How to shutdown a negative person

7 Ways To Shut Down Negative People

It's never fun to stand around grumbling, but it can be a hard task to shut down negative people. A lot of people fall into two categories when it comes to dealing with those with a bad attitude, and frankly neither are very effective. If a negative person comes over to their desk or calls them up on the phone to vent, a go-to reaction is to commiserate with them. You let them know you totally feel their pain and how unfair it is that it happened to them, and might even pepper in an anecdote or a complaint of your own. You're not the Black Cloud Brigade, and you have a club of two. While that can seem kind (it's always nice to lend someone an ear) it doesn't necessarily do anyone any favors. Least of all you, seeing how they'll probably come back to you time and time again when they need to unload.

The second category is a completely passive one, meaning you just avoid the person at all costs. While that's easy, it can make you miss out on important relationships or opportunities. Besides, how long can you even avoid a person, really?

Which means you need a new strategy. One that shows you're empathetic to their grumblings but moves the person onto smoother, less whiney ground. I've got just the thing. Below are seven ways you can shoot down negative people, in a way that's completely effective and still kind.

1. Make Them Find Their Own Silver Lining

Whenever you try to point out the silver lining to someone, chances are they'll more than likely react in a grumpy way. Just think about a time you were disgruntled over something and one of yours pals were all, "Well, at least this and that didn't happen." It's enough to make you want to shake 'em. So instead, if someone is acting particularly negative, make them find their own bright side. A great way to do that is to show that you're sorry about what they're going through, but then ask if anything good came out of the situation.

Career writer Aja Frost at career development site The Muse explained, “This response shows empathy while redirecting the person’s thoughts in a more upbeat direction. " You probably won't change their day completely around, but at least you can show them that there's some good left.

2. Put A Time Limit On Them

Everyone needs someone to vent to, and you're the chosen one then help your friend or colleague out by lending your ear. But don't let them stew; put a cap on how long you're willing to listen before they just spiral into complaining mode.

Kevin Kruse, New York Times bestselling author Employee Engagement for Everyone: The 4 Keys to Happiness & Engagement at Work, offered, "Everybody has tough times, and sharing our feelings can make us feel better. Use the '5-minute rule' when it comes to this. Let your colleague vent for five minutes, but after that, assume that he’s entered Downer mode." Once their time is up, politely change the subject and move on. You were there for them, but you're not Dr. Phil.

3. Turn Their Exaggerations Into Facts

If someone is feeling particularly negative or worked up, try to keep their mood in check by not allowing their exaggerations to fuel the fire. In order to do this, turn them into facts.

Kruse pointed out, "Negative people often speak in extreme terms that match their worldviews. They talk about 'never' and 'always.' Your first goal is to switch them to fact-based statements." If your co-worker is mad that your boss "never" gives her a shot to manage any projects, politely point out the couple of times she did. Doing this is a polite nudge towards showing them that they're sulking and making the situation worse to suit them.

4. Tell Them You're Impressed With Their Positivity

Shut down the negativity of a conversation with someone in a dark mood by telling them you're impressed with how they're handling the situation in a positive way. It might sound snarky, but it'll make them want to live up to the comment.

Frost explained, "In the same way that telling people that they’re really hard workers motivates them to work harder and live up to that reputation, commenting on someone’s “impressive” fortitude incentivizes them to be less negative. " Gentle nudges like this will help try and bring them over to more positive views.

5. Try To Make Them See The Other Side

You have to do this subtly, because not everyone likes to be forced to see where they should ease up the venting. Instead try a line like, "Well, you do have more experience/ knowledge/literally anything than they do in this situation."

Frost justified, "When colleagues are venting to me about others, this line not only flatters, but encourages them to acknowledge where the other person’s coming from. The combination of perspective and flattery usually goes a long way."

6. Ask Them How They Usually Handle That Problem

If you're talking with someone that keeps complaining about one thing on a loop, ask them how they usually handle a problem like that to get them thinking of solutions. Frost offered, "Asking about coping strategies will automatically put people in problem-solving mode. And since no one wants to say, 'I don’t know how to handle this,' you’re almost guaranteed to get a positive response. " It's a simple gesture, and it might get them to work it out.

7. Try To Change Your Perception Of Them

While no one likes to be brought down by the whines of negative people, it sometimes helps to shut them down to know what the root of the problem is. Just think of all the times you were rude at work because you had a lot of projects at that time to juggle, or the times you found anything to complain about just because money was a little tight. You might become more tolerable with the being-annoyed-thing if you kept in mind this person is usually pretty upbeat, but something has to be up.

