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How to Help Negative People

Updated on May 11, 2016

If you have been unfortunate enough to have come across or, worse, live with a negative person, you'd know how tough it can be. Honestly, I haven't come across anything more frustrating or irritating than have to deal with a negative individual. A negative person just drains out the positivity from you, over time, and creates an overall sense of doom and despair. The negative person in question may often be someone very close to you, a family member, your spouse, a close friend. As a consequence, you just cannot run away from them, you have no choice but to deal with them. So, how can you deal with a negative person? Well, to start, you need to know how to identify a negative person? This should be pretty easy.

A negative person would, for example, use phrases like, "Why does this always happen to me?" or "I am the most unluckiest person in the world," "I am just not worth it," "I just have nothing to live for," etc. A notable characteristic of negative people is the chronicity of their negativity, i.e. they just don't have a bad day, in terms of the negativity, and get over it. For them, the negativity is a constant companion, something which they can't seem to do without!! These are the kind of people who view the glass as always half empty instead of half full. They don't see the positives of a given situation, they just hang on to the negatives!! They also like to relive and replay past failures, disappointments, regrets, etc. So, how can you deal with and help out people like these? Here are a few ways how?


Steps Towards Dealing With / Helping Out A Negative Person

Hear Them Out:

Now, this might not seem like the best thing to do on the face of it, but remember that many of these people can be close to you, could be your close friends, relatives or your spouse - so you just can't walk away from them, doing so would be rude and would definitely dent your relationship with them. So, hear them out, patiently!! You need to have patience yourself for this, as it could be a long and boring story. So, brace yourself for this! Of course, if you don't know the person that well, you might as well look for a way to get out of having to hear them!!

Show Them The Positive Side:

Once you've heard them out, point out to them the positive aspects of the situation that has so distressed them. In most cases, the negative person exaggerates and so help them look at the situation objectively by giving them your neutral perspective. Have them reassess the scenario and point out to them the positive aspects they can take away from it.

Give Them Examples of Other People:

One of the best ways to give a negative person some confidence is to help them relate to another person in a similar position or worse off than them. You can just make up an example. Basically, something that makes the negative person feel that his/her situation isn't the worst that there is, that there are people out there who struggle with things far worse!!

Give Them A Reason To Be Positive:

Negative people can be very selfish, in that they choose to focus primarily on themselves and their troubles. So, give them a reason to be positive, a reason to be happy. Remind them of their loved ones; fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, spouse, whoever it is that they love and care for. Tell them that they need to stay positive for them, if not for themselves.

Tell Them To Take A Time-Out:

Advise them to take some time out to think things over. Often times, life just becomes a routine, a habit, mechanical. We just keep doing the same things over and over again. Negativity is a habit as well. Unless the negative person can have some time-out to get out of this circle and view things from afar, they are not going to be able to assess the true damage they are doing to their lives, and to the lives of those around them! A break from the normal routine would help the negative person identify their negative patterns. Identifying these negative patterns are the first step in addressing them.

In conclusion, drawing from personal experience, I can say with conviction that negativity can be cured. I used to be a negative person too, but I took a time-out and reassesed my priorities in life and chose never again to give into negativity. I rediscovered the gift that I have been given - the gift of life. I understood that the precious moments that make up our lives are not to be wasted on trivial whining and crying about the supposed things lacking in your life. A negative person cannot be cured without his/her permission and that's why the last step is a must. Get the negative person to that stage and hope for the best. Hopefully, they'd realize that this gift of life we've been given is much too precious to be squandered away by living and reliving past disappointments, failures, regrets, and the like!!


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