How to Deal with Negative People
See it for what it is
Recognising negativity is the first step in dealing with it. It is possible that you are around negative people, but don’t even realise it. You get sucked into their patterns of thinking and reacting and become negative-minded yourself. Afterwards, you can feel utterly drained, heavy or you end up with getting a headache.
Only when you become aware of what is happening, you can begin to work against it. Some people may not even realise how their negativity is impacting on themselves and others. The truth is that nobody is born with a negative mindset, it is a learnt behaviour.
Once you identify a negative person, you will need to prepare yourself before you engage with them. Be ready for the negativity by expecting it. This way, it will not catch you off guard and draw you in.
No need to explain, practice positive self-talk
When the negativity starts, do not participate. There is no need to explain or defend yourself. It’s just their input, you don’t have to take it on board as if it’s yours. Recognise it for what it is and disengage. You might even need to practice a little self-talk such as:
- I look at the situation differently than this person
- I can let this comment pass, I can let go
- I see this for what it is: a reflection of this person’s mindset
- This is their reality, I don’t need to make it mine
What if there’s some truth to the comment?
If the comment you get is feedback on something and it has some truth in it, is there something you can learn so next time you can improve. For example:
Yes, (s)he is right that we could have done a better job on that project, but everything turned out okay in the end, and I am looking forward to getting started on the next one. We have learnt a lot and this time it is going to be great!
What you do with your self-talk session is protect yourself from the negative perspective of that person and focus on a positive spin on the situation. With practice, you will get better at this!
Negativity lingers like a bad smell
Any interaction we have, whether it is with ourselves through self-talk or with others, is energy. When you feel positive, you will notice you have more energy. When you spend time with others who are positive, you feel energized. When you feel negative or spend time with negative minded people you feel low and drained. Even if that negative person is no longer with you, it is still affecting you. Negativity lingers like a bad smell.
Notice what effect negativity has on your energy
Becoming aware of how certain people affect your energy levels is the first step to make changes.
If you feel like you have taken on someone’s negative energy, let it go. You can visualise this energy in different ways, it could be colour, it could be weight, use all your senses.
Imagine that it drains away like dirty bath water when you pull the plug, release a balloon into the air or use other imagery that feels right for you. The important thing is to acknowledge that that energy is not yours to keep.
If it is possible, reduce the amount of time you spend with negative people. This may be difficult, especially if this person is a friend, family member or colleague that you typically spend time with. If the negativity is not recognised, it is going to be difficult to help that person. You are not going to change them if they do not want to change. If the presence of negative people is seriously affecting you even with a different perspective, you might even need to consider limiting contact or severing ties.
The most important thing is to surround yourself with like-minded positive people so you can be supported in a positive way. If you don’t find these people in your direct environment, look at what you enjoy and where you could meet those people who are on your wavelength. Meetups, events and groups on social media like the Awakened Leaders community on Facebook can provide you with a positive network and community of like-minded individuals.