Do you have a friend or family member that is always negative? Are you frustrated with having to always bring the positivity back up into the room after this person enters? While we all have our bad days, perpetually negative people love to bring other people down. In fact, it may seem like it's the only thing that they enjoy.
What should you do when facing a negative coworker, colleague, friend, or even family member? How do you distance yourself from someone who doesn't have a positive bone in their body without being overtly rude or bringing down your positive attitude?
Before anything else, try to listen to their complaints with the utmost compassion. Perhaps they just need someone to talk to. After all, everyone experiences a bad day here and there. But if their negativity becomes habitual, you may need to deal with them.
For example, if you're dealing with toxic people at work, their negativity can sadly be contagious. They could hinder your personal job growth or the growth of your team. If you don't take action to protect yourself, you might be affected by it in more ways than you can imagine.
If you are dealing with a negative person in your life, here are some things you can do to keep your sanity intact:
They may be negative people, but always practice compassion when dealing with them. If the person is negative towards you, more than likely, it is not because they don't like you. They may be under a lot of stress or in pain. Feelings of insecurity and frustration may be the cause of their unhappiness. Try to be empathetic as we have all been in similar situations. Sometimes, their pain is masked by their negativity, so be compassionate. Keep an open heart and mind to help you understand.
Look into their lives to see if they participate in any poor habits or patterns, or if they have something going on with their life. These things may be fueling their negativity, and they may have specific triggers. If they tend to lash out, react violently, complain, or even criticize others, then maybe they have been provoked. Negative people were not born that way. They just grew up in a pattern that made them see things negatively. When you look closely, these people are victims of violence too. They've become negative to make themselves look tough. However, if you're dealing with someone's violence or abuse, take care of yourself and don't ever think that their negativity is your fault.
Feel all the love that you have for them and make sure that they know you love them. If it is a family or a friend who has become a negative person, then show them that you appreciate having them in your life. Allow yourself to feel compassion for them. A person who doesn't feel valued are the very people who end up with pent up anger inside them. They're more than likely feeling disappointment or frustration. Always keep an open heart.
Look into the positive side of their negativity. The outpouring of negative energy out of them could be transferred into you. While you may not like their adversity, there may be some good in the negativity. Look into the experience, drop the judgment, and feel the sensations that you get out of it. Relish the experience, and you will see how lucky you are to explore all the positive light from a negative experience. You will learn to appreciate what you have in your life and realize that every person in your life is there for a purpose. Perhaps their negativity is just keeping you grounded, or they are showing concern for you. Do your best to see the light in the darkness.
If you've done your best to be loving and understanding of a negative person, but it is really just getting to you, then one of the most effective ways to deal with a chronically negative person is by distancing yourself from them. However, even if you want to keep yourself from getting infected by their hostility, hiding from them or leaving the situation, may not be an option.
For example, if you've got a toxic coworker or your mother in law drives you crazy, you may not be able to distance yourself from them physically. You'll have to either face it head-on and call them out, or refuse to cater to them any longer. Either way, "distancing" doesn't have to mean making actual space. You don't have to let people who put you down get into your life. Shield yourself from their pessimism. Instead, you can disarm their negativity.
Here are simple ways you can disable their negativity and emotionally distance yourself from them:
A toxic environment at work can be workable, but a person with a toxic personality is something else. Don't allow yourself to engage in their habitual skepticism. No matter what happens, never stoop to their level of conversation. If you can, always keep an understandable emotional distance from these negative people. If this means ignoring them, then go ahead. If you can, challenge their negativity by giving them positive reasons to make a mind shift.
They are not your problem, so don't ever try to fix them. An unhappy person is unhappy for his own reasons. It is not your job to get them out of that negative bubble they have created for themselves. After all, no negative person will ever change overnight. Not only will it leave you feeling disappointed, but it could take your own happiness away. Remain positive despite dealing with these negative people. Don't ever be fooled that you'd be able to cheer them up. There is nothing that could take them out of the darkness but themselves.
Get a break and leave. Setting boundaries to separate yourself from the negative people in your life can be a challenge. The negative energy in a person can be caused by so many things. Sometimes, a traumatic event they experienced has put them in that dark place where they are. Keep an arm's length distance from these negative people. Separate yourself from people entirely if needed. Don't let them overwhelm you with their negativity.
Don't answer back. When dealing with negative people, it can be very tempting to get into an argument with them. You can easily slip into anger, thus negating any positivity that you have. You'll just get frustrated when you are not able to convince them to change their perspective or to be a little positive. Save yourself from all the heartache and hold your tongue instead. Listen to them, but try not to respond. Eventually, they will realize that either their arguments aren't worth dealing with, or that you won't be their punching bag anymore.
Building a healthy and positive relationship with a negative person is not impossible, as long as you keep your expectations realistic. Don't expect them to change overnight. Remember that the only person who can change them is themselves.
Focus yourself on experiencing happiness. Rise above the challenge and always keep a positive mind.
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