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Do You Work with the Living Dead?

Guest Blog: Desi Payne

Several years ago, I walked through my living room to see my husband and daughter intently watching television. I glanced between them and the television screen and asked, “What are you watching?” with a bit of concern in my tone.

They didn’t look at me, but one of them mumbled The Walking Dead. I had never seen the show before, so I was a little taken aback by the grotesque zombies dragging themselves through the streets. My stomach turned a little when a knife plunged into a zombie’s brain (or rather, the “walker’s” brain, as that’s what they’re called on the show.) I shook my head and walked out.

From then on, any time I would walk through and see them watching the show, the slow-walking zombies who would try to bite others to infect them with their zombie virus reminded me of people I used to work with.

I call these people “The Living Dead.” These are the people who have no enthusiasm or passion for life. They might even bite and devour one another with their words. Or they may just be someone with a negative, lousy attitude.

Over my vast career, I’ve encountered many people with negative attitudes. How do you work with people like this? Below are five strategies:

1. Don’t Go to Their Grave: Remember not to descend to their level, as

a negative person wants you to be as miserable as they are. Don’t get caught up in griping sessions or negative conversations.

2. Understand that Everyone Functions Differently: Don’t get frustrated with people who don’t go your pace or operate at a different level than you. We are all wired differently; if you understand that, you’ll be more patient when interacting with them.

3. Stay Away, Hide, or Distance Yourself from Them: There are times when you must stay clear of negative people. Otherwise, you’ll get sucked into their cloud of negativity, and they’ll suck the life out of you.

4. Be as Gracious as Possible: Reacting with kindness is a great way to deflect negative attitudes. You can change other people’s attitudes just by your kind gestures toward them.

5. Infect People with Your Positive Attitude: This is the BEST way to zap negative attitudes in the people around you. Be contagious with your positive attitude!

Have you ever been infected with the negativity virus? If so, consider performing some “CPR” to bring life back to your attitude. First, C stands for CHOICE. It is always your choice on what kind of attitude you will have at any given moment. P stands for PERSPECTIVE. We often blow situations out of proportion and don’t have the correct perspective about what is essential.

Always think, “Do I need to get stressed or have a negative attitude about this situation?” Finally, R stands for REBOOT YOUR BRAIN. When your computer freezes up, you need to reboot it. You do that by hitting “control, alt, and delete.” This restarts and refreshes your laptop, which is ready to go again.

All attitudes start with the way we think. We need to control what we think about by exchanging our negative thoughts with better ones to delete the negative ones. We can refresh and reboot our brains with exercise, being grateful, and speaking words of encouragement to others.

For more help surviving among negative and lifeless people, check out my book, Do You Work with the Living Dead? You can order from my website,, and use the code “FREE SHIPPING” to receive free shipping on any order.

Are you interested in seeing more? I’ve also included Episode One of “The Flying Dead,” a 3-part video series on navigating negative people. Go to this link: and subscribe to to see more!

About Desi:

Desi Payne is a motivational humorist and John C. Maxwell certified leadership international speaker and trainer. She is the author of Do You Work with the Living Dead?, How to Survive Among Lifeless and Negative People in the Workplace, and Give Me Some Chocolate... I’m Stressed! She is a regular guest on the WHO-13 TV Hello Iowa program. She is married to Craig, her wonderful husband, and has two grown exceptional children.

JOIN US on the BEACON of LIGHT Podcast on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 6:30 pm MDT

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