Ignore negative people

How to Deal With Negative People Who Just Aren't Going Away

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Maybe it's a relative or a colleague but real life includes people who scorn your optimism because they don't have dreams of their own.

By Deep Patel

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Negative people love bringing others down. It can sometimes seem like that's the only thing they enjoy doing. So what should you do when faced with a negative friend, co-worker, family member or colleague? At first you listen, offering a compassionate ear and hoping their negativity is just a passing phase. After all, everyone has a bad day now and again.

Willie B. Thomas | Getty Images

But if you're dealing with a habitually pessimistic person, you're at risk of being drained emotionally. Negativity can be contagious, and if you don't take action to protect your mindset, you may find your mood infected with hostility.

Hiding isn't a good option, so try something better: disarm their negativity and shield yourself from their hostility using these six simple strategies.

1. Don't buy into their negativity.

Don't allow yourself to become infected with toxic negativity. Do not engage in a difficult person's habitual skepticism. Whatever you do, don't stoop to their level. Maintain your emotional distance. This doesn't mean ignoring them. Nor should you try to bright-side everything. Trying to convince someone to stop being negative may only challenge to them to amp up their hostility.

A difficult person is probably locked into a negative mindset that is part of the fabric of his or her personality. Negative people often have a demanding nature and put pressure on those close to them. They want others to love and respect them, to "be there for them," yet they are incapable of offering emotional support to others.

Limit your expectations when dealing with them. A negative person isn't a good choice to turn to when you're feeling down. When you do engage with them, use noncommittal language. Acknowledge their comments without endorsing what they are saying. Agree with them as far as you can, then rephrase their complaints using less loaded language. You can't change their personality, but you might neutralize their toxic outlook.

Related: How Smart People Handle Difficult People

2. You are not their problem solver.

It is not your job to make an unhappy person happy. If you set out change a person overnight, you will fall short and may end up feeling disgruntled yourself. The only person whose happiness you can control is your own. You can (and should) remain positive when dealing with negative people, but don't fool yourself into thinking you can cheer them up or change their mindset.

A fast way to annoy someone in a bad mood is telling him or her to be happy, so ditch the Pollyanna attitude and stop offering unsolicited advice. Instead, provide a sympathetic and unjudging ear. If they ask to hear your thoughts, offer them gently and calmly.

Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself emotionally from a negative person is to be secure and confident. Don't let a negative person cause you to doubt your abilities or undermine your desire to pursue your dreams.

Related: People Hating on You? Here Are 4 Ways to Use That Negative Energy to Your Advantage.

3. Give yourself a break.

Setting boundaries is how you give yourself a break from an encroaching negative person. You need space where you can clear your head after dealing with someone who zaps you emotionally. Keep the a negative person at arm's length to avoid being overwhelmed by their toxicity.

Even though you live with a smartphone wired to your hand, you aren't required return every call or text immediately. When you're frustrated or annoyed with a difficult person, take some time to collect your thoughts. Contact them when you are calmer. Give yourself time to recharge your batteries so when you do deal with them, you have the endurance and patience to handle them with grace.

It's wise to limit your exposure to the person when possible. Don't feel pressured to invite them to lunch or coffee. When you must hang out with them, try to do so in group settings so you won't have to deal with them on one-on-one.

Related: Surviving to Thriving: Why Entrepreneurs Need to Take a Break

4. Hold your tongue.

When dealing with a negative person it's tempting to let yourself slide into anger or frustration, but save yourself the heartache. Responding angrily only feeds their negativity. Hold your tongue and listen. Eventually, when they realize you won't give them the reaction they seek, they will take their angry rants elsewhere. Tempering your emotional responses can be difficult, but it is key to maintaining inner peace.

Try not to take insensitive or tactless comments personally. Negative people are often so wrapped up in anger about perceived indignities that they aren't aware of how insulting they come across. Listen without judgment. They may have a valid point, even if it's buried in gloom and doom. Look for a takeaway you can learn from.

If you do respond, keep it objective and unemotional. Explain your points carefully and thoughtfully. Do this, and you'll never again regret a conversation with a negative person.

Related: The Simple Secret to Making an Instant Connection With Everyone You Meet

5. Take charge of the conversation.

When a person is constantly complaining about certain events or subjects, you can use a technique called appreciative inquiry, which is the process of asking questions to help the person gain a more positive outlook. If the person is brooding about a past event, ask questions that focus on the positive aspects of their experiences or about the future. Such questions might include: "What are some good things that came out of that experience?" or "What would you like to see happen next time?" Reframing the negative language helps them focus on how to achieve a brighter future in a positive way.

