Dealing with Negativity

One of the issues I wrestle with on an almost daily basis as an entrepreneur (a rookie one) is negativity.

Personally, I simmer, stew and dwell on any kind of negativity that comes my way — self-generated or otherwise. And for me, it’s one of the issues I have a hard time letting go. (Probably because I’m an F in the Myers-Briggs test and loathe conflict.)

As an entrepreneur, these types of episodes are specifically relating to customers and clients who aren’t happy. I take those times intensely personal because, by nature, I am a people pleaser. I love to give people what they want and then some. But as much time and energy as I spend to make things “perfect,” a small part of me realizes it’ll never happen.

SOMEBODY will be displeased. Somebody will be unhappy. Without fail, I’ll get an email — a medium that never adequately displays the true feelings of the sender — about something they don’t like, or feels slighted in some way.

Now, granted … these don’t come everyday … not hardly. But when they do, it lasts emotionally with me for DAYS.

This is why — although I have an neato iPhone that allows me to check my email wherever I am (whatever did I do without it?) — I have now stopped checking it right before I go to bed.

Trust me, getting something negative at midnight when you’re exhausted from working 16 hours — with an idealistic goal of perfection — ain’t the best kind of sleep medicine.

So I’m working on dealing with this negativity personally and professionally ….

It ain’t easy. Because as soon as I feel like I’m handling something well, that next email comes in.

OK, back to email ….


  1. Yeah Cory, I can understand that feeling. I dread it. And email is one of the worst forms of communicating things, especially unhappiness. It usually just comes across as anger, which is never fun when its thrown at you and there’s nothing you can do to stop it, but read.

    Yeah, I’ve had my fair share :).

    The one thing it has taught me is that when it comes to being a client, I try to be the most patient person around. Knowing the sorts of undue stress have been put on me in the past, I don’t want to cause that for anyone else.

    Good topic, Cory. Thanks for brining it up.

  2. Oh I hear that! (INFP over here!) I also try not to check email right before bed but then look what I’m doing — checking email right before bed! This entrepreneur thing — no wonder some people just get jobs!

  3. Dawn, I can’t remember how many times I’ve said that same thing — “No wonder people fizzle out or don’t every try entrepreneurship.”

    It sucks sometimes … but just today I had a good friend ask me about my first couple of months (going on four now) … and I’ve loved the flexibility and the fact that I’m pouring my time and energy into something I own.

    Thanks for stopping by and checking your email too late! 🙂

  4. I learned the hard way long time ago the “no Bberry before going to sleep” trick, and so far it’s been always unbeatably paying off.
    A bonus tip if I may ad: try also avoiding it before starting any meals. Make a sanctuary ritual of your eating moments, and keep the usual Bberry driven negativity bombs out of your way while you’re at it.
    The “you are what you eat” totally applies here, too, and you don’t want to eat any negativity, right?

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