How to deal with negative people?
A relevant question given the astonishingly increasing number of people spreading negativity since social media platforms’ popularity.
No matter wherever you go, there are always people who love to spread hate and ruin your mood.
Whenever I got a negative comment and shared it with someone, most of them told me to ignore them. But how much can you ignore when those negative people are your friends, relatives, or even someone who you’d have to work with for a long time?
It is not always possible to ignore negative people. But it is possible to deal with them so that their negativity won’t affect us, or better yet, it will boost us.
Before figuring out how to deal with negative people, it is crucial to understand the psychology behind their negativity.
Why are people negative?
There are scientific explanations as to why people are negative. However, most people in the online world are negative because it is the new definition of being ‘cool.’
People think having a different opinion on something makes them stand out, leading them to force their opinions on someone else’s lives.
When one person does this and gets attention, several others start doing the same thing in a vague attempt to portrait themselves as unique.
Many people also develop negativity due to their surroundings and their upbringing. Such people might feel good while pointing their hands at someone.
Being negative will become a habit unless the person recognizes it as a problem and decides to rectify it willingly.
How to deal with negative people the right way?
One of the most important things to acknowledge when dealing with a negative person is to accept that you can’t change them.
You can’t try to “cheer someone up” or force them to focus on the bright side, so do yourself a favor, and give that up right away.
Trying to approach negative people in this way can be insanely frustrating and ultimately ineffective. To effectively deal with negative people, we must first accept that we cannot change them.
We cannot change other people’s behaviors or emotions or choose to show up and interact with the world.
While you can’t change other people, you can change how YOU show up to the situation and how you participate in the relationship dynamic.
By changing your behavior, you can potentially influence a behavioral shift in the other person.
Some people have developed a relationship dynamic where they bond through complaining. Misery loves company, after all.
This person may think the two of you are actually bonding through your misery, and that is why they keep coming to you with negativity.
If this person starts complaining to you instead of half-heartedly listening and nodding along in agreement, you can say something to interrupt their normal pattern. Try saying something like:
“Well, what are you doing to do about it?” or “What would you like to see happen in this situation?”
These types of questions redirect the focus from dwelling on the problem to envisioning a solution. This may help to snap the person out of their complaining-fest.
Additionally, by responding in this way, you establish yourself as a positive person who doesn’t tolerate the drama.
You are declaring that you are no longer available for these types of negative interactions. This strategy can also work if the negative person is gossiping, essentially just complaining about another person.
Finally, don’t be afraid to create some distance between yourself and the negative person. Negativity can be toxic to your mood, overall mental health, and quality of life.
You deserve better than that. Permit yourself to create an “only good things” policy in your life that applies to people and things.
Your strategy for creating this distance may vary depending on the closeness of your relationship with this person. If they are more in the acquaintance realm, you can gradually start to distance yourself by having other plans when they invite you to hang out.
Otherwise, you may need to have a more difficult, boundary-setting type conversation with the person you explain why you need some space.
If they are a coworker, family member, or someone you have no choice but to see regularly, get creative with how you can reduce the amount of time spent with them.
Can you do things to change your routine at the office, so you are less available for interactions with this person? You are perfectly entitled to take the necessary steps to create a more positive environment for yourself.
Here’s an interesting animated video on how to deal with negative people.
How do you handle negative people?
I hope this article could help you overcome the negativity people try to spread in your life.
Always remember one thing, it is your life and you’re the one making all your decisions. Don’t let a negative person with no aim ruin your day.