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How to Avoid the Naysayers: Dealing with Negative People

Updated on April 13, 2007

Are there negative people in your life brining you down?

Don't let the naysayers stop you from doing the things you dream of.
Don't let the naysayers stop you from doing the things you dream of.

An Overview of Your Worst Enemy: The Naysayer

"The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do." -unknown

Imagine having an idea you feel will absolutely rock the world. But, sometimes sharing your idea with others can lead to devastation when telling the wrong person. Our hopes and dreams can come crashing down when we hear words of doubt from not just acquaintances but those close to us. These are called "The Naysayers."

This hub will share some tips on how to avoid succumbing to these negative people- and how to stay positive when confronted with just the opposite.

A naysayer is someone who will find something negative to say, no matter how great something may seem, people who seem to get their jollies putting other's down. And, their words can sting.

That sting is even worse when it comes from someone you love, who claims they are 'only' looking out for you. Sometimes negativity is disguised as concern.

Sometimes a naysayer could bring up something you did not think of. So, sometimes, it may be helpful to find out why they are saying, "nay"

Tips for Dealing With the Naysayers

Below are some strategies to deal with negative people:

1. Repeat the naysayers comment, and follow-up with a question:

If you tell someone your idea for a new eatery downtown and they say something like, "Are you crazy? Restaurants always fail within the first year!" You can say, "Restaurants always fail with in the first year? Tell me then, what advice do you have to make sure mine doesn't fail?" This makes their defenses fall, and will also bring out any experience they may have- or perhaps they will give you an idea of where to go for advice. If they cannot justify their 'nay' then perhaps it's just pure naysaying.

2. Let a naysayer know you want to hear their idea:

Naysayers are used to being dismissed. If you allow them to share their ideas, it makes them less defensive. This may also give you a new idea or another perspective. They may also prevent the confrontation they are hoping for from transpiring.

3. Compliment the naysayers suggestions:

You could turn a naysayer into an ally by letting them know they are appreciated. It is rare for a negative person to be complimented, so you can throw them off by making a positive reply. They are not expecting your gracious words- a little bit of reverse psychology, huh? You don't have to take them up on their ideas; you will just simply compliment them. They may think twice about being negative to you again since it did not work out the first time!

4. If it doesn't apply, let it fly:

Sometimes, even after letting a naysayer be heard, it may not be something positive. If it doesn't apply, let it fly! Meaning, forget it was said and move on.

5. Donna's corny response:

Call 'em a horse! They go "neigh," right?

Finally, if we keep letting naysayers win, it can actually change our lives. Think about this. Has a friend ever succeeded at something, but when you mentioned trying it, all of a sudden it "was really hard," or "not really all that cool." It may be because they do not want to see you doing something similar. For instance, your best friend gets his first car- it's a standard. You beg to drive it, and he tells you it's too hard to learn stick. You grow up driving automatics because that thought was drilled into your head. Or, the girl who wants to join ballet, but her mom tells her she is clumsy and uncoordinated. The girl grows up being afraid to even dance at a club. You can also call these naysayers "toxic people."

Given those examples, you can see how a naysayer can even groom who we are. Even if naysayers speak truth that your goal is hard, do not give up.

Accept naysaying as a challenge!

Quotes to Motivate Those Faced With a Naysayer

"It is a well-known fact that we see the faults in other's works more readily than we do in our own." -- Pablo Picasso

"To escape criticism - do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." -- Elbert Hubbard

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway ." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is much easier to be critical that to be correct." --Benjamin Disreli

"Blame is safer than praise." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The resentment that criticism engenders can demoralize employees, family members and friends, and still not correct the situation that has been condemned." -- Dale Carnegie

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain.. and most fools do." -- Dale Carnegie

Have some advice? Want to say hi?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      the best way to beat this kind of people is to ignore them whether what theyr'e saying is't true or not whether is't came from hear say or not ,in short it's better to be hated for who you are rather than love for who you are not, many people do that and many of us lives like that so don't be one of them even though where just human!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am going to try this. I have a naysayer who really likes to give me a hard time. Perhaps these ideas will help. Thank you

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a few facebook friends who aren't really friends. there whole purpose seems to be about mocking me and my values and my dreams. On the one hand it is tempting to block them but on the other hand, I would like them to have a front seat when I make sell my first screenplay so I can make them eat their words.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Prove them wrong!! Do what you do! They are just haters!

      As a home-schooler, I blacksmithed, did electrical work, worked with A/V stuff, built a movie projector, and made forts in the woods!

      The last two years of high-school, I attended a private k-12 institution. Never have so many ignorant stick-in-the-mud naysayers been so bold and confident. I actually had people literally throw adult fits and go raise hell about any idea I had.

      I proved them all wrong later after graduating. Most have become almost inert as human beings!

      Don't give UP!!! You will win!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      the best way to handle naysayers is beat the crap out of them dislocate there face

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Both of my parents are pretty much has ruined our relationship. I'm 38 and it can be unbearable to be around them!

    • profile image

      8 years ago

      no but there is only so much you can d

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Id like to see what some of the ppl would do if they themselves falled into a depression. Would you like to be avioded and ignored??

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So what do u ppl suggest?? To let negative ppl die??

      Is that a mature approach?

      Oh such or such is a negative person, just lets ostrast them?

      U egoisitical and cruel

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have recently had to tell my family I no longer want to be around my older sister or have my children be around her as well. She is living with a man (not the father of her children) that threatens her kids lives, her own and is a MAJOR drug addict.

      After a recent police call from me because her boyfriend flipped out yet again she went back that very night!! After threatening to kill her kids and her.. Thing is she has known him maybe a little over 6 months.

      This has really become a pattern for her picking total losers and thinking of only material pleasures. In fact has had a bowl thrown in her face by another man who has blinded her until she can have corneal replacement but still no guarantee she will be able to see.

      With me stating I can't be around her and enable her any longer I have had a HORRIBLE back lash from what I would have called my family. I have evil texts, emails and letters being sent to me and my friends to be warned of me. Do I just write them all off?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

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      I absolutely loved these tips. My husband is in the midst of dealing with some very negative and selfishness naysayers- his "family"! How ironic, the ones who you think who would support the most are the most selfish and insecure. I printed this out and made a framed page with the Quotes to Motivate for the days when it seems unbearable! Thanks!

    • donna1978 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Sweet Valley

      Thank you for your comment!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      11 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I think this is a very important topic for we all have experiences with this type of energy. I think one of the things you learn with experience is how to identify a negative energy force quickly and to change your course by either avoiding topics where the person will go negative quickly, or moving to a positive place quickly. While skepticism can be healthy, its often better to surround yourself with more postive people. Thanks for the post!


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