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Updated by April Rose Casiple Semogan on Jan 22, 2020
Headline for How to Motivate People Without Saying "Stay Positive"
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How to Motivate People Without Saying "Stay Positive"

One of the most overused phrases you can use to motivate or cheer up a person is "stay positive", and sometimes this advice can make people want to punch you in the face. You might mean well, but they probably already did try to stay positive. It's like telling a depressed person to "be happy", you think they haven't tried?

So, how do you motivate someone into feeling better without telling them just to "stay positive"? Let's find out!

Show that you care.

There are many ways in which you can show that you care. You can help them by just letting them know that you are there for them. It does not have to be in the form of overused advice such as "stay positive". You can simply ask how they are or asking if they need to vent. Small acts of kindness go a long way.

Show them that you are enthusiastic.

They say that you should practice what you preach. In this case, practice what you want to preach but don't want to say. But of course, do not do this in a very obvious way as it may rub them the wrong way. They say that enthusiasm is contagious, so if you keep on releasing positive energy, and caring concern-- they will eventually catch your happy.

Let them know that they can trust you.

People often feel like they are alone during their dark times. They feel like they can't trust anyone, so they tend to carry their problem all by themselves. Trust may take a long time to build, but it is worth it if it can make your loved one feel better. Let them know that you are some to whom they can share their hardships and most profound, darkest fears.

If you have nothing good to say, then don't say it.

Again, practice what you preach. If a person trusts you enough to share something personal, then your opinion can make or break them. It is indeed better if you can point out what they might have done wrong so they can correct it, but it should not come out as a criticism especially if they are already going through a rough patch. You can still express your honest opinion without being hurtful.

Compliment them.

Again, care comes in many forms, and it can come in the form of a compliment. Of course, it would sound weird if you do it out of the blue, but try highlighting something that you think is great about them. That oughta raise their spirit even just a little bit.

Be strong for them when they can't be strong for themselves.

You still need to check if this is something that you can handle. Caring for another person or sharing another person's burden can eventually take a toll on your emotional and mental health. But if you can, be their source of strength. Be strong for them when they can't for themself.

Admit it when you know that you don't know how to fix a situation.

If someone asks you for support and you are not sure what to do either, it is okay to admit that you are not sure what to do. That is better than sounding like a know-it-all. Surely, they would understand that you don't want to make matters worse by giving a piece of bad advice.

Be a listener.

During their times of needs, your loved ones need a listener. Do not listen to answer-- listen to understand. Make follow up questions if necessary and don't make the conversation about you. To be quite honest, some people just really need to vent out. That alone can already do wonders.

Take about dreams.

When a person is going through rough times, they need an escape from reality. Talk to them about dreams or things that can go right. Paint them a pretty picture of the future. At first, they might tell you that they're not sure if all that can happen-- but they will eventually join in. Assure them that things will get better.

Give tough love if necessary.

By necessary-- it means when they ask for it. You are not really sure how fragile a person is emotionally at the moment. Again, if it isn't positive, then don't say it at all. If they do ask for tough love-- do it in a way that they know that you want them to improve.