You can guide the conversation toward neutral topics by gently acknowledging what they are saying before moving on to something new. You might say, "Yes, I can see that you are upset with how that meeting went. By the way, have you had a chance to look at the report that was sent out? There are some interesting ideas in there."

Related: Stop Chasing Away the People You Meet

6. Be the light.

Strive to personify positivity. Wear your enthusiasm like an armor against a negative person's onslaught of hostility. Affirm your positivity by doing nice things for a negative person on occasion. These don't have to be huge. Compliment them for something they genuinely did well. Remind them of a moment when they were happy and things were going well for them. For instance, you might say, "Remember when you were able to bring in that big client and everyone was so impressed? That was a good day for the company."

Small gestures will chip away at their negativity. They might eventually find joy, but if they don't, so be it. Doing nice things for others will make you feel good about yourself and affirm your positive mindset.

You can have a successful relationship with a negative person as long as your expectations are based in reality. Don't expect massive changes overnight. The only person you have control over is you, so focus on your happiness. Rise above and remain positive.

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How to Deal With Negative People Without Going Crazy

If you are around one of those people who have the tendency to constantly complain, who turn a perfectly good outcome into an unsatisfactory one with their negative outlook, those who are overly critical or bring out the worst in others with their offensive comments, toxic behavior and pessimistic attitude towards everything, chances are these negative people are already controlling your emotions and limiting what you can achieve.

Think for a moment. Do any of these apply to you:

  • Do you spend a significant amount of your time complaining about them instead of using that time to put into constructive action? 
  • Do you overthink by playing the conversation with the negative person in your mind over and over again? 
  • Do you feel strong emotions and experience high levels of discomfort at the mere thought of facing them again?
  • Do you tend to be a different person around them by behaving in ways that don’t match your values?
  • Do you find it hard to calm down after meeting them?
  • Do they often drive you crazy, taking away your ability to think and act rationally? 

The more time you spend thinking, complaining, and agonizing over the negative person, the more power you allow them to claim over your life. By giving them too much power over what you experience, how you feel and the way you act, you let these negative people dictate how you spend your day and time. 

Negativity can be contagious. It may not be obvious at first, but it’s easy to get trapped into a negative person’s way of thinking if you are not careful around them. Left unhandled, their cynical, gloomy, and defeatist behavior can emotionally drain you, impact your productivity, and turn you into the very person you hated at first. 

Mike Bechtle writes in People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys, “We won’t be able to eliminate the drama in our lives or escape all the crazies. But we can actually learn to live responsively instead of reactively, being positive when others are negative.”

6 strategies to deal with negative people 

1. Be secure

When you are confident about your abilities, negative people may temporarily make you feel bad with their hurtful comments or cynical attitude, but they can’t bring you down.

They cannot inflict self-doubt and prevent you from pursuing the things you desire because their negative attitude is a reflection of their own insecurities and in no way limits what you can and cannot achieve.

As a rule: When you find yourself getting extremely bothered by their behavior, bring your focus back to the self and remind yourself of the things you can achieve with confidence, courage and persistence. 

2. Listen without judgment

When engaging with a negative person, it’s easy to start with assumptions and opinions which typically tends to worsen the situation.

However, when you approach the conversation without judgment and with empathy, you give yourself the space to guide the conversation towards a better outcome.

Douglas Stone writes in Difficult Conversations “You can’t move the conversation in a more positive direction until the other person feels heard and understood. And they won’t feel heard and understood until you’ve listened.

By listening intently to what they have to say, you can identify if they actually need your advice or they simply want to be heard. Giving unsolicited advice to a negative person who’s in no mood for it will only backfire. 

Another advantage of listening without judgment is that it enables you to redirect the conversation by talking about the future and the steps they can take while letting go of things that happened in the past. Ask them questions to help them shift from a negative line of thinking to a positive one. Reframing negative language helps shift focus towards learning that came from those experiences and use them to design a better future.

For example: If they rant about how their boss makes their life miserable, ask them about the steps they have taken to fix their situation. If they speak negatively about an outcome, ask them about what they would do differently to achieve a better outcome. If they keep telling you why something may not work out, ask them about the changes they would make to turn it into a possibility.