Lifestyle writer Celestine Chau at Lifehack suggested, "Take responsibility for your perceptions. For every trait, you can interpret it in a positive and a negative manner. Learn to see the goodness of the person than the negative." By doing these subtle little maneuvers and nudges, you can help someone out of a black mood and shut down their negative narrative.

Images: @abeautifulmess/ Instagram

5 Ways To Shut The Negative (People) Out

Negativity and negative thoughts have been linked to poorer health. You might also be making everyone else around you miserable. If you've got that one friend whose life is always horrible and who is constantly being a Negative Nancy then simply telling them to F-Off or "buck up" often doesn't help. If you want to get rid of them for good you should either cut them off or stop their negative cycle. But are they negative or is it just a temporary, normal reaction to what's going on in their lives?

Sick Of Negativity Affecting Your Relationship?

Therapy Offers A Safe Space To Feelings

Reach Out

The first, and most important thing to do if you find a friend in this situation is to ask your friend what's going on. If this isn't typical behavior for him or her or you've noticed this change over time, there is most likely something behind the negativity. You'll want to rule out any issues that may be causing this individual to act out or, or any mental health issue, such as depression, or any other situational or circumstantial element to their persistent pessimism. He or she may be hurting inside and feel unable to the misery he or she is experiencing. But reaching out may open up the floodgates and enable healing to begin.

Be Honest

So, if you do plan to reach out, be gentle but be very honest about how his or her actions are affecting you and possibly others. While it's often hard to be so raw and honest with someone who is causing you pain (especially if you think they're going to react badly), sometimes this type of honesty is the best policy. Tell your friend how much their negativity is bringing you down- it can be the catalyst to make them change. To make less painful, try to use "I-Language" and other de-escalation techniques when talking to them as this helps to stop someone from getting defensive. Just tell them how you feel honestly, plainly, and without getting upset. Leave the choice up to them if they want to change or be cut out - you'll feel much less guilty.

Walk Away

If the above tactics aren't getting you anywhere and you feel as though the friendship is bringing too much negativity to your life, it might be time to let it go. The easiest and simplest way of removing a negative person is simply to walk away. While this seems simple, having a parent, sibling, or colleague with negativity issues can make this option impossible. By walking away, you take away their audience and removing yourself from their influence. Whether this is a permanent break or just temporary, unless they have you locked in a car/room with them, then you almost always have an escape. Even a quick "I need the bathroom" will get you out of their personal space and away from the negativity.

Give Them What They Want

Often, negativity is a subtle cry of love and attention. Negative people reflect their negativity on others. For example, someone who is critical of other's dress may be insecure about their own body. It's often because they don't feel respected or admired that they criticize others so they can feel that they are on the same level rather than belief. Most people respond better to positive feedback so giving them more positive comments may curb their negative outbursts and kick the negativity without kicking the person from your life. This is often the best choice for family. Although, many negative people adapt so this can be a vicious cycle.

Create Space

Slowly ghosting someone is often the least painful choice. Just walking away often creates a rift and will make the negative person even angrier. By ghosting, or simply being repeatedly unavailable, you're no longer affected by their energy or their words. This doesn't feel like "doing" something. If you still feel the need to see them, at first you can, just limit the time and then lessen it. You don't owe them an explanation. By not being obvious about cutting them out, it will seem more natural.

Set Boundaries

We teach people how to treat us. By putting up with certain behaviors, you are telling that person that you are ok with how they are acting toward you. Boundaries can be set in many of the ways mentioned already in this article. You can be honest and tell them you will not be willing to hear such negativity all of the time. Or you can walk away and show them what you are not going to allow them to keep happening. Creating space between you is also a helpful boundary setting technique because you are again showing the person that you need space from how they are behaving.

Model Behavior

Much like we teach people how to treat us, we can also teach people through our example. If you speak positively, refuse to gossip, and generally act upbeat and happy around your negative friend, you will find that he or she will either fall into step with your actions or be made aware of how negative he or she is being themselves, comparatively.

Take a Look At Yourself

This is going to sound harsh, but hear me out. If you have a friend that drags down every interaction you have, it might be worthwhile to take a look at yourself. Are you negative without realizing it? Are you surrounding yourself with all angry, belligerent people? Basically, are you part of the problem too? Self-reflection never hurt anyone, so just make sure you have self-awareness of your situation.

