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How to Deal with Negative People: 10 Strategies for Dealing with Them

In order to deal with negative people in your life you must treat them the way we want to be treated. Blocking them from your life isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Learn to distance yourself, but keep everyone within reach.

How to deal with negative people

Block out the bad, let in the good. Humans are like plants going through photosynthesis. We thrive on bright positive energy and wilt in the shade. A little bit of negativity doesn't hurt, but not to the point where it runs your life.

Young woman blowing on a dandellion.

Strategies to deal with negative people

1. Avoid arguments

2. Stay in groups

3. Don't be serious

4. Be Nice

5. Timing is important

6. Boundaries

7. Support

8. Objectivity

9. Reduce contact

10. Keep it positive

Do You Feel the Weight of Others' Negativity Dragging You Down? Learn How to Deal with Negative People and Make More Room for Positivity

Listening to negative opinions all day is like a dark cloud following you around wherever you go. You can never quite relax because it can start raining at any time. The solution to how to deal with negative people? Bring an umbrella.

1. Avoid an Argument at All Costs

broken egg

No matter what you say, it's a lose-lose situation. Whether you are right or wrong, they will end up losing respect for you afterwards. Negative people just want to be negative, so you are going to let them do that. Never stoop down to their level or pick a fight because you are tired of them bringing you down. The way to solve it is through peace and understanding. If you nod your head and remain silent, they won't pursue the topic further.

Agree with Them — Even if you don't necessarily agree with their negative point of view, the key is to smile and nod always. Don't feed their innate desire to pick a fight and just let them win, always. It's not worth the possible argument that could arise by disagreeing with them. If you are someone with strong views, then pick and choose your battles. If someone is insecure and negative, then choose to treat them with kindness rather than contempt. Keep your real feelings about them to yourself.

Keep the Conversation Light — In order to minimize their constant complaints, take notes on how to deal with negative people by keeping the conversation light and fun. Laugh a lot and make many jokes. Poke fun at their thinking, but not so much that they get offended. If you play off their negativity in a positive light, you are taking stress off of yourself and also encouraging them to see the brighter side of life. Negative people are more likely to like you because you don't feed into their negativity. You will make them feel good.

2. Don't Hang Around Them in Isolation

two people standing in meadow

When you already know someone is negative, be around them only in groups. If you are isolated or one on one with a negative person, all of their negativity is directed towards you. In groups of three or more, some of the negative load is taken off of you. It's also more fun to hang out in groups. Certain people are less likely to be negative when there are many people around.

3. Don't Take Them Seriously

funny face woman

Negative people are there for your enjoyment. It's normal to have to listen to things you don't want to hear, but reacting to them might cause regret later. You listen to them, nod, but don't take any of their opinions to heart. It benefits you to ignore the negative comments and agree with anything that's positive. Empathizing and encouraging them to change their negative habits is the key on how to deal with negative people. You might not change their negative habits, but at least you will change the way they act around you.

4. Talk Nicely

Compliments, no matter how cheesy, cannot be overused. Saying nice things to the point where that's all you are saying, will completely change the mindset of the person you are talking to. Of course you should be kind to everyone you are talking to, but negative people need kindness the most. Because they have a negative mindset, you should make it your prerogative to turn it into a positive mindset. You do that through forcing them to let their guard down. You are killing their negativity with kindness.

Everyone Wants to be Liked — If you can show him that you like him without saying it, you are projecting your happiness onto them. They will be likely to show you the same kindness in the future rather than the usual negativity they are usually spewing. Love is the key to anyone's heart. So, make them feel wanted, rather than just another person in your life who shares their negativity.

5. Choose the Right Time to Talk to Them

Have you noticed that talking to a negative person can leave you emotionally drained after the conversation? Learn from your previous mistakes and talk to them only if you have nothing important to do afterwards. The same way certain people are intellectually stimulating and you can talk to them for hours. If you have a busy schedule, then say so. You can choose when to talk to negative people so that it fits your schedule, rather than fitting your schedule around their needs.

Know When to End the Conversation — If you can't get them to stop complaining, you should find a break in the conversation to excuse yourself. The worst thing to do when asking how to deal with negative people is to let their problems affect you in any way. Then all of a sudden their problems become your problems too. Rather than focus your energy on their problems, offer them solutions. Even if they don't take your advice, they will appreciate the thought.

Remain Detached from the Outcome — To keep your positive mental health, you have to be completely detached emotionally when someone begins speaking negatively. If you're not, you could carry that negativity in your next conversation. It's those emotions people stir up in you that you have to be conscious of. Be aware when you are in a negative mood and when you are in a positive mood and keep track of the effect that certain people have on you.

6. Set Boundaries

Never accept being pushed around like some stuffed animal. Nobody deserves the rights to you or your space. So set boundaries to law down the law before anything erupts. This way, people will know where you stand before they even rub you the wrong way. Be firm with your approach and get used to saying the words, "No, sorry". Keep it simple when you shoot negative friends down. You don't want to rub salt in their wounds. You simply want to keep the atmosphere positive and live your life the way you want without distractions. Negative people typically won't accept your boundaries unless you firmly plant your foot down and don't budge an inch for them. Never feel pressured to have to listen to someone talk negatively. You don't need to be rude about it, but politely tell them that you are busy at the moment. You must let them know about your boundaries before they cross them or they will just keep doing it again and again.

7. Gain a Supportive Following

Having a big following is a way to avoid negative people trying to force their way into your life. They see you are a popular person and that intimidates them from being negative around you because they fear that your supporters will find out. The reason why people are negative around each other is because they don't respect each other. In order to gain respect before even meeting someone, you should have a support system in place. You are a popular and important person. People will think twice before being negative around you because they respect and fear your following too much to make mistakes around you.

8. Objectify Their Critical Comments

By objectifying their words instead of taking them as personal attacks, you are doing your part in ensuring you reputation stays intact. Your goal shouldn't be to try and change their negative attitude, as that is usually a futile attempt. Your goal should be to keep yourself open enough to allow people into your life but guarded enough to deflect negativity away from you like it's a pesky insect. Keep your positive aura at all times and don't let him get to you. Observe his behavior: if he speaks the same negative way to other people as he does to you, then he has nothing against you. There is no reason to take negative comments from a negative person personally. It is simply the way they are, so accept it and move on. There are many people in the world.

9. Drop Him Like a Bad Habit

If worse comes to worst, then it should be time to think about letting him go from your life. Some people know nothing more than dragging other people down with them like an anchor on a ship. Unless you want to remain stationary and never move forward, you need to drop the dead weight before the it spreads to other parts of your life. To do this, begin reducing contact. Distance yourself slowly to the point where it's not noticeable. Then start increasing the time apart until they start to forget about you. Sometimes it can be hard if that person is close to you. But you will start noticing the positive changes it will make in your life shortly after.

10. Keep the topic positive

Negative people feed on negative energy and if you give them an inch they will take a mile. That is why you keep the conversation fun and light while avoiding any negative topics.

Why are some people so negative?

Take a course in how to deal with negative people. Not everyone is negative, but everyone has some negativity held inside. Some people are so negative because they haven't learned to control it yet. Hence, there are many benefits of knowing how to deal with negativity. It will help you with friends, family, and in relationships. Also, you may find reasons to date a nice guy and quit bad boys for good just as helpful. Good luck dealing with negative people.

By Kacia Nall

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