How to Deal with Negative People: 4 Tips
No matter how nice you are, how successful you are, or how hard you try – there will always be someone with something bad to say.
Negative people are just a part of life.
And since we can’t change it, we’ve got to learn how to handle it.
Because if we don’t, haters, complainers and naysayers can really take a toll on our mental health.
So, here are some tips on how to deal with the negative people in your life.
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1. Stay the course.
Bad behavior and negative comments are more so a reflection on the giver than the receiver.
So, if someone says something mean about you or acts ugly towards you, remember that it is a manifestation of something going on inside of them.
It could be due to a number of reasons, including jealousy/insecurity, lack of empathy, limiting beliefs, deep-seated psychological issues, etc.
It’s definitely not something you should take to heart.
And while you may feel the initial pain caused by their words or actions, it’s important not to internalize it too much.
If you ruminate on their behavior and allow them to hurt you deeply or dissuade you from your goals, they win.
Don’t let evil win! Fortify your defenses and take control over your emotions.
When you let others have control over your emotions, you are vulnerable to emotional instability and poor mental health.
Remember that you have the power to decide how things will ultimately affect you and how you will react.
No one can take that away from you.
2. Don’t try to change them.
Typically, people don’t change.
And if they do, it’s usually due to a personal epiphany stemming from a personal experience, not because of outside unsolicited advice and/or criticism!
So, while your intentions may be good, chances are they won’t take it that way – especially if he or she is a negative person. They’ll probably just remain impervious to your attempts and/or think that you are against them.
Their negativity is the result of their natural disposition combined with life experiences. It’s built upon a sturdy foundation of thoughts, perceptions and beliefs they developed over time about themselves and the world.
Your words of wisdom or insight in the moment will probably not penetrate their thick wall of negativity.
What probably will happen though, is that their negativity will suck the life right out of you!
So, you’ve got to protect yourself. And in order to do so, it’s best to just listen politely while maintaining emotional distance.
This can be especially challenging if you are an empath or highly sensitive person (HSP) like me.
As someone who feels empathy on a deep level, I always want to try and fix the situation, to solve their problem, to change their perspective.
But remember that it is not your job to fix them or the situation. Nor is it likely that you will succeed in doing so.
The best thing you can do is lead by example and hope that you inspire them to change.
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3. Don’t let them change you.
When you’re dealing with negative people, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in their reality, that you lose sight of your own.
Some people are psychic/emotional vampires, preying on other people’s good natures and emotional availability.
These are the people who have something negative to say no matter what. They see everything in a negative light and never seem to be happy or understand the power of gratitude.
If you offer positivity or try to help them see the silver lining in a situation, they shoot you down and continue on with their negativity.
They seem to have an answer for everything – and it’s always negative.
They’ll talk for however long you are willing to listen to their complaints. And at the end of your conversation, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t seem like you’ve managed to make them feel better.
That’s because negative people have a filter through which they see the world.
Rainbows and sunshine may go into that filter but by the time they come out, they are transformed into rain clouds and darkness.
Don’t get sucked in to that negative vortex!
Because you are a good person with empathy, other people’s pain can have a profound effect on you. And with some types of negative people, that’s just what they want – misery loves company.
You can actively listen without absorbing their negativity and allowing it to drain you. However, it does take practice – this is something I am continually working on.
Some healthy habits that help me to remain present and sincere yet emotionally distant and protected are yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and positive affirmations.
4. Keep your distance from negative people.
Boundaries are essential when it comes to dealing with negative people.
Sometimes, limiting your exposure is enough. Other times, the best option is for you to cut the draining, pessimistic, destructive force out of your life completely.
If you’re a very courteous and considerate person, you may find it difficult to disengage or say no.
But in my experience, negative people have a pretty thick skin when it comes to this sort of thing.
Try limiting your interactions with them, telling them that you don’t want to hear any more negativity, or that you’d like to instead discuss what they are happy about or grateful for.
You might be surprised - and relieved - at how unphased they actually are!
But just because you’re keeping your distance from a negative person doesn’t mean that you don’t care or that you are leaving them to their own devices.
You can still try to help them - from a distance. Energy is extremely powerful and can be used for good even when someone is miles away.
Here’s how I like to do it:
1.- Identify and understand the root of their pain
2.- Empathize with that pain and look for parallels within yourself
3.- Work on healing that pain through forgiveness, spreading unconditional love, reiki, lovingkindness meditation, etc.
I hope these tips help you! How do you deal with negative people? Let me know in the comments.
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