then you have people like this man, who fear them!
I tell you this story to show there are all levels of naysayers. Some try to get you down so you give up, and if you don’t, they may just admit being wrong. But others, like Donny, will take further steps to stop you from getting what you want. A naysayer is someone who will find something negative to say, no matter how great something may seem, people who seem to get their jollies putting other’s down. And, their words can sting.
That sting is even worse when it comes from someone you love, who claims they are ‘only’ looking out for you. Sometimes negativity is disguised as concern.
Sometimes a naysayer could bring up something you did not think of. So, sometimes, it may be helpful to find out why they are saying nay. Here are some tips to test the naysayer:
Repeat the naysayers comment, and follow-up with a question:
If you tell someone your idea for a new eatery downtown, someone says, “Are you crazy?
Restaurants always fail within the first year!” You can say, “Restaurants always fail with in the first year? Tell me then, what advice do you have to make sure mine doesn’t fail?” This makes their defenses fall, and will also bring out any experience they may have- or perhaps they will give you an idea of where to go for advice. If they cannot justify their ‘nay’ then perhaps it’s just pure naysaying.
Let a naysayer know you want to hear their idea:
Naysayers are used to being dismissed. If you allow them to share their ideas, it makes them less defensive. This may also give you a new idea or another perspective. They may also prevent the confrontation they are hoping for from transpiring.
Compliment the naysayers suggestions:
You could turn a naysayer into an ally by letting them know they are appreciated. It is rare for a negative person to be complimented, so you can throw them off by making a positive reply. They are not expecting your gracious words- a little bit of reverse psychology, huh? You don’t have to take them up on their ideas; you will just simply compliment them. They may think twice about being negative to you again since it did not work out the first time!
If it doesn’t apply, let it fly:
Sometimes, even after letting a naysayer be heard, it may not be something positive. If it doesn’t apply, let it fly! Meaning, forget it was said and move on.
Donna’s corny response:
Call ’em a horse! They go “neigh,” right?
Finally, if we keep letting naysayers win, it can actually change our lives. Think about this. Has a friend ever succeeded at something, but when you mentioned trying it, all of a sudden it “was really hard,” or “not really all that cool.” It may be because they do not want to see you doing something similar. For instance, your best friend gets his first car- it’s a standard. You beg to drive it, and he tells you it’s too hard to learn stick. You grow up driving automatics because that thought was drilled into your head. Or, the girl who wants to join ballet, but her mom tells her she is clumsy and uncoordinated. The girl grows up being afraid to even dance at a club. You can also call these naysayers “toxic people.”
Given those examples, you can see how a naysayer can even groom who we are. Even if naysayers speak truth that your goal is hard, do not give up. Accept naysaying as a