Psychology

Identifying and Dealing with Negative People



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It takes all sorts to make a world, so I recall reading somewhere. When making any decision, it's important to do your homework, particularly where the decision is a big one, such as a change of career; but then I know of plenty of people who've made snap decisions or those based on gut-instinct who've come out smelling of roses the other side.

When you are planning on doing something, people with negative behaviour patterns do have a tendency to give you their thoughts, usually at that critical moment when you're preparing to jump or move into action. An example is the woman who may have raised a family at home; she may be thinking about getting a job; but those around her who've come to depend on her being at home to make their lives easier, as they know they can call on her for favors, may try to paint a dreary picture of finding work. "Mrs T from Number 38, she's been looking for a job for a year and hasn't found anything," the negative person may say gloomily, leaving the woman returner thinking, "what chance have I got then?"

When a negative person makes a comment, if it's about a decision you're making, then ask themselves what they know about the move you are about to make. What evidence do they have to back up any generalization or claim they make? In the case quoted above, has the negative person got experience of the particular area of work the woman returner wants to go into? The sector she is looking to work for may be particularly keen to welcome the more mature worker with open arms.

So look to see what evidence negative people have of the situation you are trying to make head-way in. Most of the time, they will be basing their comments on generalizations and those won't get you anywhere. They may make you think more carefully, which is never a bad thing, and pose questions for you to ask of those who have already got to where you want to be.

There's another issue; negative people who are slowing you down as you try to process may well have their own agenda in stopping you get there. In the case quoted above, it may well suit the woman returner's friends, neighbors and family that she does not work - she is free to meet their most urgent needs - so they try to put her off. Look at comments people are making and where they are coming from - it will be easier for you to stand clear of them and move forward.

In the case of this woman returner, she needs to make sure that she is spending enough time of positive people who believe strongly in what she is doing and this may well involve tapping into support in her family and friends network, but it may also mean tapping into people with an impartial position.

Many negative people may be jealous of the fact you have goals and want to make changes in your life, but don't let them stop you. Be open about the path you are taking, and share your strategies with them. They may be inspired by your get-up-and-go and start doing something for themselves. Lead by example!

Keep your mind firmly on your end goal, and get to where you want to be, however long it takes. Seek advice, listen to what is being said at the place where you want to go; and focus your attentions on getting there. Park negative people aside; put them in a caravan or mobile home in your mind, and watch them being towed away. You deserve to succeed and achieve what you want in life.

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More about this author: Sally Longson

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