How To Deal With Negative People

by • November 16, 2010 • PsychologyComments (0)2645

Who doesn’t have at least one negative person in their life – the one who sees the glass as half empty, doesn’t believe the sun shines above the clouds, and thinks everyone is out to get them?  It’s challenging to stay positive while someone is droning on about all the problems in their life, with their family, and in the world.  It requires healthy boundaries and an upbeat attitude to combat the negativity.  Negative people tend to view life from a pessimistic viewpoint.  They see the downside of every situation and will point it out whenever they have an opportunity.  If given a chance, or an ear, they will complain constantly about their health, work, family, community, government, the weather, and just about anything else in their life.

Having a negative attitude doesn’t feel good, so why does it happen?  Some negative people were raised in a family that focused on the negative so they became conditioned to think negatively and have no other perspective.  Some people have been beaten down in life by difficult circumstances and only see that negative side.  And then some people secretly get a perk out of being negative, similar to having an addiction to something that is unhealthy.  Having compassion for a negative person’s upbringing and life experiences can ease the discomfort of being around them.  But for real relief, it’s helpful to set healthy boundaries and practice staying positive around a negative individual.  Most people encounter a negative person somewhere in their life – at work, family gatherings, in a circle of friends, or even sitting on the bus.  Try these suggestions as a way to stay positive with a negative person:

1)  Focus on the positive.  With each negative viewpoint they share, turn it around and find the positive side.  After a while, they’ll either give up or go away to find someone else to commiserate with.

2)  Share a positive experience.  Listen to their negative story with empathy at first and then offer a similar personal experience that turned out positive.  Help them to see that behind every difficult situation lays the opportunity for change, growth, and healing.

3)  Offer encouragement.  If this person grew up being surrounded by other negative people, they are not used to receiving encouragement.  Offer helpful suggestions and remind them of how powerful they are.

4)  Call them to action.  Negative people often view situations as hopeless.  This is usually because they cling to the problem instead of trying to find the solutions.

5)  Set healthy boundaries.  Decide what type of relationship(s) you want to be a part of and limit time spent with people who don’t meet these demands.  As you set clear, healthy boundaries, things will fall into place.

Like attracts like, so as you practice staying positive and set healthy boundaries, negative people will either shift their attitude to match yours or they won’t be attracted to you and you’ll only be surrounded by other positive people.  For a related articles and more tips, read Dealing with Difficult People Who Control or Dealing with Critical People.  You can also visit the National Institute Of Mental Health.

Source: Suite 101

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