8 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Negative People

8 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Negative People

No matter how much you focus on maintaining a positive outlook towards life, sooner or later you will run into people with a very negative mindset. These people could be anyone within your social circle that you are forced to interact with daily. Their negativity saps all the energy out of you and dampens your mood.

Negative people love to tear others apart by constantly picking on other’s shortcomings. A positive person may feel emotionally drained after interacting with such people. If you do not take the necessary steps to protect your mindset, their toxicity is bound to rub off on you. Negativity is contagious. Therefore it is important not to give in to a toxic person and learn to stand your ground. However, there are effective ways to go about this.

Challenging such a person’s viewpoints will compel them to come at you more aggressively than before. A negative person has deeply embedded views about life that if threatened through logic or reason makes them get extremely defensive.

8 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Negative People

8 Effective Strategies for Dealing with Negative People

In such cases, it is best to navigate with care and handle such a volatile person with tact. Following are the best strategies to handle a negative person and keep their negative energy at bay:

1. Resist Giving Into Their Toxicity

Negative people will not rest until they have you convinced. It can be difficult to remain unaffected. Therefore it is critical to maintain emotional distance. Negative people are not realists, although they would try their very best to convince you otherwise. Such people usually have an arrogant air about them, they believe they know better than you and consider you naive for being upbeat.

It’s important to realize that the views these people hold so dear do not represent the world but their personal experiences. Negative people usually treat everything with mistrust; therefore their perceptions of reality are skewed.

Remember, it is only your attitude towards solving a problem that can either be positive or negative. Being positive does not mean you deny problems exist or you dismiss potential risks. It simply means you weigh your options and then take your problems head-on trusting that you will succeed one way or another. Make sure you do not let such people shake this belief.

2. Resist The Temptation To Fix Them

People usually adopt a negative outlook towards life if they have been deeply hurt in the past. So it is probable that the negative people in your life are fighting their demons. And it is tempting to offer them a helping hand and lift them from the darkness.

Though you should provide a certain level of support to such people by lending them a shoulder to cry on from time to time, keep in mind that you are not their therapist. Do not take up the task of healing them from their past traumas; that is a job that should be left to professionals. If you feel that these people may cause self-harm, contact a health professional qualified for providing them the care they need.

Acting as a therapist for negative people will become a tremendous emotional burden for you. And soon you will realize that your advice is falling on deaf ears. Troubled people need to be analyzed by a professional who can decipher their past; an ordinary individual is not capable of extending the same level of support.

3. Lay Out Clear Boundaries

Limit the time you spend with such people and when you do interact with them make it loud and clear that certain topics are off-limits. Ignore their attempts to provoke you into an argument over something they know you feel strongly about. If you notice them overstepping your boundaries or prying into matters you want to be kept personal give them the cold shoulder.

In time these people will learn that to maintain a working relationship with you they have to behave appropriately. Though you cannot change their negative approach towards life, it is essential for your mental wellbeing that you stand firm.

4. Don’t Argue

You may not agree with what they are saying, but if the conversation is not going to lead to any serious consequences for yourself or others, resist the urge to start an argument. It’s best to let some things slide.

Don’t get worked up about little things, accept such people for who they are, and try not to waste your time and energy engaging in needless debates. Most negative people make incendiary comments just to get a reaction from your side. Don’t give them the satisfaction.’

5. Redirect The Conversation

When you get tired of listening to them gripe, try asking them questions to change their train of thoughts. For example: ask them what they learned from the experience? How will that benefit them in the future? What things they could have done differently?

Try to change the direction of the conversation towards neutral topics. Acknowledge their feelings about what they were talking about then gently change the subject. State the emotion they are conveying through their talk then redirects the conversation.

6. Be The Sunshine

Exude positive vibes as much as you can. Don’t feel embarrassed about being cheerful and upbeat because the negative person may taunt you to bring you down. Rise above their negativity. Make a point to show them you are unaffected. Once they realize they have no power over you they will move on to someone else.

That being said, although it is important to keep negative people at a distance, showing them kindness may melt their icy hearts. So be generous with your compliments, show them that good exists by being good to them, do not stoop to their level, ignore their negative energy and go on feeling and radiating happiness.

Negative people can be a handful, but laying down boundaries and having realistic expectations from them can make the relationship workable. So don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Stay positive and stay happy!

Written by Farwa Batool

MSc Biotechnology.
Writer and a mom of two beautiful daughters.

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