Sep 5, 2014
Anyone that has to deal with negative people on a regular basis knows just how challenging it can be. All the complaining and ‘doom and gloom’ talk can really sap your energy and patience. At the conclusion of a mere 15-minute conversation, it can feel like the life has been sucked right out of you.
The good news is you can lessen the effects of their negativity by coming up with a plan to deal with this challenge.
Try these strategies:
1. Be objective. It’s important not to take the negative person’s comments personally. Recognize that they’re pessimistic most of the time and take an unhelpful perspective of most things. They can be so absorbed by their negative thoughts that they have a difficult time being tactful.
In reality, you might
feel a little sorry for them. Aren’t you glad that you don’t carry
the same negative attitude about life? It’s difficult
to be upset with someone when you feel sorry for them.
Keep the conversation
light. It can be very helpful to
steer the conversation to lighter topics, like the weather, movies,
or sports to keep things from getting too intense. Some people
simply enjoy feeling the emotional intensity that comes from being
Avoid rewarding negative
talk. Sometimes we
inadvertently encourage the negative person by being too
Instead, don’t engage
fully in the conversation when someone is being overly negative.
Instead, be enthusiastic and
supportive when they’re being positive. Keep your
responses and attention to a minimum when the negative talk is
flying. This is called
If the person wants to talk to you, she’ll learn that she won’t
have much of a conversation with you if she’s
4. Try not to be alone with them. You won’t feel the brunt of the abuse when there are others to share the grief. Plus, the negative talker will usually be less intense when he doesn’t have the undivided attention of a single person.
also much easier to excuse yourself from the conversation because
you don’t feel like such a critical part of the
Be a positive
influence. You might be able to help
the person feel more optimistic by being a positive influence in
their life. If you think they’re simply lonely, perhaps you could
get a group together and all go out for dinner. Or maybe you could
suggest a hobby. See if you can identify a specific
cause for their negativity and then assist.
Eliminate them from your
life. Especially if you’re
kind-hearted, you’ll most likely want to save this option as a last
resort. Sometimes we have people in our lives that don’t have to be
there, and it doesn’t make sense to maintain the relationship if
that relationship only brings you negativity.
Negative people are a fact of life and something that we all must deal with from time to time. These strategies will help you keep their negative effects on your life to a minimum.