After spending enough time in the company of other people, you and I know that there are individuals that radiate negativity. These negative people are like black holes who take out the light and energy out of you. They are social vampires who suck the life out of you. They come in many forms such as the whiners, blamers, and drama queens in your social circle. Interacting with them can be draining and can leave you wanting fresh, positive air. They make you feel on guard and unsafe. They give off such bad vibes that you can’t wait to get away. If you don’t want to constantly feel this way, then you need to find a way to cope with the negative people in your life. Once you identify them, try to use these tips to handle them.
The first thing you need to do is to set clear boundaries for your interaction with these people. What is the nature of your relationship? Is there a way you can minimize interaction with them? Determine how much time you want to spend with them. Make sure you are firm about sticking to your boundaries.
2. Try to Understand
Sometimes, when you understand people’s motivations and reasons for the things they do, it becomes a bit easier to deal with them. Try to understand the cause of people’s negativity. It might help you choose the right approach when talking to them.
Most of the time, dealing with negative people drains of your energy. The key to not letting this happen is to be emotionally detached. Don’t get sucked into the negative talk. Negative people talk about their woes because they want to get a reaction from you. Instead of buying into that, remain detached and don’t give them the satisfaction of pulling you into a negative spiral. You have to be in control of your reactions, emotions, and your own energy.
4. Force Positivity
Don’t feed negativity with more negativity. When someone starts spewing out negative things from their mouth, try this strategy. Ask them to think of something positive. It can be about the situation they are complaining about. It could be about their day or any past experiences. This approach of forcing positivity on them jars their reality of negativity. They somehow become aware of how negative their thinking is.
5. Let It Slide
The negativity, I mean. Don’t let negative people and their talk get to you. You cannot control their thoughts and words but you can definitely control your reaction. Just let the negative energy bounce off of you. Remember that some people will be negative to push your buttons or to just release some negative emotions. Their negativity is not a reflection of you so don’t get affected.
6. Change the Subject
Once again, negative people thrive on reactions they get from their listeners. When they start ranting and whining, try to change the subject to something more positive. You have to be assertive and consistent in doing this. If you keep shifting to positive topics, they will hopefully take that hint that their line of thought won’t be accepted and they will change. Or they could also get tired of not getting a reaction from you and move on to pester someone else.
7. Positive in Response to Negative
Instead of reinforcing people’s negative thoughts, you can try to make positive responses and statements. You don’t have to ignore or dismiss their negativity but you have to make a point to show them the positive side of things. Sometimes, they just can’t be positive themselves so you have to assist them. You can’t really force change but you can hope that your positivity will rub off on them.
8. Talk Solutions
Instead of just listening to them go on and on about their problems, take the proactive road and offer to help them find a solution. Ask them where the negativity comes from and what they can possibly do to remedy it. Encourage them and let them know that they can change their current situation.
9. See Them as Teachers
If there are negative people you simply can’t avoid, try to see the positive side of their presence. They can be tools you can use to help you learn more about yourself. Usually, they bring up bad emotions in you. Use this as an opportunity to analyze and even resolve your own issues and weaknesses.
10. Love but Not Ego Boost
People who can’t see anything positive in themselves have some serious issues they need to work through. It can help them to hear encouragement and loving words so they will know that something is good about them. When they do something worth recognizing, you should offer genuine praise and compliments. Don’t just give out empty flattery and words of admiration. You are just feeding their ego and they might just come to you for an ego boost rather than real support.
There is no clear cut way to deal with the negative people in life. There are so many things to consider such as their relationship with you, their proximity, and where their negativity comes from. You can ignore negativity that stems from plain resentfulness and anger. But you definitely cannot ignore negativity that stems from mental and emotional problems. All of the things in this post are merely suggestions for how you can handle your relationship with negative people. But only you can truly evaluate which one will work for your situation.
Top Photo Credit: Dotaking