Everyone has an office colleague or friend who sucks up all the energy you have, who constantly complains that the whole world is against them. Unfortunately, you have to put up with the negative people in your life. However, a negative way of thinking can have an effect on your well-being, which is why it is important to avoid it. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the negative people in your life.
Method 1 of 2: Deal with negative people in the short term
Step 1. Remember you are not responsible
It is very kind of you to try to help others, but it is not your job and changing a negative person does not happen overnight, it is not possible… By having dealing with negative people, it is first of all very important to take some distance by protecting yourself.
- Sometimes the best way to communicate with negative people is to ignore their pessimism and stay positive.
- Advice that is not requested is rarely taken into consideration. Wait for the person to ask for your opinion.
- People sometimes have legitimate reasons for being negative, respect them. The best way to piss off someone who is in a bad mood is to tell them that they shouldn't be behaving like this. Even if you are right, it will not help or you will piss him off even more.
- Lead by example by being positive. The best thing to do is often to have a positive attitude. When faced with negativity, be jovial and don't let the other person's arguments put you down.
Step 2. Give them your support
The first time you meet a negative person, lend them a sympathetic and compassionate ear. Try to help her if she needs it. Everyone has a bad day sometimes or needs a helping hand every now and then. You don't want to hastily reject a friend who needs you.
If that person keeps repeating the same negative things at you, you feel emotionally fatigued after meeting them, and if they use predominantly negative words and phrases (can't, they don't, I hate), this is when you must try to disarm its negativity
Step 3. Don't get involved
It is very easy when you are faced with a negative person to find yourself sucked into their negativity. Choosing not to get involved doesn't mean you choose to ignore it, it means you want to maintain emotional distance.
- Negative people tend to exaggerate, focus on their negativity, and ignore positive things. Instead of trying to get them to understand that it is negative (which usually leads to a confrontation that reassures that person that they think the world is against them), try giving them uninvolved answers that don't not encourage, but that do not condemn its negativity.
- Don't try to argue with a negative person. Our first reaction to negative people is often to argue, which is pointless. Negative people usually have a lot of arguments and defenses to keep them where they are. You would certainly spend a lot of time and go to great lengths to help the other, but the result will be frustration and you might fall into negativity yourself.
- Stay neutral and just say I get it, I see it.
- Stay positive, but try not to contradict the other person. "Yes, it is really difficult to speak with customers who are so incomprehensible, me, I try not to take it personally".
Step 4. Use Appreciative Requests
If this person shows some negativity about certain topics or events, you can have a conversation with them using a technique called appreciative request. Appreciative Inquiry is a process of asking questions to help them envision a more positive future. If she is complaining about something that happened in the past, you can ask her questions that focus on the positive side of that experience or questions about her future.
- For example, you could ask him: what would you like to happen next time? or what are the positive points to take away from this experience?
- This question should lead that person to envision a happier future and to imagine ways to achieve such a future.
Step 5. Lead the conversation
If the Appreciative Inquiry technique doesn't lead to a productive and positive conversation, you can gently lead the conversation to a more harmless topic.
For example, you could say to him: I understand that you are upset because of your co-worker. It must be very hard. Tell me about your plans for the weekend or so wow, that sounds like hell. Have you seen this new documentary?
Step 6. Try to break his negative ruminations
Ruminating (that is, when he constantly rehashes the same negative thoughts) only reinforces his negativity. They are also associated with a higher level of depression. If this person has a tendency to ruminate, see if you can break this spiral by getting them to focus on something else.
Although by leading the conversation you can bring that person to a more joyful subject, you will probably need to change the subject entirely if you want to break their negative rumination. If that person is ruminating about interacting with co-workers, try talking about their favorite TV series, pet, or anything that might lead to a more positive discussion
Step 7. Help this person see how they could take control of the situation
Negative people tend to blame external factors rather than themselves. People who blame factors for their problems tend to be emotionally distressed more often than people who take a different view. Try to support the negative person by developing a plan to help them deal with negative events.
Complaining about a negative situation is not necessarily unhealthy. We often go through problems and we develop a way to deal with those problems during this phase. Try to help this person to direct their negative energy in a constructive way. You can ask her, for example, what she could do to change an unfavorable situation at work
Step 8. Help this person come to terms with negative events
In addition to showing this person how they might react when going through a negative event, you can also ultimately help them come to terms with these negative events. For example, imagine that a friend of yours received a reprimand at work for being late. He will complain about it at lunchtime that he has to take the bus and that his boss is personally angry with him. In this kind of situation, you can say the following things to him.
- Well, the blame has already been fulfilled and nothing can change it. You can now show your boss that you are going to arrive on time from now on.
- Have you ever thought about coming to work by bike? That way, you wouldn't be dependent on the bus to arrive on time and you could leave home a little bit later.
