Dealing with negative people

I am sure we’ve all come across negative people who we would rather not deal with but walking away isn’t always an option. We need to be clever.

Negativity is a means of them gaining attention. They may subconsciously not even be aware they’re being negative, they usually see the negativity in others, but we don’t have to convince others of what we know is right.

Whatever views we bring to the table around someone negative may always be met with opposition. Whatever we say, they will find ten different reasons to put their own negative interpretation on it.

Have you also noticed how negative people stick to the same topic of conversation? It doesn’t matter how long ago you saw them, the topic of conversation always seems to return to something you’ve heard before, something they’re dealing with, or something they know a lot about, which we don’t particularly find interesting.

Perhaps if we have little choice about being with them, we need to keep the conversation simple. We mustn’t talk about the things we know they’ll struggle with. Of course, if we know the person well enough, we will already know which conversations to avoid.

It’s easy for a conversation to strike up resentment, so think about sticking to lighter topics that are less controversial, less important. Know your audience too because that helps understand what you can talk about.

Always try and perceive a negative person in a positive way so that what they say becomes positive for you and take responsibility for your own perceptions so that you remain positive, even if the other person isn’t.

It’s a skill that we must continue to hone; but failing that choose to limit your time with them.


1 Nov, 2011

4 thoughts on “Dealing with negative people

  1. Living with a negative person I have my own coping things that I do.

    I have found if he does not get attention from his behavior he will stop it. It took me a long time to figure that one out.

    I tend to ignore him sometimes and pretend that I do not hear him. I find if I am around him too much his negativity will rub off on me some days. That is why I get away for the better part of the day, so I can be a happy person and be with people who make my smile. I refuse to let him drag me down.

    1. You’re probably not alone! I think we all have coping mechanisms around those people who are negative. We have no choice sometimes.

  2. I don’t see myself as a negative person like I used to be.

    I do look at things more on a positive note nowadays. My daughter is a negative person though and I can’t move away from her. I do encourage her to be more positive but it seems like something is wrong everyday with her.

    If things don’t go right or just her way the world will end! It does get kind of boring when people end up turning the conversation around to where it’s always about them and I try not to do that either.

    I want to hear about what’s going on, but just not the same stuff over and over again.

    Good post Ilana.

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