As a rule: Stop judging their negative attitude and behavior and look for ways to contribute positively to the conversation.

3. Take control of your time

David Rock writes in Your Brain at Work, “We all often think about what’s easy to think about, rather than what’s right to think about.”

Negative people consume so much of your mental energy that you fail to realize how much of your time you spend thinking and lamenting their behaviors and actions even when they are not around.

Ever found yourself thinking over and over again about a particular conversation with a negative person: 

  • Why did she say this? Does she not trust me?
  • Why would he behave this way? 
  • Did I do something wrong for her to be so mean and negative towards my idea?

You can get so emotionally consumed with how they behave and what they say that you let them suck into your productive time. Giving them control over your emotions and thought process increases their power over the way you lead your life.  

The only way to diffuse and regain control of your time is to deny them this power by consciously watching how you spend your time.

As a rule: Catch your thoughts that are structured around a negative person’s behaviors and actions and consciously redirect them towards doing meaningful work and taking positive action.

4. Act with intention, don’t react

When you act with intention and don’t react to how a negative person behaves and acts, you diffuse their negativity and take away the power to impact you.

Ask for time to be clear-headed and handle them gracefully when you have the option to do so. You don’t have to react to their negativity with a thoughtless response. Carefully and tactfully handle them. The less you care about their negative behavior, the more you will gain the power to guide yourself towards constructive action.

Eventually, when they see that it doesn’t impact you, they may learn to stop their rants and take them elsewhere.

As a rule: Watch your body language and tone of voice around a negative person. Make sure it doesn’t convey discomfort, unpleasantness, or any form of resentment towards the negative person.

5. Set boundaries 

All the strategies I have mentioned so far work only to a certain extent because all of us have a limit to the amount of negativity we can tolerate. Unless you are careful about the amount of negativity you are letting into your life, at some point it can get the better of you.

Set boundaries around what you permit and what is completely unacceptable. Let others know nicely and politely when they cross over these boundaries. Take proactive steps to stay away from negativity by limiting exposure and saying no to activities where such emotions tend to run high.

Brene Brown writes in The Gifts of Imperfection, “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.

One trick that has always worked for me when trying to control my response towards a negative person is to say “I am not able to think clearly at the moment. We can probably connect back later and discuss this further.” It gives me the time to craft a careful response as well as the space I need to prevent myself from overreacting to their behavior or saying things that I tend to repent later. 

As a rule: Limit your exposure to negativity by determining your tolerance level and staying within it.

6. Accept responsibility

Finally blaming the negative person will do you no good. Blaming will only shift your focus from finding a solution to acting like a victim. Before you know it, adopting a victim mentality will turn you into the very person you resented at first. 

Trying to fix a negative person won’t be helpful either. You can’t control others, but you can definitely control how you react to them. Take responsibility for how you act around them.  

By taking responsibility, you act within your circle of influence where you have the power to control your thoughts and align your actions in a positive direction.

Ryan Holiday writes in The Obstacle Is the Way “Focusing exclusively on what is in our power magnifies and enhances our power. But every ounce of energy directed at things we can’t actually influence is wasted—self-indulgent and self-destructive.”

As a rule: Focus on what’s within your control and stop worrying about things you can’t. 

  1. You can’t completely avoid negative people in your life, but you can learn to work with them.
  2. If you don’t consciously act around negative people, you give them the power to control your emotions thereby impacting how you feel and what you achieve.
  3. The first step to deal with a negative person is to feel confident. When you are secure about your own abilities and skills, a negative person cannot pull you down.
  4. Next, listen intently to what they have to say. Without judgments, you create opportunities to shift them from a problem mode to a solution mode.
  5. Consciously prioritize how you spend your time. By investing in constructive action, you take away their power to eat up into your productive time. 
  6. Diffuse their negativity by carefully and tactfully handling them with a well thought out response. The less impact they have on you, the less they will be tempted to share their rants, cynicism, and defeatist behavior with you.
  7. Set boundaries to continue being effective. No one can tolerate extreme negativity without being impacted. Know your limits.
  8. Finally, shift from blaming the other person to taking responsibility for your reaction. You can’t change the other person, but you can certainly change how you act around them.