Step 9. Put up barriers
When dealing with negative people, put up barriers in the way you interact with them. You don't have to take responsibility for another person's negativity. If this person is pulling you down too much, you need to spend more time away from them.
- If that negative person is an office colleague, cut their negativity short by telling them you need to get back to work. Do it politely, otherwise you might feed her creativity.
- If that person is a family member (especially if you live under the same roof), try to avoid them as much as possible. Go out to the library or coffee shop, or just don't answer the phone when she calls you.
Method 2 of 2: Deal with negative people for the long haul
Step 1. Identify negative people
In order to be able to deal with a negative person for the long term, you need to be sure that person is negative because they could very well be having a bad day.
- Negative people often become negative because they are constantly disappointed and hurt and this anger is associated with these circumstances.
- Negative people tend to blame outside factors for their problems rather than themselves. Of course, there are also people who are totally negative about themselves and can be too taxing for the people listening to them.
Step 2. Avoid lecturing or lecturing him
Long-term friendships or working relationships with negative people can run out of patience as much as you run out of energy or time, but it's important to avoid lecturing or lecturing them. Even the most positive people have a hard time accepting criticism and negative people will take it as proof that you are also against them instead of taking that comment constructively.
Even if you feel better after saying how you feel, in the end it won't improve the situation. If you have to say what's on your heart about this negative person, do it with someone you trust
Step 3. Take action instead of just reacting
One way to help yourself and that person stuck in their negativity is to do good deeds for that negative person that are not the result of a specific situation or conversation. Rejection by others will only reinforce their negative world view, which is why an act of acceptance can make all the difference.
- People can naturally take for granted the support they receive when they are already in a negative state. Show that person positive action towards them even when it is not the result of a negative situation. You might have a wider impact on interactions with that person if you follow this method.
- For example, if you occasionally find excuses for not seeing this negative person while they are brooding about a negative situation, try calling them to see you when they are not. negative mood.
Step 4. Remind that person of positive events to help them refocus on positive things
Remind them, for example, of a fun time you had together or a funny situation. Compliment her on something she's done well. It reminds her that someone cares about her and helps her find the positive things in her day.
For example: good essay, I was really impressed with all the research you did
Step 5. Every once in a while, do something nice that she doesn't expect
It could be anything, you could clean it up, invite that person to watch a movie, or go for a walk together. It's a good way to show positivity to that negative person without sounding like a lesson about their behavior, as not many people take it well.
Step 6. Spend time in groups
Sometimes the best way to deal with a negative person (especially if they are in your circle of friends) is to organize group events so that their negativity is broadcast to everyone in the group. However, you must be careful that these situations do not end in a general moral lesson for the whole group.
These steps work best when everyone in the group shows the same sympathy for the negative person and uses the same strategies to help them move past their negativity
Step 7. Take responsibility for your own happiness
Since we are social creatures, human happiness often depends on the quality of our relationships with others. However, you are the only person responsible for your positivity and happiness.
- Happiness in spite of circumstances allows you to gain more control over emotional responses rather than the situation. For example, if you have a negative friend, you can let them drain you of your positivity, or you can rely on reminders of positive things before and after your interaction.
- Controlling your own emotional responses is a lot like training a muscle. You need to practice taking control of your emotions in relation to external situations, for example when you have to deal with a negative person.
Step 8. Evaluate this person's role in your life
In the end, sometimes the best way to deal with a negative person is to eliminate them from your life altogether. There are times when her negativity pulls you down so much that she can no longer offer you a satisfying and mutually enjoyable relationship.
- You need to consider the pros and cons before eliminating someone from your life. This can be difficult to do if this person is part of a circle of mutual friends. It might even be impossible, for example if that person is a co-worker or your boss.
- Honestly review what this relationship has brought to you with this person, and don't be overly reliant on how the relationship was before if that person has become more negative in the past few months or years.
Step 9. Avoid this person
If you can't get rid of that person completely, your best bet is to avoid them. Remember, you have to take care of yourself. You don't owe your time and energy to anyone, especially if that person is draining you of your energy with their negativity.
- Remember that people have different reasons for being negative, including feeling insecure, low self-esteem, a history of abuse, frustrations in life, insecurity, etc.
- These people might find it difficult to see the positive side of life or the positive results. Remember that these people must want to change what they think about themselves.
- Don't react to negative comments. If you don't give that person the reaction they want, they'll stop because they can't seem to get the attention they're looking for.
- You need to be polite, avoid being too harsh, and be patient.
- Don't let someone else's negativity turn you into a pessimist. You must remember that you are responsible for your own happiness.
- A permanently negative person could be depressed. If her negativity comes in the form of conversations about how much harm she would like to herself or others, encourage her to see a specialist.