How to Deal with Negative People
Negative people are one of the toughest kinds of people to be around. We all know at least one negative Nancy who always finds something wrong with the world and assumes the worst. The thing is, most of the time, these negative people don’t even know they are being negative. Sometimes, it doesn’t come from a bad place and is just their innate perspective on life.
Of course, humans naturally experience negative biases. We tend to remember negative events, experiences, comments, and behaviours more often than positive ones. So it takes quite a bit of effort on our part to focus on the positive in things in life and have a more optimistic approach to the world.
When it comes to dealing with negative people, regardless of what their reason to be negative may be, is detrimental and extremely difficult to deal with. When you let negative people into your life, this can have a profound affect on you mentally and professionally. Not all negative people are toxic, but most often than not, it ends being that way. This is why it’s incredibly important to be protective and selective about who you keep around you, on and off the boat.
In this article, we’ll talk about 6 different approaches to navigating the negative people in your life how to deal with those Negative Nancy’s in the future. We may not have a choice on how others behave, but we can always control our reaction to it.
Changing the Subject
If someone is always telling you about the bad things going on in their lives, try shifting the conversation by going after the good. Ask a question like, “What was the best part of your day today?” or “what are some good things going on in your life right now?” This can immediately shift the person’s mindset in a different direction. By changing the subject, you have a chance to avoid a pessimistic conversation and stop playing into their negativity. When they see that their negativity isn’t bothering you as they expected, that person will stop trying to drag you down. You can also try talking about the good things in your life as well. Sure, you can acknowledge that there are things that aren’t all that great, but emphasise the importance of focusing on the good things, too. Changing the conversation to something more upbeat can open their eyes to see that it’s possible to talk about uplifting topics rather than negative ones. For those who have found comfort in connecting with people by commiserating, the idea that you can also celebrate the positive together might be a new idea.
Say What You Need Up Front
You might find it’s helpful to say what you need from that person before you enter into a conversation with them. It might sound something like this, “I know several things could go wrong with this plan. But it’s not helpful for me to hear about those things right now. When I tell you what I’m doing, I would appreciate hearing some positive things.” Tell people what you hope to gain by sharing your news—maybe it’s a bit of support, empathy, a little cheer, or just simple acknowledgement. It’s all about communication. Not everyone can read your mind. If you want them to be less negative and more positive (neutral, even!) then speak your mind and say what you need. Your voice is important. You’d be surprised that some people immediately change their tune when you ask them to. Sure, not everyone will be able to do that. However, it’s worth trying. By communicating and sharing what we need, we could potentially see a more positive side of that person come through.
They’re Mirroring Themselves
It’s tough to hear negative things all the time. It may even take a serious toll on your mental well-being. But it’s important to remember that someone’s negativity is likely a reflection of how they feel about themselves. It’s never about you. People’s actions are always a reflection of how they feel internally. The sooner you understand that the quicker you’ll learn to deal with negative people. Learning to come from a place of understanding, helps make things easier in the long run when dealing with pessimism. Sometimes, all that person really needs is more love in order to stop acting so negatively. By keeping this in mind, it can help you look at negative comments from a healthy perspective and space.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Speaking of healthy perspectives and space, let’s talk about creating boundaries. You might decide that it’s best just to establish some healthy boundaries for yourself. That may look like limiting your interactions with certain individuals or completely cutting that person off. Negative people can exhaust you to your core. While it’s easier said than done, cutting some people off is a way to let go of your hold on negative people and release you from their grip. This could also look like ending conversations when they start to become overly negative. Or keeping people at a certain distance by limiting your exposure to them. That’s okay, too. You don’t have to tolerate their behaviour. You may feel bad at first, but remember that this could be the crucial step to moving on. Creating boundaries with people is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
Grieving the Relationships You Wish You Had
Of course, none of these things are easy to do when you care about someone. If you have an unsupportive parent or partner who can’t be happy for you, it’s normal to experience grief. It can be extremely difficult once you come to accept that they can’t provide you with the things you need. You might find that you keep wishing they would change which will only leave you more tired, frustrated, and hurt. Sometimes, it boils down to the fact that you just can’t change a person no matter how hard you try. And it’s not your responsibility to do so either. While there’s always a chance that they’ll change down the road, you might need to accept them for who they are right now. All you can do is focus on staying positive and keep a healthy perspective on things.
Hopefully, you do have some supportive people in your life who can be happy for you. If you do, go towards them. Gravitate towards your people. If you don’t, go out and find some. It’s important for all of us to have happy and healthy relationships with people who love seeing us succeed in life and for us to do the same for others. No matter what, don’t let a negative person change who you are or your outlook on life. Your positivity and optimism is one of the best parts about you so never let someone take that away from you. By having a strong inner world, you’ll be able to navigate through any negativity and drama surrounding you.