Be the Light

There are many ways to cope with negativity.


Liberty Gentry

Stupid. Fat. Ugly. These are words that stick. These are the words that hurt. 

Negativity is all around, whether it is at home, school, or it comes from within. Negativity can be a lot of things and it has a different meaning to everyone.

“Negativity can be seeing the worst in a situation, or the worst in a person versus trying to see the best in a situation, or the best in a person,” guidance counselor Kristin Little said.

Senior Delanie Smith sees negativity in a different light. 

“Negativity can be the simple lack of positivity and looking as if the glass is half empty,” Smith said.

For teens, it is essential to find ways to deal with negativity in a safe and healthy way. 

Dealing with negativity is important for teens to be able to grow into positive young adults, considering the amount of hate that will always be around. 

“Sometimes if I am working with a student we will make a list of things that either they believe are wrong or they feel are negative in their life, and we will just start to address each of them one by one,” Little said.

Making a list is an organizational coping skill.  With school starting, the stress of grades and having time for activities can really start to have a negative effect on your mind.

Freshman Savanna Hoy uses organizational coping skills to ease her mind.  

“Keeping organized and having positive reinforcements can sometimes help relieve some stress,” Hoy said.

Coping skills are used to help deal with uncomfortable emotions. 

“If students and adults find one or two things that really work for them, they can apply it across all areas of life,” Little said. 

Although we do not deal with all negativity in the same way, similar coping skills, if not the same can be used in various situations. 

“There are a lot of them out there, for some people it is doing things to get their mind off the situation, whether it’s reading, writing, listening to music, or finding someone they trust to talk to,”  Little said. 

Testing out different coping skills can help figure out which ones work for different situations.  

 “For other people it could be just doing something they enjoy, whether it’s playing a game, exercising, or finding a friend & grabbing coffee,” Little said.

 Distracting yourself from stressful situations and just trying to live in the moment may help life feel less stressful. 

“Find people who bring out the positives in your life,” Smith said. 

For teens it is also important to become close with the right people.  

“Cut the people out of your life that have a negative impact, and think of the bigger picture,” senior Sophia Spallo said. 

Surrounding yourself with negative people can also make your life as a whole more negative. 

“The way you should deal with negativity really should depend on the type,” freshman Jeanette Jordan said. 

Friendship negativity is different than school stress, just like school stress is different than conflicts with parents, and we deal with them differently.

Finding ways to cope is not as easy for everyone, it is just about finding the right fit. 

As teens it is hard to ignore the subtle put downs, glares, and laughter. Finding and sharing coping skills can also increase others benefiting from them. 


Some Coping Strategies:

  • Read a book
  • Write something
  • Organize school work
  • Play a game with a friend
  • Exercise
  • Grab coffee with a friend
  • Make a list of stuff that is worth changing
  • Bake cookies
  • Take a nap