Don't Take Things Personally

This isn't about you. Negative people have many reasons for their negativity, but if they are always acting out in this manner, it's important to remind yourself that it isn't your fault. And not being able to fix it isn't your fault either. Especially if you've tried to reach out before and they haven't accepted your help, there is nothing more that can be done unless they want to work on it themselves.

Seek Help

Sick Of Negativity Affecting Your Relationship?

Therapy Offers A Safe Space To Feelings

By having an arbiter or third party to talk to them with an unbiased perspective, the person may be more inclined to listen about their problems. It's a difficult choice because including a third party often will make the negative person feel cornered or "ganged up on." However, it is the best choice because a therapist can not only help a person recognize negative behaviors but fix the thought patterns that are the underlying cause.

While a mutual friend or coworker is the most common choice, they can only help with the first part. This is why a trained counselor, such as BetterHelp, is a much better choice. Plenty of search resources to find them and approach them without them getting defensive.


7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Negativity

October 19, 2016Relationships

It's hard to stay positive when you're surrounded by negative people. These tips will help you maintain your composure and peace of mind.



Do you have friends or colleagues who are constantly dissatisfied with everything? They complain about life, about work, about friends and family members. They are not satisfied with the state of their health, the weather, the roads and Jared Leto's new hair color. You can list indefinitely.

If you've ever talked to such a person, you've probably experienced first hand how difficult it is to maintain a positive attitude and not become discouraged after a conversation with him. But such people are not so rare. And it is not always possible to avoid interacting with them.

To stop a negative person from draining your energy, try following these guidelines.

1. Set boundaries and guard them

It's very hard to deal with people who are stuck in their problems and unable to focus on solving them. They want others around them to give them moral support 24 hours a day and share their pessimism. You do not interrupt their endless complaints because you are afraid to appear rude and callous. However, it is one thing to provide emotional support, and another thing to get stuck up to your neck in the swamp of their negativity.

In order not to fall into this swamp, set clear boundaries and keep a distance between yourself and the source of negativity.

Just think, would you sit next to a person who smokes one cigarette after another all day and enjoy the smoke? Hardly. So step back and get some fresh air. In all senses.

If in the near future you cannot protect yourself from the company of an annoyingly negative interlocutor, try to neutralize him by asking how he is going to solve the problem that he constantly complains about. Often this is enough for the interlocutor to close the topic or turn the conversation into a more constructive direction. At least for a while.

2. Don't let the other person piss you off

Emotional reaction shows that we cannot assess the situation objectively. Emotions can take over you for just a couple of seconds, or they can completely take control of your behavior. If a person who radiates negativity managed to anger or unbalance you, it means that you were unable to maintain a sober view of the situation.

When you encounter negative behavior that offends you, don't return insult for insult. Maintain dignity and do not stoop to the level of your interlocutor. Try to see to the root.

3. Offer to switch to lighter topics

Some people get negative only about their painful topics. To you, these topics may seem rather innocuous. For example, if someone is dissatisfied with his job, he will mention it on any occasion, out of place and out of place, and constantly complain about it. If you try to insert your positive comment, you will be thrown out with an even greater dose of negativity.

Do not try to change the interlocutor's attitude to a topic that is painful for him. Perhaps his problems with this topic are much deeper than they seem. The best way out is to suggest changing the subject to a lighter and more positive one. Share funny stories, good memories, anything that can distract your interlocutor from obsessive thoughts.

4. Focus not on the problem, but on its solution

What you focus on affects your emotional state. If you focus on the problems you are facing, you only increase the negative impact of stressors. If you are looking for a way to improve the current situation, then you feel satisfied, which causes positive emotions and helps to overcome anxiety.

The same principle should be used when dealing with negative people. Just stop thinking about how annoying the other person is. Instead, ask yourself how you can influence this person's behavior so that it doesn't make you uncomfortable. This way you will stop worrying and be able to take control of the situation.

5. Distract from the opinions of others

Successful people tend to think internally. This means that according to the ideas of such people, their well-being depends only on themselves. Psychologists call this personality trait an internal locus of control. Negative people usually shift the responsibility for their lives to others and blame others for everything that happens to them or does not happen to them. They provide an example of an external locus of control.

If your self-esteem and satisfaction depend on the opinions of other people, you cannot be happy without someone else's approval. When emotionally strong people are confident that they are doing something right, they don't let superficial judgments and snarky comments from others lead them astray.

You are not as good as you are praised when you win. But not as bad as you are condemned when you lose. What matters is what you learn and how you use what you learn.

