Psychology

Identifying and Dealing with Negative People



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Negative people. Certainly the bane of the existence of those of us who operate within a positive mindset. Every person knows one or two of these pessimistic individuals, and we will certainly meet many more throughout the course of our lives. They are the people who consistently see the glass as half-empty. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for them, no dawn to be hoped for after the darkness, and no silver lining to be found in the clouds. The minor inconveniences of life become major catastrophes for them, and the tiny molehills grow into enormous mountains. They find much to complain about, and they seem to be grateful for very little. Furthermore, their attitudes frustratingly rub off on those who have the misfortune of being in close proximity to them. Now that we are fully aware of who these individuals are, how do we successfully deal with them?

The most important point to remember when dealing with negative personalities is that, for whatever reason, people such as these are intensely dissatisfied and unhappy with their lives. And, as we all know, misery does indeed love company. Therefore, it is essential to be mindful of the possibility that people with negativity deeply ingrained within themselves have most likely been practicing it for a lifetime. Much in the same way that any behavior or attitude, when practiced with enough frequency, will become a comfortable habit, even when detrimental, such is the case with negativity. Negative individuals can be frustrating to those who tend to think more positively, but they can become easier to deal with when we try to understand the reasons behind their manner of thinking. For example, perhaps life has been unfair to them, and tragedies and misfortunes have met them at every turn. It is also important to remember that many people are afraid to be positive and hopeful because they fear the disappointment they might experience if circumstances do not work out in their favor. In short, the reasons for negative attitudes can be as varied as the individuals themselves, but understanding the hidden truths and meanings behind their masks of negativity can benefit both them and those around them.

Furthermore, it is sometimes possible to help those who are extremely negative by talking to them about the beneficial aspects of positive thinking. Oftentimes, the simple fact is that their negativity is actively breeding more negativity, and unfortunately, they have become trapped within its endless cycle. However, because the same principal holds true for positivity as well, a simple change in their way of thinking can, and often does, make the difference for them. As Norman Vincent Peale, the great proponent of positive thinking, once said, "If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind".

Finally, viewing negative people with compassion and tolerance can go a long way toward gaining insight into their feelings, and toward finding a more productive approach for dealing with them. In the majority of cases, we might find that our time, attention, and ability to listen will bring about a positive change for an individual who has been living under the dark cloud of negativity.

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