Tips For Dealing With Negative People

By Diane Lange


We all have some negative people in our lives. It could be family (and for most of my clients, it is family), friends, co-workers, neighbors, spouses or even our own kids. Sometimes we can break up with the negative people in our lives but sometimes we can’t. If you have negative people in your life then here are some tips for dealing with them.

If you know why someone is negative, it’s easier to deal with them. It allows you to realize their negativity is not about you. It’s all about them. It’s not personal. You can also find empathy and compassion for the person when you know why they are so negative. This can allow you to remove the personalization feelings.

Moods/emotions are contagious – this goes two ways. You can spread your happiness to them but it also means their negativity can rub off on you! Learn the mind-body connection. When you start feeling stress, anger or negativity how does it show up on your body? Some of the typical spots are shoulder/back, headaches, jaw pain from grinding teeth or stomachache. When you start feeling the negativity on your body then it’s a warning sign, a red flag to stop what you’re doing and make a change. It might mean walking away from the situation, taking a time-out or setting boundaries. Just make sure to pay attention to your body.

Keep up your own happiness levels – if you’re living with negativity, the best way to keep balanced is to spend a lot of time doing what makes you happy. Write a list of what makes you happy and then add those activities into your weekly schedule.

Is it a sign? Sometimes the negatives we are surrounded with is a sign that we need to make changes in our own life. Look at the whole picture. Are you stuck in a relationship that is not working and making you unhappy? Do you need to make changes to make the relationship better? Is it time to move on from the relationship? Is it a sign that you need to switch jobs? Etc?

Why does the person’s negativity affect you so much? Does it hit a past hurt that you haven’t worked through yet? Is it causing deep rooted anger and you need to work on forgiveness for yourself or others?
Is the person who keeps pushing your buttons doing it so you can feel their pain? They don’t feel heard or understood but just don’t know how else to get through to you? Do you stay in a relationship because it fits your own needs such as care taking, being needed? Makes you feel valued and wanted? lf any of this is true then you need to look at other ways to feel valued and needed. Ask yourself what’s missing out of your life that needs to be fulfilled? It’s not your job or responsibility to solve someone’s problems or make them happy. Let go of this responsibility. You can’t change or control anyone else and trying to is setting yourself up for failure.

Remind the negative person about the positive – discuss all that the person has to be grateful for. Remind them of all the good they do. Tell them something positive about themselves and give them reasons to be grateful, if they need encouragement.

If you’re close with the negative person then try to set up some fun time and things to look forward to. When they are in the fun zone, they are less likely to complain and it can help them forget their worries for a little bit. It also gives both of you something positive to look forward to.

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