Paul McGee shares some simple tips and strategies for dealing with negative people.
You get these people all the time; if you say it’s a nice day, they’ll say it looks like rain. If you mention some accomplishment of yours, they’ll downplay it. Some people just see the bad side or fear the worst in everything.
So, how to deal with negative people? Let’s take a look at some ways.
1. Talk to them
Some people are negative because something is wrong in their life. It can be anything from the loss of a job to the death of a friend or family member. Or, it can have its roots in something stronger.
When it comes to how to deal with negative people who are family members, it can be tough. The person could be a sibling who has resented you for years because you were your parents favorite.
It could be a close friend who resents your accomplishments at school or in some other activity. At work, a co-worker or even a boss might see you as a threat to their position.
No matter what the cause of their negativity is, if you can talk out the problem, you may be able to eliminate it altogether.
2. Agree with them
This can really confuse negative people who are intent on annoying you. In some cases, they will literally be dumbstruck and unable to speak, especially if you have previously been a very optimistic and upbeat person.
The key thing here is to not allow their negative comments to affect you. Agree with them in public, but secretly maintain your positive outlook.
This method does not work if the negative comments of the person are directed at some other person; you don’t want to contribute to the insulting and denigrating of a third party. Even if the person does not hear the comments, they will eventually learn about them, from the negative person, if no-one else, and then you’ll have to deal with hurt feelings.
3. Ignore them
In some cases, there is really no method for how to deal with negative people that will make them less negative. If the person is obviously trying to annoy you, by simply ignoring what they say you will really drive them crazy. You can also use this method in conjunction with point number four below.
4. Have a positive response
When the negative person hits you with some comment, have a list of several prepared to shoot back at them. It could be something as simple as, when they say it looks like rain, you say: “It’ll help the flowers to grow”.
5. Build yourself up
As previously mentioned, some people are negative as a means of insulting you and trying to make you feel worthless. Counteract this by looking for as many ways to build up your self-esteem as possible.
This can be as simple as writing down all of the good things about you and your life, or spending time with people who are more positive and upbeat.
Item number six is a great way to do that.
6. Do volunteer work
Negative people can accomplish two things: they can make you feel terrible about your life and they can make you feel bad about the world in general.
By doing volunteer work at a hospital, children’s shelter, community center etc, you can achieve several things. You can improve your feelings of self worth by giving back to your community, you can help those less fortunate than you are, and you can see that there are people worse off than you are. The latter might not be the nicest of things to think of, but seeing people dealing with major problems can make you appreciate all that you do have.
As you can see, there are a number of methods for knowing how to deal with negative people. It is up to you to select the way best suited to you, your situation and the negative person you are trying to deal with.