Sadly, our temperaments and attitudes are all different. If you happen to come from a lucky bunch of people who can only think happy thoughts, you are very likely to encounter your complete opposites, and trust me they are plenty. What’s even sadder is that their negativity is contagious. To get you equipped with just the right weapons to confront them, here is our take on how to deal with negative people in your everyday life.
12 Tips to Deal with Negative People
Enter no debates
Whatever the subject of your conversation, you wouldn’t want to heat it up by starting an opinionated argument. As there is just little chance you will be able to convince anyone of your point of view, the whole debate would turn out to be just a waste of your time and energy. Keep it to yourself.
Give them a light-hearted attitude
One of the most effective tactics in how to deal with negative people is just not to take them seriously. As they are dying to get everyone care about their own petty concerns, the more attention you pay to them, the more they like it. Probably, such a light-hearted attitude will make them discouraged. It’s a perfect way to spare yourself of their negative impact on your own mood.
Help them when they need it
You should always distinguish between plain whining for whining’s sake and a real problem that needs to be attended. It takes empathy and some advanced listening skills, but some cases are just obvious. If your friend’s in dejection because of a heartbreak or if the person you’re talking to is beyond grief upon the death of a dear one, you just can’t write off their negativity as something insignificant. If you are there with them, find the ways to help or just support them with words.
Don’t trigger their negativity
When speaking to an expressly negative person (recognized by ranting and grumping), don’t set their negativity off by touching upon controversial topics, especially the ones that deal with justice, religion, politics, etc. If you wonder what’s then left to discuss, consider asking about their thought on the latest film premier or weather. You’d be quite safe there.
Ignore or avoid them altogether
When nothing helps and you don’t think these negative people are your best friends anyway, there’s no sense in pegging a dead horse and try to change their view of the world. But what you can really do is to save yourself from long minutes of someone showering you loads of bad news. When you want to know how to deal with negative people in the most effortless way, this may be one.
Switch them to positive thinking
If you feel like playing a warrior for a better world, you can try and introduce your opponent to another mode of thinking. Sometime this may end up as an argument (see point 1), but in most cases you will frustrate the negative thinker with your cheerfulness, even if it’s only your mask to confront that person. Your goal here may be short-term just for the purpose of your conversation, but if you’re lucky you will make them think that a more careless attitude is possible.
You are sure to feel helpless when left face-to-face with a negative person. Even though their negativity can be directed at the world in general, you are likely to feel trapped and guilty of someone else’s troubles. To avoid this unnecessary sacrifice from your side, try to surround yourself with other, more light-hearted people to dilute this concentration of negativity and pessimism.
Don’t hurt them deliberately
You can find yourself in the position when you want to be rude or fight negative people back. Sometimes this can be justified, but it will never lead to a positive outcome, only resulting in more hostility and embarrassment. To avoid this, keep your offensive remarks to yourself while acting with humour or even sarcasm. These techniques are less explicit but more effective, and will make you a winner in these situations.
Try to introduce them to a happier world
Well, this may seem impossible, but if you are not indifferent to the negative person you’re dealing with, trying to convert them into an advocate of happiness is a dignified mission. Spend more time with them, showing them something they can’t see through their blurred pessimistic lenses, and help them forget their troubles or inner turmoil at least for a while. If it doesn’t work, you will have a choice of whether to go on or abstain.
Practice being detached
This attitude falls between light-heartedness and total ignoring. When you can’t avoid being in a quite a negative, depressing company, don’t show you care about these people’s talk, at all. You have your own position that you don’t want to foist upon other people, right? So you can always find a better occupation than participating in this pitiful exchange of heart-wrecking statements.
When you can’t bear those people anymore and are angry or exhilarated about their negative attitudes, speak up and share your frustration with them directly. Even though it may not have your expected effect, this would help you release your own tensions caused by these negative people and their miserable view of the world. When you feel like you’ve had enough, stick to a respectful language but let them know you are fed up. At least this will make them think!
Consider if you’re special to them
This might be flattering to you: sometimes you may need to understand whether the negative people would try to confide in you. When you learn how to deal with negative people, it’s important to identify how they treat other people. If they seem to be negative only in your presence, take a closer look and probably you will help someone deal with a serious problem or revisit your own attitude toward this person.