Negative people – Don’t you just love them…
There will always be some people in your life that put a negative spin on everything. We all know at least one person who, no matter what you tell them, always see the negative aspects – and points them out. Spending time with people like that can be draining, and it is hard to stay positive about something if you have someone there, pointing out the negatives at every opportunity. I have people like that in my family, in my circle of friends and work colleagues… The trick is deciding which of these people you can block out of your life, and how you can deal with the ones you can’t.
Let’s start with the people you can block out of your life. I have a friend that I recently cut from my life… Now this wasn’t just a casual acquaintance. We had been friends for over twenty years’ so I felt like I had to keep this person in my life even though I really wasn’t enjoying her company any more. I would dread our weekly telephone conversations, often cutting them short by pretending there was someone at my front door. You might be thinking what an awful friend I am, but this person was greatly affecting my mental state. Every time we spoke she would have a different illness (never confirmed by a doctor) and she would go on for hours moaning about this and that. She was in a much better financial situation to myself and sitting there listening to her moan about not having enough money drove me crazy. If I tried to lift the conversation by telling her about one of my goals or something I was working on, she would either ignore it or belittle it… When I first started Dream Plan Achieve she literally laughed in my face and told me I was wasting my time. On the flip-side, whenever I felt like I needed a bit of a moan about something, she would go on and on about how happy she was and how well she was doing in the area I was struggling in. This had turned into a toxic relationship without me even realising. This went for a number of years and I kept on making the weekly calls and going to visit her just because I thought that was what a good friend does… I put her before my own wellbeing.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised I didn’t have to have this person in my life anymore. I wasn’t married to her and we had no ties… I could just cut her off whenever I felt like it, and I could do it without shame or guilt because I was protecting my own wellbeing. This also goes for family members. Just because you share DNA with someone, it doesn’t automatically give them the right to be in your life, especially if it affecting your wellbeing in a negative way. I realise that saying it is much easier than actually doing it, but it doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be cruel or blunt about it. Gradually reduce time spent with that person and let the relationship fade naturally over time.
For the people we can’t just cut out of our lives, for different reasons, learning how to cope and deal with these people is paramount. For example, I work part-time as a senior carer at weekends, and when I am working the night shift I often have to work with a particularly negative person. I can’t cut this person out of my life because I can’t choose who I work with, but I can control how I react to this person and learn not to absorb that negative energy. This particular person likes to scroll through news stories from around the world, finding the most upsetting and catastrophic to share with me. This person also likes to bombard me with negative facts and statistics relating to anything we are working on. At first, this affected me a lot. I would finish a twelve-hour shift feeling emotionally drained and not looking forward to my next shift. Now I have learned how to deal with this person, I am much happier and I look forward to work again. One technique I use is to reply to every negative comment or story with something positive. This usually works, but on the occasions it doesn’t, I just completely ignore the negative comment and walk away. By using these two simple techniques, it throws this person off-beat and I find that the rest of my shift is much more positive.
Using positivity to balance negativity is a simple, but effective method for dealing with negative people, and when all else fails, choose to ignore and walk away.
What are your tips for dealing with negative people? Leave a comment below or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org