Recommended Reading

People Can’t Drive You Crazy If You Don’t Give Them the Keys By Dr. Mike Bechtle

Dealing with People You Can’t Stand By Rick Kirschner, Rick Brinkman


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7 simple tricks - how to deal with negative people

Vampires are among us!
Translation of a post on zenHabbits by Celestina Chua, author of the Personal Excellence Blog.
Very important topic, VERY! Because it's really difficult to communicate with some people - you'll talk for half an hour, and then you have to recover for half a day. They suck energy - and do it very effectively. Those 7 tricks that are described below really work. The main thing is to remember them, to observe them. And do not let yourself be offended;)

The people who are the hardest to love need love the most. ~ Peaceful warrior (This is a book. And a movie based on a book. Interesting)

Have you ever dealt with negative people? If yes, then you know that it can be terribly difficult.

I remember a former colleague who was just like that. During our conversations, she endlessly complained about colleagues, work and life. At the same time, she was very cynical about people in general, constantly doubting their intentions. It was not a pleasure to talk to her. At all.

After our first conversation, I felt completely exhausted. Although we only talked for 20-30 minutes, I didn't have the mood or energy to do anything else. There was a feeling that someone had sucked the life out of me, and it took about three hours for this effect to wear off.

When we talked later, the same thing happened. She was so pessimistic that her negative energy seemed to transfer to me after the conversation, and even left an unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth. And you know, it bothered me a lot. I would gladly refuse to communicate with her, if I could.

Then one day I decided that I needed to develop a plan of action - how to deal with negative people. After all, she is not the only such person I will meet in my life. I thought, “For every negative person I meet now, there are thousands of people I might meet one day. If I can handle it, I can handle all the others."

With that in mind, I brainstormed the best way to deal with negative people.

In the end, I came up with a few key tricks to do this effectively. They can be very helpful in building good relationships with such people. And although I now deal with positive people more often, these steps come to the rescue when I sometimes meet negative people.

If there is such a negative person in your life right now, you don't have to suffer from him. You are not alone in your problem - I have encountered negative people quite often and have learned to deal with them. Let them try to put you down - you can choose how to react and what to do.

So, 7 tricks that will help you deal with negative people.

Technique 1. Don't let yourself be drawn into negativity

One thing I've noticed is that negative people tend to focus on the bad things and ignore the good ones. They exaggerate the problems they face, and therefore their situation seems much worse than it really is.

The first time you interact with a negative person, listen carefully and offer help if needed. Give support - let him (she) know that he is not alone. However, make a note somewhere. If a person continues to complain about the same problem even after several discussions, this is a sign that you need to let go.

First, try changing the subject. If he/she gets into a negative tailspin, let him/her continue, but don't get caught up in the negative. Give simple answers like "Yes, I see" or "Yeah". When he/she reacts positively, respond in the affirmative and with enthusiasm. If you do this often enough, he/she will soon realize what is going on and become more positive in communication.

Technique #2: Use Groups

Dealing with a negative person can be very tiring. When I talked with my negative colleague, I was completely exhausted for several hours, although the conversation itself lasted only 20-30 minutes. This happened because I took on all her negativity.

To solve this problem, have someone else be with you when you are talking to the negative person. In fact, the more people, the better. Then the negative energy will be shared between you and other people, and you will not have to bear its weight alone.

An additional plus from the fact that someone else will be around - other people help to reveal different sides of individuality. When others are around, they can help bring out the other, positive side of a negative person. I have experienced this before and it has helped me to see a "negative" person in a more positive light.

Tactic #3: Objectify comments

Negative people can be quite critical at times. They periodically make comments that can hurt a lot, especially when directed at you.

For example, I had a friend who was very tactless. She liked to make various disparaging and critical comments. At first, I was worried about her words, wondering why she was so critical every time she spoke. I also thought maybe something was wrong with me - maybe I'm not good enough. However, when I watched how she communicates with our mutual friends, I realized that she behaves the same way with them. Her comments weren't personal attacks - they were her usual behavior.

Realize that the negative person usually doesn't want to hurt you - he or she is simply trapped in their own negativity. Learn to deal with negative comments. Object them. Instead of taking his/her words personally, take them as another point of view. Weed out the husks and see if you can benefit or learn from what is being said.

Tactic #4: Switch to more pleasant topics

Some negative people get turned on by certain topics. For example, one friend turns into a "victim of circumstances" whenever it comes to work. No matter what I say, he'll keep complaining about a job that's just awful and he won't be able to stop.

