Making Constant Negative Comments Affects Your Reputation

People who consistently speak in a critical manner, regardless of the reasons they do such, might not realize that by doing such they are constructing a negative reputation, one that can become a barrier for peace and happiness.

This article was inspired by reading a news story this past week of a very successful and wealthy person who found himself in trouble for some careless words he expressed.

While he was able to safely navigate through the conflict (because he was willing to do what most people won’t do with poise, humility and a thorough apology) he is known for having a reputation as, how do I say this, critical, condescending and abusive.

By responding how he did he was able to positively manage conflict yet the behavior that preceded that conflict management was on brand for him.

It’s his pattern behavior and left uncorrected it will put his professional, career well being at great jeopardy and thus, his personal peace and happiness, his mental and physical help at risk.

While this person, after a negative response to what he communicated, knew what he had to do and impressively chose to do it, I just do not see him recognizing his predisposition to a negative attitude and highly critical, often personal attacks on people.

And that is problematic.

Many negative people don’t realize that they’re that way.

Yet that doesn’t matter because people are still “seeing” them as regularly negative and forming equally negative judgments about them, which changes how people react and respond to people.

People all around you will and do judge you not only for the negativity but for it being a common behavior trait of yours, an it’s gone unchanged.

This can lead to rejection, disinterest, forfeited respect and at times, isolation. It can lead to poor relationships or broken relationships, as well as lost desired opportunities. It can lead to reciprocal negativity, or aggression in return.

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

This type of trouble, hurt and pain can be prevented or mitigated and problem solved if someone is committed to learning and developing new skills to navigate through what is currently an unknown, confusing or difficult for them.

For those with a similar mindset and challenge, there is always opportunity to learn how to rewire thinking, improve stress management and express oneself in a way that is less critical, more productive and builds an admirable reputation instead of damaging a reputation and having to endure outcomes that are not pleasant or downright painful, maybe even long term.

Michael Toebe is a specialist for reputation and crisis communications, serving individuals and organizations and publishes the Reputation Times newsletter. Contact for advising, consulting, coaching or communications through the LinkedIn platform.

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Writing on reputation, risk, decision making and crisis in business, politics, sports, entertainment, higher ed, healthcare and social media.

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