Wild doomsday predictions, extreme pessimism, hopelessness, negativity and good ol’ scaremongering… they just revel in it don’t they?
Tell your risk appetite to go take a walk!
The alarmist has taken centre stage!
Well, some of them are tragically unaware of the bad vibes they spread!
So, what’s your strategy to counter the alarmist?
First, learn to spot them.
The wannabe alarmists can be a little over-the-top, making your job a bit easier.
Excess usage of negative adjectives, drawing absurd links between unconnected incidents, mild to wild exaggeration, refusal to acknowledge positives, crystal gazing by extrapolating trends from isolated incidents… the craft isn't that sophisticated yet!
The consummate alarmist is often a smooth operator par excellence! They’ll get you to do most of their dirty work. Gently nudging you to spot the “danger” signals, they’ll encourage you to think out loud, and talk about your fears & frustrations. They’ll ask you leading questions cleverly designed to tap into your basic self-preservation instincts. Rich “empathy” will be on display. Of course, they’ll spice it up with anecdotes and horror stories for that “confirmation bias”, just in case!
In short, they’ll make you that newbie wannabe alarmist! And then you’re a team…
A few tips for your counter-strategy:
Get them to talk more…Ask a lot of questions, open and closed. ‘Agree’ with them, pretend to be startled, use OMGs and Goshs liberally, and encourage the consummate alarmist to become a wannabe!
Buy time instead of rushing into any action.
Matter-of-factly raise facts, discrepancies, and mismatches in their narrative. Be calm and avoid provoking them. Pretend that you’re actually trying to confirm their narrative, and keep disproving it at the same time… Act clueless and ask them to provide more clarity on confusing points and issues.
Then, load them with follow up work to tie up these loose ends. As if you’re just waiting for some more evidence before signing on. Keep them hopeful that you’re on their side.
Don’t forget, you have pushed them to wannabe mode! Sit back and watch them go over the top.
No doubt many alarmists are indeed psychic vampires of a special kind! You may feel totally drained out at times.
Do invoke your trusted self regulation routines like deep breathing, silent positive affirmations, mindfulness and present moment awareness… You’ll have more clarity and presence of mind. Alarmists love their confused victims!
Take a break and allow time and sunlight to work together.
The latter is a natural disinfectant!
Don’t allow the alarmist to manipulate you. Their chicanery is pretty evolved. They’ll make you play ‘safe’, spoil relationships and limit your influence.
Get going with the influence thing, one conversation at a time!
ReachOutNOW, ReachOut2Win :-)
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