- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How to Effectively Deal with Negative People
There's always a few people out there you know: they just have nothing nice to say! These people are generally nice, but like to complain a lot, or when contributing to a conversation, end up making everyone feel down. Being around these types of people a lot can also bring your mood down too, and who needs that?
The easiest way to deal with them is to avoid them, but what if these people are your coworkers, family, or even your boss? Here are some techniques I've used that have been effective:
Reply to Their Comments With Something Positive
Don't let people's complaining or negative comments bring you down! A simple way to combat this is to do the opposite, which is to say something positive back to them. If they consistently complain they're tired for example, you can reply by saying how much energy you have after you started eating breakfast exercising. Or if a family member keeps talking about how her partner is keeping the house so cold during the winter, buy them a blanket for Christmas, or recommend one when you happen to pass by one if you two are shopping together.
It can be helpful to keep some positive statements in the back of your head to respond to people, particularly people you have to see all the time.
Practice with the following statements. What would you say back to this person if they said..
1)...I'm so sick of this sore back! I can't seem to do anything to make the pain go away!
2)...No wonder everyone is losing their jobs, the economy is so bad, my kids can't get work!
3)...All I ever seem to do is work, I have no personal life anymore.
Sometimes, these types of negative people want attention on them and will look for anyone that will listen. If you keep replying with positive comments and not just agree with what they have to say, they may end up avoiding you!
Make Sure your Comments Aren't Advice
A lot of negative people don't want to hear advice. They just want to complain. I mean, if you must, hear them out and then make an excuse to go or change the subject. I've given advice and all that's happened is that I've gotten yelled at. A lot. More than a lot. Plus, if you do this at work, it might get you in trouble. So it's just better not to give any advice, unless of course, they ask for it.
Don't Think Or Talk About Them When They Are Not Around
This is important! If you don't want their negativity to bring you down, why bother thinking about them? You are only giving THEM the power to change your mood. You don't ever want to do that. Don't ever give power to someone you don't like or want around. Plus, the less you think about them, the better you can react positively to their negativity next time they come around.
Also, don't talk about them! If you do that you are only stooping to their level, and it'll get back to them that you talked about them, trust me on this one. Plus, you are also going to become a negative person if you keep doing this, which is the exact opposite of what you want, right?
If you find yourself thinking about them or starting to talk about them, change your thoughts or words on something good that happened to you that day, week, or recently. I usually try to watch a funny youtube video or two if I really need a 'filler' for a conversation, or to think about something else. Reading books on positive thinkers (such as the Dali Llama) can also help you stop thinking about the negative people you come into contact with. And you also have material to talk about if you need something positive to say.
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Meet New Positive People
If you have a friend that is constantly dragging you down, then maybe it's time to consider making new friends. I've lost touch with friends this way, but in the end I am happier for it. If a coworker is seriously bringing you down, try to talk to your boss (subtly!) about switching teams, or find ways where you don't need to seek them out or work with them. If it's a boss..well, either keep trying to above methods, or consider getting another job. If it's a family member, think about limiting interaction during holidays.
Life is full of the unknown and changes. People you meet now don't have to be in your life forever. It sounds harsh, but it's true. People float in and out of our lives for various reasons. If a negative person in your life is that overpowering, then it's really time to move on.