How to recognize less positive behaviors and cope with negative people
“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes” - Stephen Richards
Have you ever met or conversed with someone who simply wears you down because of his or her first words when they greet you were “It was awful,”, “It was terrible,” or “she was so annoying?” The really negative person who can turn almost any smile into a frown as soon as you see him? These folk sometimes have a dark aura around them that says “Pour it in, I”m a jug for all that’s bad.” Every time you talk to them, you receive either bad news or a cynical snippet of life. For them, the sun never seems to come up.
Negativity can cloud our perception in the most cramping, debilitating way possible. When we meet one of these jugs for negativity, it can make us cringe. Yet, some of these toxic folk are the very ones we love, so having a few tricks up our sleeves when dealing with them can be very useful.
How do negative people affect us?
Negativity is a monster that has a very tight grip. When we are surrounded by negative people, they can affect us in many ways.
Negative people program our subconscious.
Anyone who is remotely familiar with a little Freudian theory will know that the subconscious is the 7/8 of the icebergs of our minds that has the most effect on us. Being around negative people will program that 7/8 of our minds in sometimes frightening ways.
When we are around negativity, we will be conditioned to believe in these not-so-sunny perceptions. A negative person has the power to turn our minds around to these views and after a while we find that we start believing in them. After a time, we start paying at least some tribute to Murphy’s Law - that everything that will go wrong, does go wrong. In fact, everything that is right goes wrong too!
Being constantly surrounded by negative people and negative feelings makes us unnecessarily disappointed in life. We lose our sense of self worth. It is not long before we start thinking that there is no way for us to do anything that will push us forward.
Negative people drain our energy.
I am very sure that everyone would be familiar with feeling tired after a conversation with someone who always greets us with “woe is me.” After a session of trying to counsel or listen to that person, it leaves us feeling extremely weary.
Talking to someone who is always finding fault with something or other has the effect of either making you feel defensive, hopeless or very tired. It can even have an adverse effect on our health.
A lot of research shown that negativity has adverse impact on our immune systems, decreasing our resistance to disease. One study followed a group of almost 7000 adults through a span of 40 years. The ones who showed optimism in their youth and throughout life had a 42% instance of living a prolonged life.
Negativity affects relationships
Negativity affects relationships. No one really wants to be around someone who complains all the time and never has anything positive to say.
A person who is negative may find himself being surrounded by fewer friends and wondering why.
How do I recognize negativity?
Negativity comes in all forms. You could be the negative person that you dread! Here are some ways to identify negativity in others and, if not realized yet, oneself.
Accusations of an ulterior motive/distrust
If someone or even yourself constantly believes that all others do good only with the intent to benefit themselves, this could be a sign of innate cynicism. The constant lack of trust points to negativity lying within.
Constant complaining and criticizing
Can you remember an occasion when your gift was received with a barrage of complaints? Or that someone who never finds things good enough? The someone who tackles any of your winning strategies with criticism?
Constant complaining and criticizing is a definite sign of negativity. It reveals someone with whom absolutely nothing is right.
Expectations of only failure
A person who is negative is conditioned to expect failure of almost anything. A new venture or even a familiar one is always doomed. He is the supreme advocate of Murphy’s Law!
Tendency to lay blame
I am sure that everyone who reads this will be familiar with finger pointing. The instinct to assign blame is a definite sign of a negative person!
Reprimands for not being realistic
Negativity can be a little difficult to spot sometimes because it is couched in realism. A very familiar scenario is when we are severely scolded for pursuing our chosen endeavors because they are not “realistic.” A person who berates us constantly for “unrealistic” expectations or pursuits is not a very positive one.
Which of these negative people do you most identify with?
7 negative people and how to handle them
Negativity comes in different forms. These are a few, less positive folks whom you may recognize.
Miss Promise Breaker
This is the person whom you cannot expect anything good from. Consciously or unconsciously, this person tends to break promises because she was disappointed herself in her formative years. The pattern or habit was thus formed, and a tad hard to break.
One way of relating to Miss Promise breaker is to let her know about how her behavior makes you feel. Perhaps you have not told her about how her behavior is affecting your friendship with her. She may not know that constantly breaking pledges is a pattern and it may be time to make her realize this.