If a person is deeply rooted in his negativity, in his problems, the solution may be to change the subject. Start a new topic to cheer up. Simple things—movies, daytime events, mutual friends, hobbies, happy news—can make a conversation much easier. Support it in areas in relation to which the person feels positive emotions.

Tactic #5: Choose Who You Spend Your Time With Carefully

As Jim Rohn put it, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” This quote means that who you spend time with has a huge impact on the kind of person you become.

I think this is very true. Think about the time you spend with negative people - do you feel good or bad after that? The same goes for positive people. How do you feel after spending time with them?

Whenever I spend time with negative people, I feel heaviness afterwards, a bad aftertaste. When I meet positive people, I feel a surge of optimism and energy. This effect remains even after communication. As you spend more time with negative people, you gradually become negative too. It may be temporary at first, but over time the effect will start to take root in you.

If you feel that certain people in your life are negative, be aware of how much time you spend with them. I advise limiting the duration - it can help. For example, if they want to hang out with you but you don't like their company, learn to say no. If it's a meeting or a phone call, set a limit on how long it will last. Stick to the topic of discussion, and don't let it go beyond a certain amount of time.

Technique #6: Identify areas where you can make positive changes

Negative people are negative because they lack love, positivity and warmth. Often they act in such a way as to create a barrier that will protect them from the world.

One of the best ways to help them is to bring positivity into their lives. Think about what is bothering the person right now and think about how you can help him (her). It shouldn't be too hard, and you definitely shouldn't be doing it if you don't want to. The key is to be sincere in wanting to help, and show him/her a different perspective on life.

Some time ago, I had a friend who didn't like her job. She did not like the environment and corporate culture. There was a vacancy at my (already former) workplace, so I offered her this opportunity. She eventually got the job, has been doing it for 3 years now, and doing it perfectly.

Today she leads a much happier, more active and optimistic life. She is definitely more positive than a few years ago. While I won't bet that she'll be completely satisfied with her career just yet, I feel gratified that I helped out a little at the right time. Also, there is always something you can do to help another – look around and help in any way you can. A small action on your part can lead to big changes in your relationship.

Technique #7: Stop talking to them

If all else fails, limit contact with these people or even cut them out of your life entirely.

Instead of spending your time with negative people, focus on positive people instead. In the past, I spent a lot of time with negative people trying to help them. It took a lot of energy from me and was often completely useless. I have revised my methods. Now I prefer to work with positive friends and business partners. It turned out to be both more pleasant and more useful.

Remember that you design your life and you decide how you want it to be. If negative people make you feel bad, work on it using the 7 steps outlined. By doing the right thing, you can noticeably change your relationship.

How to deal with negative people

InoSMI materials contain assessments of foreign media only and do not reflect the position of the editors of InoSMI

The reason why our happiness largely depends on communication with others is that people are primarily social beings. All this explains why it is so excruciatingly difficult for us to interact with negative people - people who constantly spoil our mood with their pessimism, anxiety and distrust.

What is the main determinant of happiness?

The answer to this question, as you probably already know, is not wealth, fame, beauty, or power. Our feeling of happiness is determined by how other people, especially our loved ones - friends, family members, colleagues - treat us. When your loved ones treat you well, you simply cannot help but feel happy, but if they treat you badly or avoid communicating with you, you are doomed to misfortune.

The reason why our happiness depends so much on the quality of our relationships with others is that people are primarily social beings. And if you look around, you can find a lot of evidence. It is very important for us to know what others think of us, and, as my own observations show, we are much more willing to agree to experience something unpleasant (for example, watching a bad movie) in the company of those who share our negative attitude towards it than to experience something pleasant. (for example, watching a good movie) in the company of people who disagree with us. Our social nature also explains why being in love with another person is the most precious experience of our lives and why isolation, whose extreme form is solitary confinement, is considered by those who have experienced it to be the most severe test.

All this explains why it is so excruciatingly difficult for us to communicate and interact with negative people - people who constantly spoil our mood with their pessimism, anxiety and distrust. Imagine that you are constantly being prevented from pursuing your dreams because "few succeed at it." Or imagine being constantly discouraged from trying new things—like scuba diving or horseback riding—because it’s “too dangerous.” Imagine that you constantly hear negative comments about other people (for example, “I can’t believe you told your neighbors that you failed your driving test - now they will never respect you!”) If you are regularly exposed to such negative influences, this can significantly affect your stock of positivity, and this in turn will lead you to either join the ranks of negative people, or begin to show indifference or even rudeness towards negative people in your environment.

