How to Deal With Negative People

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Arizona Resource Realty BR518926000

Negative people love bringing others down. It can sometimes seem like that is the only thing they enjoy doing. So what should you do when faced with a negative, friend, colleague or family member? At first you listen, offering a compassionate ear and hoping their negativity is just a passing phase. After all, everyone has a bad day now and again.
But if you are dealing with a habitually pessimistic person, you are at risk of being drained emotionally. Negativity can be contagious, and if you don’t take action to protect your mindset, you may find your mood infected hostility.

Hiding is not a good option, so try something better: disarm their negativity and shield yourself from their hostility using these simple strategies.

Do not allow yourself to become infected with toxic negativity. Do not engage in a difficult person’s habitual skepticism. Whatever you do, do not stoop to their level. Maintain your emotional distance. This doesn’t mean ignoring them. Nor should you try to bright side everything. Trying to convince someone to stop being negative may only challenge to them amp up their hostility. A difficult person is probably locked into a negative mindset that is part of the fabric of his or her personality. Negative people often have a demanding nature and put pressure on those close to them. They want others to love and respect them to be there for them, yet they are incapable of offering emotional support to others. You have to limit your expectations when dealing with them. A negative person is not a good choice to turn when you are feeling down. When you do engage with them, use noncommittal language. Acknowledge their comments without endorsing what they are saying. Agree with them as far as you can, then rephrase their complaints using less loaded language. You cannot change their personality, but you might neutralize their toxic outlook.

It is not your job to make an unhappy person, happy. If you set out change a person overnight, you will fall short and may end up feeling disgruntled yourself. The only person whose happiness you can control is your own. You can and should remain positive when dealing with negative people, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can cheer them up or change their mindset. A fast way to annoy someone in a bad mood is telling him or her to be happy. The best way to protect yourself emotionally from a negative person is to be secure and confident. Do not let a negative person cause you to doubt your abilities or undermine your desire to pursue your dreams.

Setting boundaries is how you give yourself a break from an encroaching negative person. You need space where you can clear your head after dealing with someone who zaps you emotionally. Keep the negative people at arm’s length to avoid being overwhelmed by their toxicity. It is wise to limit your exposure to the person when possible. Do not feel pressured invite them when you must hang out with them, try to do some group settings so you won’t have to deal with them on one-on-one.

You can have a successful relationship with a negative person as long as your expectations are based in reality. Do not expect massive changes overnight. The only person who has control over you is you, so focus on your happiness. Rise above and remain positive.

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Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

You are correct negativity is contagious.  Do not let it adhere to you.

Dec 01, 2019 05:08 PM #1
Lisa Weiler
PM LLC - Los Angeles, CA
Interior Design Expert & Home Stager

I like your tip about how it is not your job to make an unhappy person happy.

Dec 01, 2019 06:13 PM #2
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Tamra,  Thanks for these great suggestions on how to deal with negative people.  We obviously want to surround ourselves with positive rather than negative people - but there are times when it is unavoidable.

Dec 01, 2019 08:08 PM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Tamra. Sometimes you just have to say, "later dude"! After a break, you can try again. Enjoy your day!

Dec 02, 2019 04:40 AM #4
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Tamra Lee Ulmer

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