Dealing with Negativity

 In Behaviour, Difficult Behaviour

Dealing with Negativity

Negative people will always be around. This can cause you to lose your mind and take its toll on your life. It’s impossible to avoid human contact and hunker down, so it’s important to have strategies to combat negative influences and keep your life, thoughts and actions positive.

Negative people are known for bringing down others. Sometimes it can seem that this is all they love to do. What should you do if confronted by a negative friend or co-worker? You listen at first, and offer a sympathetic ear. Then you hope that their negativity will pass. Everyone has bad days now and then.

If you have to deal with someone who is always pessimistic, you could be emotionally drain. Negativity is contagious and can lead to hostility.

1. Do not buy into their negativity.

Do not allow toxic negativity to infect you. Avoid engaging in the skepticism of a difficult person. Do not try to be like them, no matter what. Keep your distance. It doesn’t mean you should ignore them. You shouldn’t try to see the positive side of everything. It is possible to persuade someone to stop being negative, but it could only make them more hostile.

A difficult person may be ensconced in a negative mindset. People who are negative often have demanding natures and place pressure on their closest. They desire others to love, respect and “be there” for them. However, they are unable to offer emotional support.

Be realistic about what you can expect from them. If you feel down, a negative person is not the right person to talk to. Use non-committal language when you engage with them. Recognise their comments but don’t endorse what they say. As much as possible, agree with them. Then, rephrase your complaints using less loaded language. While you can’t change their personalities, you can help to neutralise their negative outlook.

2. You are not their problem solver.
It’s not your job make someone happy. You will fail to make a difference overnight and you may feel disgruntled. Only you have control over your happiness. Negative people can be dealt with, and you should, remain positive. But don’t let that fool you into believing you can change their minds or make them feel better.

It is easy to make someone unhappy by telling them to be happy. Instead, be a listening ear and offer your support. When they ask for your thoughts, be kind and calm.

The best way to protect your emotions from negative people is to be confident and secure. Do not allow a negative person to make you doubt your abilities or stop you from pursuing your dreams.

3. Take a breather.

You can give yourself some space from an abusive person by setting boundaries. After dealing with someone who has zapped you emotionally, you need some space. To avoid becoming overwhelmed by their toxic behaviour, keep a negative person at arms length.

You don’t have to answer every text or call immediately, even though your smartphone is wired to you. If you are frustrated with someone, it is a good idea to take some time to think. When you feel calmer, contact them. Allow yourself to take a break from the stress of dealing with them so that you can recharge your batteries and have the patience and endurance to deal with them with grace.

Limit your contact with the person as much as possible. Do not feel obliged to invite them for lunch or coffee. If you have to spend time with them, it is best to do so in a group setting so that you don’t have to deal one-on-one.

4. Keep your tongue down.

It’s easy to get frustrated or angry when dealing with someone negative. But, it will only make you more miserable. Angrily responding only fuels their negativity. Listen and keep your mouth shut. When they realise that you aren’t giving them the response they want, they will move on to other things. It can be hard to manage your emotions, but it is essential for inner peace.

Don’t take rude or insensitive comments personally. Negative people often get so angry about perceived indignities they don’t realise how offensive they are. Listen without judgment. Even if they have a valid point to make, it is possible for them to be right. Find a takeaway that you can learn from.

When you do respond, be objective and non-emotional. Your points should be explained carefully and thoughtfully. This will ensure that you never regret having a conversation with someone negative.

5. Take control of the conversation.

Appreciative inquiry is a way to ask questions that help people gain a positive outlook. Ask questions about the positive aspects of the past or the future if the person is pondering over a past event. These questions could include “What were some positive things about that experience?” and “What would happen next time?” This helps the person to focus on how they can achieve a better future.

It is possible to steer the conversation towards neutral topics by acknowledging their words before moving on. Perhaps you might say “Yes, I see that you are unhappy with the meeting. Have you seen the report? It contains some very interesting ideas. Stop chasing away the people you meet.

6. Be the light.

Try to be positive. Your enthusiasm is like an armor against the negativity of a person. Do something nice for someone who is negative. These do not have to be big. Remark on something they did well. You might remind them of a time when they were happy, and that things were going well. You might say something like, “Remember the time you brought in that huge client? Everyone was so impressed.” It was a great day for the company.” These small gestures can help to reduce their negativity. They may eventually find joy. But if not, it’s okay. Being kind to others will help you feel better about yourself and encourage positive thinking.

If you are realistic about your situation, it is possible to have a positive relationship with someone who is negative. Expect gradual changes. You are the only one you can control, so be happy. Keep your head up and be positive.

7. Keep in mind the numbers.

Studies show that those with negative attitudes are more likely to experience stress and other diseases. The mental health of someone is a major factor in their physical well-being. You can tell if someone is making it difficult for others that they are doing the same for themselves.

It is a sad fact that people can feel so much pain that they need to act out in order to get some relief. It’s much easier to focus on minimising negativity and not defending yourself when you realise how difficult someone is.

8. It’s okay to not take it personally.

The conventional wisdom says that it is best to avoid taking things personally with someone who is negative. It’s more complicated than that. It’s not possible to dismiss everything that someone says about you because they are insensitive or uncoordinated. Even the most abrasive person might have a point. You can balance their opinions with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

Accept the fact that you are not worthy of someone’s excessive emotions, and weigh their thoughts with an open mind. People I didn’t like taught me some of the most valuable lessons.

Last Thoughts

Negative emotions are more immediate than positive emotions. To counter a negative emotion, we need 3-5 positive interactions. Negative emotions are more instinctive, stronger and last longer. They are also more easily remembered. Positive emotions are subtler and more fleeting. They are based on how we interpret them, so they are less memorable.

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