How should you deal with negative people?

One obvious solution is to simply not talk to them. But this is easier said than done. We can always easily cut ourselves off from a grouchy bartender or an airline manager who is having a hard time dealing with his anger, but we can't just turn away and stop talking to our parents, siblings, spouses, co-workers, or friends.

A more practical approach to dealing with such people is to first try to understand the reasons for their negative attitude. In short, negative attitudes are almost always rooted in one of three deep-seated fears: fear of being disrespected by others, fear of being unloved, and fear that something bad might happen. These fears constantly feed each other, and as a result, a person seized by them comes to the conclusion that "the world around us is very dangerous, and people are mostly bad."

It is difficult for a person seized with such fears to believe in the need to follow his dream (because on this path he is guaranteed to fail) and take risks, even if this is necessary for personal growth and development. It is also easy to understand why it is very difficult for people who are captivated by these fears to trust others.

The fears that underlie the negative worldview manifest themselves in a wide variety of forms: poorly?"

• Categorical or propensity to invest negative motivation in the quite innocent actions of others: for example, guests who do not praise the hostess's treat are regarded as "uncouth brutes who do not deserve invitations in the future."

• Self-doubt. We are talking about a feeling of helplessness, an inability to cope with the trials that we meet on the path of life, which leads to the occurrence of severe anxiety in the event of a collision with such trials and to a feeling of shame and guilt if a person avoids these trials.

• Demanding: although negative people have acute insecurity in their own abilities, they often insist on some special achievement from their loved ones so that "I can be proud of you."

• Pessimism or a tendency to believe that the future is bleak and hopeless. For example, negative people are much more willing to imagine how and why an important business visit can go wrong than vice versa.

• Risk avoidance, especially in matters of a social nature. This leads to a reluctance to disclose information that "could be used against me" and, as a result, boring conversations and superficial relationships.
• Desire to control the behavior of other people, especially loved ones. For example, negative people make strict demands on how their children should eat, what kind of car they should buy, and so on.

It is worth noting that in all the manifestations of negativity listed above there is one common feature, namely the tendency to blame external factors - other people, the environment or "luck" - and not oneself and one's negative attitude towards the world. Negative people often think, "If only people knew what I'm capable of, if people were kinder to me, if the world wasn't full of dangers, and if my friends, colleagues, and relatives treated me the way I I would like that, I would be happy!”

At first glance, it may seem rather paradoxical that negatively inclined people experience insecurity and at the same time consider themselves entitled to demand respect and love from others. It may also seem rather paradoxical that negative people look pessimistically into their own future and at the same time demand success from others. However, in reality, there is no paradox here. This happens because negative people do not feel respected and loved, they do not feel that they themselves are able to control their lives, and therefore they demand love and respect from those around them and strive to control everything around them.

If you look at negative people from this point of view, it becomes clear that their negativity is an almost undisguised cry for help. Of course, these people do not help themselves in any way, demonstrating their plight and the desire to control everyone - they would have been much more successful in trying to win love, respect and the right to control if they realized that demonstrating their plight and showing a desire to control everyone is doomed to failure. - but the fact remains: negatively minded people need help.

An obvious but ultimately counterproductive way to help these people is to give them the love, respect, and control they want. However, this can turn out to be a very slippery slope, because over time people adapt to new conditions, and soon those around them will be forced to show even more ardent love, respect and provide these people with even more control in order to make them happy. In other words, by fulfilling their wishes, you may be creating a Frankenstein who will return to haunt you with renewed vigor.

An alternative solution is to get negative people to find the sources of their negativity and understand that their negativity is more a reflection of their attitude to the world than the objective state of things. Meanwhile, as I already wrote in my other article, people are rarely able to adequately respond to critical statements, and those who are negatively inclined are most likely not to listen to them at all, let alone take them into account.

This leaves you with only three options. First, you can bite the bullet, face this negativity and hope that the person in front of you will someday change. The second option is to try to find a professional consultant or intermediary (for example, a mutual friend) and hope that the opinion of the “third party” will help the person understand that his negativity does not benefit anyone.

