We don’t need “hostages”

As I am writing this post, I just ended one of my weekly group call with my JMT (John Maxwell Team) family in a program during 90 days during which we intend to find out more about ourselves and learn how to be more efficient in studying the online materials that we have received.

It is not necessarily something new for me, to be part of of a focus group as I had previously been part of other similar groups and also guided one (you can’t imagine how much you grow when trying to help and learn others to grow), but there there hasn’t been not even one meeting / call during which I got bored.

A nice lady in the call raised an interesting topic, one that I would like to share with you as it seems to be repeating itself and I think it’s actually a never ending story.

It’s called NEGATIVITY.

Negative person

More than positive you all have dealt with it, hopefully not because you were the one inducing it. Unfortunately I have to admit I have. Not proud about it but I am not perfect.

However, there is a good side to this story as going back to the experience when I felt and induced negativity and comparing it with what I see around me, now I understand where that comes from and how to deal with it.

First of all we have to be clear on some aspects, and this is my own definition for it.

Negativity is a state of spirit and mind expressed verbally or physically by someone who feels uncomfortable in a certain situation. The cause of this unpleasant state can have it’s origin in different things: anger, frustration of not knowing or understanding things, low or to high self-esteem, jealousy, etc.

Whatever the case should be, it’s never pleasant to have such a person around. Even worse to be forced to spend time or do something together.

For those of you that have experienced such terrible moments there is a solution to avoid, temper or change this and below are several ideas on how to do that.

  1. First of all, NEVER EVER EVER try to fight it, as you will only end up “feeding it”
  2. Second, as unpleasant and hard as it may seem, TRY to to accept the person and try to understand that he is hurting. You might not know why, but that’s the reason most often. You will avoid getting angry yourself and thus keep the energy level up.
  3. Third, address a simple explanation like:
    • We don’t want hostages. Jokes and anecdotes help as it distracts the attention.
    • Nobody should be forced to be somewhere against his will.
    • They always have the choice to leave.
  4. Fourth idea would be to ask them to respect you and everyone else. If he aspects respect and understanding that he should first offer it
  5. Finally give them time to heal and accommodate.


So either if you are a speaker at an event and someone in the audience interrupts you, or if you are in a private/public space and someone disturbs the peace, hopefully these simple techniques will help you avoid an embarrassing situation.

They helped me and hopefully will help someone else too.

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