6. Don't try to fix other people

You can help some people by showing them an example. And for some you can't. Do not let energy vampires and manipulators disturb your inner balance. You cannot control what you cannot control.

If there is something you don't like about the behavior of the person you love, and you hope that over time it will change, then it is better to leave these hopes. The likelihood that he will remain the same as he was is too great. If you really want to change something, be honest with your loved one and lay all your cards on the table. Let your significant other know how you feel and why you feel the way you do.

However, in most cases you should not even try to change the other person. Accept him for who he is, or leave his life.

It might sound harsh, but it's the best. When you try to change a person, in response, he often begins to resist and you get the opposite effect. But if you leave these attempts and just support this person, giving him the freedom to independently determine what he wants to be, gradually he can change himself. And change amazingly. Perhaps your attitude towards this person will change.

7. Take care of yourself

Do not forget about yourself simply because others do the same. If you are forced to work or live under the same roof with a source of constant negativity, make sure you have enough time to rest and restore internal resources.

It is quite difficult to always maintain the correct unemotional perception of the situation. Negative people can keep you up at night wondering, “What am I doing wrong?”, “Am I really that bad that they talk to me like that?”, “Maybe I offended him in some way?”, "I can't believe she did this to me!" and so on.

You can worry for weeks, months. Even for years. Unfortunately, sometimes this is the goal of a negative person. He seeks to piss you off and bring you down to his level of negative thinking. Therefore, take care of yourself so that in the future you can calmly repel the attacks of such emotional vampires.

And finally…

No matter how hard it is to admit it, sometimes you are the source of negativity. At times, your inner critic brings you much more experience than those around you. Try to agree with yourself and turn off this critic at least until the end of the day. This simple tip will help you feel much better.

Negative thoughts will not help you cope with problems and will not make you a better person. Remember this.

How to recognize and neutralize negative people in your life

November 7, 2012Relationships

Negative people have a negative impact. They can cross out all your life plans and deprive even the strongest person of strength.



Stay away from people who mock your aspirations. Small people always do it, while great people always make you feel that you too can become great.

Mark Twain

Who are negative people

A negative person is someone who constantly complains and dumps a bunch of his problems on you. He won't even lift a finger to solve them on his own, but he will pleadingly, and sometimes demandingly, cry for help. Once you go on about it at least once, and you will be made responsible for all the misfortunes that have happened or will only happen in the future with such a person.

A negative person will never support you. Moreover, he is ready to make every effort to make your idea fail. If you start to lose weight, wait for him to visit with a delicious cake. If you quit smoking, he will be happy to blow smoke in his eyes. Your failures and feeling of your own powerlessness make him happier.

Negative people, as a rule, are completely closed to criticism and perceive it extremely painfully. They do not want to change themselves and hate any attempt to change the existing order of things. Someone else's success causes them irritation, and failure - ridicule. A negative person sees only the bad in everything, does not believe in his own strength and spreads an atmosphere of despondency and hopelessness around him.

Why is it so important to expel negative people from your life? There are three main reasons.

  1. Negative people keep you from growing and achieving your life goals. They discourage you from action, sow doubt, and lead you astray.
  2. The negative energy of such people affects your energy level. In addition, they can cause stress and anxiety.
  3. Your life directly depends on those around you. The more negative characters among them, the more difficult and mundane it will be. Positive people will help you achieve what you want, negative people will turn your life into a swamp in which you will drown.

How to get rid of negative people

Step 1: Define your goals

First, find out what problems you have, and then make a plan to solve them. Ask yourself if everything suits you in yourself and in life. Think about what is stopping you from reaching your goals. Decide what your goals are and how badly you want to achieve them. Are you able to radically change your habits, environment, lifestyle for them? Determine which people in your environment are holding you back and which are pushing you forward.

Step 2: Find pests

Negative people make you feel bad. They lower your energy and leave you feeling empty and frustrated. After communicating with them, you feel a breakdown, irritation, resentment.

Such people always talk you out of action. They are sympathetically interested in you and your intentions, but never offer help, but only discourage change. “You won’t succeed”, “It’s too dangerous”, “We have to wait”, “You’re already late” - these and similar words are always ready for them.

Negative people can be different and can sometimes turn out to be nice. But if you still see a toxic charge in a person, then it is better to stay away from him.

Step 3. Let them go

Just start. You yourself can effectively and painlessly remove negative people from your environment. Avoid them. Don't pick up the phone. Remove them from friends on social networks.

Avoid explanations. In any case, truthful. Otherwise, it may turn into a showdown, which will give one more reason to drink your blood.

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