It's time for war. A war on negativity. I'm ready to fight, are you? We're going to do it using "Pockets of Positivity"...
We are outnumbered. But we will win. The enemy will come with grim expressions, pursed lips, and even radiant, but hollow smiles. They all want the same thing: to steal your energy, shake your confidence and ultimately drag you down. They want to leave you a joyless shell of your former self. If they sink their teeth in, you are left behind to wander the hallways, aimlessly and unwittingly devouring the positive energy of the next person you encounter. Don't let them take you. Know thine enemy...
The enemy? The energy vampire. The energy vampires have many faces, but they have one common purpose: to suck your positive energy. To make you feel less than whole. If you're happy, they want to stamp it out. They have many tools and guises at their disposal: Drama. Doubt. One-upmanship. Passive aggressiveness. Uncertainty. Control. Insincerity. The list goes on. But they all want the same thing: For you to quit being so damn positive about your life.
Don't you realize how bad it all is? Don't you know that it may be okay now, but you're just a stone's throw away from utter disaster? Don't you know what management is really doing behind closed doors? Don't know you that Martha told John that she didn't really like your outfit? Don't you know?
In our personal lives, we are able to avoid these dramatic demons more easily, and if you don't, that's your choice, but in the workplace we are forced to interact with those who would take our happiness from us. Don't let them. Fight back.
In order to combat these nefarious foot soldiers of negativity, you must circle the ranks and find your positive people. You need to remind them that it’s okay to be positive at work...that just because someone wants to inject doubt or dismay in your day, you don't need to let them. As a four-star general in the fight, you need to muster your army and create "pockets of positivity" (POP). These pockets provide permission to be positive. When the energy vampires attack, you don't need to give in. You can find your friends in the fight and bubble up to protect your right to be happy about your life; to be positive about work and enjoy your job. To build your own POP, just find the five people you know who are a joy to be around. Ask them whether they are tired of the griping, complaining and the rest. Ask if they would be your teammate in giving each other permission to be positive. Ask if they would join your pocket of positivity. All that means is that you will greet each other, support each other, tell the positive tales of life, and generally try to enjoy the work environment, etc. In short, you will give each other permission and support to be happy at work.
It may sound silly, but knowing you have access to people who feels generally positive about their life too can make a world of difference when the energy vampires come sucking. Excuse yourself and let them know: "no thanks, I think I'll just be happy today." Then find your POP and enjoy their trustworthy, supportive and positive energy. Let it be the bubble that protects you. Be sure to do the same for them.
Then start slowly adding members. Keep it a secret and bring them in one at a time. Be selective. Meet regularly. Grow the group. Add only those that contribute to a positive work environment. Get bigger. Grow stronger.
The energy vampires thrive on separating you from your positive feelings. There are many of them, and they convert people easily if there is no resistance. It becomes a default condition for those unwittingly bitten. They lost the fight to resist many moons ago and now there is no one to show them the way. They are the apathetic middle and given no choice, they will succumb silently to the will of these life suckers. But guess what? Most people want another choice. They want a happy workplace, they just don't know how to fight alone. They want someone to support them and cheer them and champion them. They just don't have the choice. Until now...
Take your POP team and begin an assault. Hold a random root beer float day and give out floats for no good reason--just because. Walk directly into the office of the worst energy vampire you know and high five them. They won't know what hit them. Hang a sign right outside their door or cube that inspires or art that soothes. Smile and laugh right outside their office. They will complain about you. They will try to infiltrate your team (they love "employee motivation" teams--so many willing victims)! Ignore the complaints and don't let them in. Then regroup with your POP team and attack again. Just remember: Happiness is their garlic. Smiles are their sun.
The employees unwillingly converted from the apathetic middle will start to come back to themselves and some will join you, the power of the vampires’ collective energy will diminish, and the cool kids table will grow. In the end, you can drive a stake through their heart, leaving them with no choice...but to enjoy a root beer float.