Psychology

Identifying and Dealing with Negative People



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People who are always negative can be unpleasant to spend time with and, if possible, the best advice is to try and avoid them. You know the type-they'll take a positive and give it a negative spin. You may walk into the office and comment on what a lovely, sunshine-filled day it is and they'll say that the sun made them squint while drving into work. You'll say that you're glad it's Friday and they'll say, they've just got chores to do around the house over the weekend anyway. They're the "eeyores" in your life. Negative people are all around you. So, how do you deal with them? I suppose there are a number of ways. As stated in the beginning, you can avoid them. That's probably the best, if most difficult, way. You can play into their negativity. The most brazen way would be to try to cheer them up. How you deal with them depends on context. Is this someone you have to face every day? If so, you may have to put in a little more effort than if this is just a passing situation.

While the most sound advice is to just avoid the negative nellies in your life, it may also be the most impractical. Are these negative people involved in your everyday life? Do you work with them? Go to school with them? Avoidance may be out of the question. Still, if it is possible, spending minimal time with the negative ones may be the best thing for you.

If you're strong-willed enough, playing into the hands of someone who's always negative can be a form of entertainment. Take the above-mentioned example in which the negative person complained that this weekend, all they had to do were chores around the house. Just to mess with them, you can say, "Yeah. I know what you mean. Mowing the lawn. Laundry. Who needs it? I'd much rather wake up early and come into work." If you can work in a good eye roll with this message, that will help sell the sarcasm. The only problem with this method is, if you feed into the other's negativity for too long, you can often end up feeling negative yourself-sapped of energy and just unpleasant to be around. Don't let playing into a negative person's behavior turn you into a negative person.

Perhaps the best, and most obnoxious, way to deal with a negative nelly is to do exactly what they do-in reverse. Let them say their little negative twists and you can turn it into a positive. Nothing irritates a negative person more than positive energy. It drives them crazy-and can be equally as entertaining as playing into their misery.

Like most potentially negative aspects in life, people who spread negative energy everywhere they go can be frustrating, to say the least. However you choose to handle the situation, whether by avoidance, playing the game or cheering them up, the most important thing to remember is this. In the end, you don't want to be like they are.

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