How to Deal with Negative People
Negative People. How do you deal with them?
No matter how upbeat you feel, a negative person can bring you down before you know what hit you. Dealing with negative people is part of life; there is no way to avoid them.
Unless you have a strategy for dealing with their negativity, they will drain your energy, drag your emotions down and cloud your thinking.
Recognising negativity is the first step in dealing with it. It is possible that you are around a negative person, 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 could even get a headache.
Only when you become aware of what is happening can you begin to work against it. Some people may not even realise how their negativity is impacting on themselves and others. Nobody is born with a negative mind-set, 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.
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
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 learned 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!
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.
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 or family member 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.
If you would like to be supported in a group of like-minded positive people, why not join the Soulful Entrepreneurs Circle Facebook group. At the moment we’re doing 10 days of Challenging your Negative Thoughts and there will be more to follow to keep the positive vibes high and make this year the best yet.