CHAPTER 5Dealing with People, Groups, or Values You Don't Like: How to Get Along and Work Together Anyway

I once worked with a guy who everyone avoided because he was so negative. I don't mean that he was a little gruff or that he was mean. He wasn't—he just saw the glass as “half empty” rather than “half full.” Actually, he was so negative that he would have said the glass was half full—of poison. If you said, “Good morning, Josh,” he'd say something along the lines of, “Well, I hope it will be a good morning, but it probably won't be.” Or if you asked, “Hey, Josh, are you ready for the client meeting today?” he'd reply, “I guess. I'm sure they're going to hate all of our concepts and suggestions, but I guess we have to go through the motions.” Wow! It didn't exactly make anyone want to grab a cup of coffee with him or ask him about his weekend.

Behind his back, the people in the office called him Eeyore—you know, after the Winnie the Pooh character. Eeyore is pessimistic, dismal, sarcastic, depressed, cynical and perpetually gloomy, and those adjectives described Josh perfectly. Because he was such a downer, people in the office avoided him. No one was outright rude or mean to him, but you can tell when people are avoiding you. You can feel when people are shunning you or excluding you. I'm convinced that Josh felt this isolation, which only made him even more negative.

I'm an optimist. I tend to see the world through eyes that are hopeful, and I believe that no matter how ...

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