Mr. Double Crosser
This is the friend (or not) who betrays you or your secrets in the worst way possible. He spreads malicious rumors about you behind your back, likely because of jealousy, and can be the most negative of friends possible.
Mr. Double Crosser may have really deep seated emotional issues to address if you are to continue the friendship with him. You may have to assess if you are risking too much in maintaining Mr. Double Crosser as one of your close circle of friends.
Miss Silent Treatment
Miss Silent Treatment abruptly stops speaking to you and never explains why. You may never get a chance to find out either. It is a form of emotional double crossing that can be very negative!
It may take a bit of patience before Miss Silent Treatment is willing to open up about the reasons for her behavior. If she does not wish to, there is no point forcing your presence on her, so it is wiser, though difficult, to just move on.
Mr. Self Absorbed
An alternative name for Mr. Self Absorbed is Mr. Narcissist. Most people will be very familiar with him. This is the person who lauds only his own achievements and believes that no one else matches up.
Self-centered behavior stems from insecurity and fear of not being able to meet the standards of others. Mr. Self Absorbed therefore tends to put other people down in favor of himself.
You may want to create situations where Mr. Self Absorbed does not get the opportunity to talk about himself. Plan activities that he is not good at doing. Alternatively, you might just want to not sit next to him too often!
You will be familiar with the person who always opens a conversation with ‘This is just between us.” She is Miss Discloser, the person who is all too ready to reveal another’s secrets.
If Miss Discloser is a friend you know relatively well, you might want to start by addressing the behavior with her and letting her know about your disappointment before proceeding with the friendship. If you find her incapable of breaking the pattern, choose what you want to say to her.
His name says it all. Mr. Competitor is the person who only wants to win or impress.You may recognize him when he starts saying “me too’ to whatever achievement you announce. If you have been on a holiday to Venice, Mr. Competitor is likely to interject with a ‘me too.”
To an extent, a little competition is healthy and stimulating. Too much pressure, however can be negative for friendships, particularly for the self-esteem for the friend who always ‘loses.”
To alert him to his behavior, you might want to preface your statements with, “Let me share something without having to do with you.” If you are afraid that this would throw him off, you might have to be willing to listen to his bragging at the expense of himself, or completely avoid him altogether.
Miss Fault Finder
This is the person who nitpicks on everything and never has anything good to say. Her conduct is a result of very negative experiences.
If Miss Fault Finder is someone close to you or someone whom you want to maintain a relationship with despite the criticisms, try having a heart to heart talk with her about her behavior. Alternatively, if you are at your withs end, try finding fault in her. It might break the spell of negativity that causes her to constantly find fault with you. However, because she often cannot take criticism well, she might cut off the friendship between you.
How to deal with emotional vampires
Other ways to deal with negative people
There are many ways of dealing with negative folks, so here are a few more strategies you might want to try.
Have a little empathy.
Knowing where their behavior stems from might give a little hint about how to deal with the negative person in question. It also makes way for a little heart in the process!
Remain completely detached.
Keep smiling in the face of negativity and simply do not let it affect you. A negative person may be seeking to get a reaction from you, so do not give him or her that satisfaction. Leave the room if you can.
Say, “Now tell me something positive.”
This is good for handling someone who whines, complains or indulges in a little fault finding. Alert her to the negative behavior in this way.
Try to guide them to sort their problems.
Try to find a way to help a negative person come to terms with what is bothering him or her. Say "This seems to be bothering you. Would you like me to help you find a way to deal with it? This would hopefully point the way to them to find a coping strategy for their situation.
Imagine a shield.
This sounds a little silly, but such visualization has a profound effect. Imagine yourself under the protection of Providence from negative words as they come!
Much as we hate to admit it, negativity could point to something about ourselves. If the person finds it a source of contention, it could be necessary to address it.
Don’t indulge in self blame.
Realize that you may not be the trigger for the negative remarks of the other person. You may not be able to get through to him or her, so it may be wise to stop seeking reasons for the negative behavior. Let things go and move on.
Toxicity can be damaging both to the person delivering it and to yourself. Recognizing it in yourself and others proves beneficial to all concerned. Positivity attracts more!
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