6 Ways to Deal with Negative People
When you’re surrounded by negativity, it’s easy to absorb that energy and start to feel negative yourself. Negative people can be real downers in any conversation. No matter what you say, they have a way of spinning things in a negative direction. Some negative people can be so negative that it feels draining just being around them. This can mess with your mindset and make you feel drained. That’s why it’s so important to be around people who you easily connect with and who uplift your spirits.
Everyone has that friend or coworker who sucks the energy right out of you, complaining about all the different ways the world is set against him or her. Unfortunately, you must deal with many different negative people throughout your life.
Here are 6 ways to deal with negative people in your life:
- Limit the time you spend with them.
First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be the most positive person ever, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend. In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.
Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.
- Don’t get into an argument.
One of the most important things is not to debate with a negative person. A negative person likely has very staunch views and isn’t going to change that just because of what you said. Whatever you say, he/she can find 10 different reasons to back up his/her viewpoint. The discussion will just swirl into more negativity, and you pull yourself down in the process.
You can give constructive comments, and if the person rebuts with no signs of backing down, don’t engage further.
- Stick to light topics.
Some negative people are triggered by certain topics. Our 1st instinct with negative people should be to help bring them to a more positive place. But if it’s apparent the person is stuck in his/her negativity, the unhappiness may be too deeply rooted to address in a one-off conversation, or for you to help him/her unravel it.
Bring in a new topic to lighten the mood. Simple things like new movies, daily occurrences, common friends, make for light conversation. Keep it to areas the person feels positive towards.
- Change the subject.
When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you must do this without ignoring what the other person said.
Acknowledge their comment but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.
- Hang out in a group.
Having someone else in the conversation works wonders in easing the load. In a 1-1 communication, all the negativity will be directed towards you. With someone else in the conversation, you don’t have to bear the full brunt of the negativity.
This way you can focus more on doing empathizing and helping the person.
- Set boundaries.
When dealing with negative people, set boundaries for how you deal with them. Someone else’s negativity is not your responsibility to deal with. If they’re bringing you down too much, you need to spend time away from them.
Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. If you want the best for this person (and yourself), avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.