Mastering the Art of Reframing Negative Situations

Last week’s Thursday Thoughts blog post was about being the co-creators of our reality. A recent conversation inspired the story with a woman who attended my Meetup event. You can read it here if you missed it.

Today’s story is more of an NLP reframing technique example.

Being Co-Creators: The Power of Reframing Negative Situations

Sometimes, frustrating things happen to us, and we can’t think of why we attracted them in the first place.

The fact is that – as cliche as it sounds – there is a silver lining to every negative situation that we find ourselves in.

Let me explain what happened to me recently. Since I’m planning a semi-move to Bali soon, I went shopping for clothes.

Because I like to see the fabric and to try out the clothes before I buy them, I like going to the store to shop.

After experiencing disappointment with online clothing orders, I consciously abstained from further online shopping endeavours. Seeking an alternative, I ventured to a renowned high street brand store in a bustling mall, only to discover a surprise—the store was bustling with customers, drawn by an ongoing sale.

I found a few lovely pieces, and I asked the sales guy for a specific swimsuit I saw online – by showing him a picture on my phone.

Without checking the database (using the iPad they have), he immediately told me to check out another branch for swimsuits.

I asked him twice to confirm which store to go to; that branch is remote and challenging.

Anyway, I rely on cabs to get around in the summer. So I took a cab the next day and went to that branch that he told me would have stock of the swimsuit.

The Frustrations and Silver Linings: An Example of NLP Reframing Technique

When I arrived, the sales lady told me they don’t even sell swimsuits at this branch! She checked the database for stock and it showed that the store where I went the day before had a few pieces of that swimsuit I was looking for. She also added that it’s difficult to find swimsuits in stock (and that’s why the guy lied to me and said that they don’t have it).

Of course, I got really frustrated, and what added to my anger was that the stock in that remote store was not nice. So I couldn’t even make the most out of my trip there to get some other things I needed from the store.

I simply left without buying anything, but I didn’t let that dampen my day. Instead, I made the most of it by having a nice lunch and taking care of some grocery shopping.

Later, I dedicated around two hours to carefully selecting the items I needed from the store’s website. Online shopping takes time, and the delivery also takes time. So it’s not my favorite way to shop.

You might be wondering: Where’s the silver lining to this story?

Finding the Positive in a Negative Store Experience

To reframe this negative and frustrating situation, look for the positive aspect. In this case, it’s the fact that I was forced to order online and make that my preferred method for shopping in the city.

I felt grateful that the sales guy made me resort to online shopping because, as an empath, it’s much wiser to avoid busy and crowded malls.

This time, because I looked at the available pieces in the store, I tried a few items and ensured that I knew my size; I felt really good with the mix of in-store and online shopping. It just felt right for now.

But for the future, I will rely on online shopping anytime I want to buy from this store. Now that I know my size for everything and have a general idea about the styles, there’s no reason not to order online.

So in hindsight, I’m actually grateful for the incident that led me to embrace online shopping!

I was even going to write a negative review about the store and mention the sales guy’s name, then when I read all the reviews (old and new) talking about how rude and disrespectful the staff at that branch are, I decided not to.

The Catalyst for Change for Reframing Negative Situations

Apparently, the staff always do this type of behavior to get rid of customers, so they don’t have to look for items in the stock room.

Upon reflection, I came to the realization that writing an additional review reiterating the same points would be futile and a waste of my valuable time and energy. It dawned on me that, at this moment, the entire mall experience feels beneath me. Generally, I steer clear of malls unless I need to purchase a few items before embarking on a trip.

And I realized that online shopping makes everything easier and removes the stress and anger of interacting with unprofessional salespeople.

That’s how you can reframe any negative situation and find the silver lining. Ultimately, that sales guy was the catalyst for my online shopping journey.

What negative situation are you facing, and how can you reframe it?

Let me know in the comments!




Reframing negative situations

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