However, these two options are unlikely to solve the underlying problem. In the first case, when you grit your teeth and hope that a negative person will eventually begin to perceive the world around him in a positive way, your passivity can serve as proof that his negativity is justified. Over time, this will lead to the growth and tightening of requirements against you and, if you are unable to meet these requirements, to new complaints against you.

One of the arguments against the second course of action is that negative people often tend to evade the problem under the guise of indignation and the alleged unfairness of the claims - "everyone around, even my best friends, are opposed to me!" Even if a third party manages to show a negative person that his worldview is unproductive, this is unlikely to change the situation. This happens because the mere recognition of the problem is not enough to solve it: for this it is necessary to change the subconscious thought patterns that underlie the negative worldview.

This brings us to the third and, from my point of view, the most reasonable course of action in a society of negative people. In short, this option involves three elements: empathy for the negative person, taking responsibility for your own happiness regardless of the negative attitude of a loved one, and the maturity of your relationship with the negative person.

Sympathy rarely, if ever, involves giving a negative person advice to change their behavior. It also completely excludes reading lectures about the sources of their negativity. As I wrote above, most of us are not ready to listen to negative and critical statements - especially negative people. It can be quite difficult for you not to react to such a person, especially if their negativity hits you to the core. However, remember that if you tell him everything to his face, this will not help solve the problem, but only aggravate it. It is also worth remembering that while you have to deal with a negative person only occasionally, he has to deal with himself all the time! This thought can help you feel compassion for that person.

The second element, taking responsibility for your own positive attitude, suggests that you must do everything possible to protect your own happiness. If you are unable to maintain a positive attitude and calmness, then all is lost. In one of my articles, I gave some advice on how you can take responsibility for your happiness. In short, this requires starting to think more positively about the world around you, but this may not be enough if you have to constantly deal with negative flows: you may need regular rest from and communication with a negative person in order to remain calm. Of course, if you want to regularly take a break from him, you will have to come up with a plausible explanation - you do not want the person close to you to think that you are avoiding him.

The third element, maturity, implies the understanding that the most effective way to turn such a person into a positive mood is to become the embodiment of a positive attitude. For example, if you accuse a negative person of making you see the world around you in gloomy colors, this will not help. Imagine the irony of a situation when you advise a person to "stop blaming others for your negative worldview", while blaming him for ruining your mood.

How can one show one's positive attitude towards the world in such a way as to make a negatively inclined person adopt it, without descending to lectures and moralizing?

To do this, you need to learn - as far as possible - to behave like a person who is in absolute safety. That is, to behave like a person whom other people love and respect and who controls all important aspects of the life of others. This means: do not let the negativity of others interfere with your natural desire to make your dreams come true, do not be afraid to take justified risks, trust other people. However, you should not do all this just to annoy a negatively minded person or prove to him that you are right. It is best to behave naturally, so that spontaneity, positive attitude and trust in relation to other people become your integral features. Then, if a negative person allows himself to make a skeptical or cynical remark - and he will definitely make it - take the opportunity and explain to him why you are doing this and not otherwise.

For example, if such a person warns you about the futility of your pursuit of a dream, let him know that you perceive your chances of success differently, or tell him that you would rather try and fail than give up on your dream altogether. If a negative person warns you about the catastrophic consequences of what you consider a worthwhile risk, answer him calmly: "Well, we'll see what happens." Let's hope that as a result of this risky venture you will not suffer any losses and gain new valuable experience. Over time, the negative person will have to admit that although you are much more risk-averse, you are still not reckless. Finally, if a negative person is chastising you for trusting people too much, ask them to remind you of times when others took advantage of your gullibility to your detriment. (Hopefully there were very few or none of these cases, because otherwise the negative person may be right in saying that you are overly trusting.) You can also safely point to the research results: to form strong and deep relationships , it is necessary to trust close people. (Hopefully, you can boast of a closer friendship than your interlocutor who perceives the world around him in a negative way.)

Although it may take you a long time to see any results, sooner or later they will appear. Changes will come at an extremely slow pace, but if they happen, they will be fixed for a long time. The truth is that people like the company of positive people, so even a negative person will sooner or later appreciate your positive attitude towards the world. People also really like to experience positive emotions. Therefore, if a negative person absorbs your positivity in your presence, at some point he will begin to appreciate himself more, and this in turn will lead to the fact that he will begin to trust others more and look to the future with greater optimism.

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