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How to deal with negative people in your life...

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

Each day there is an onslaught of unwelcome negativity in our lives. Whether we are conscious of it or not, it takes a toll on our positive well being. You might start the day with an optimistic outlook, only to have it crushed by a negative person.

The most significant contributor is often negative people in our daily relationships. It can be a complaining co-worker, exhausting family member, or a Debbie Downer friend.

For example, I previously had a friend who spent all our time together complaining about her life. She always did 90% of the talking and had an extremely negative outlook on life. Not only did she complain nonstop, she never asked me about my life. Every time I saw her, I was physically exhausted and drained from seeing her. This person can also be called an energy vampire. The point here is to choose friendships that benefit you. You should feel happy and uplifted after seeing a friend, not drained. It is okay to limit or remove a person like this from your life without feeling bad.

If this is not someone you can unfriend, try seeing them on a limited basis. When they start complaining, it is also okay to interject positive dialogue and even change the subject. Soon, they will get the hint that you are not just a dumpster for their negativity. It is also certainly okay to be completely honest and tell them how you really feel. A true friend will respect your honesty, and hopefully, they will change for the better.

Now, it gets a little more challenging when it comes to the workplace and family. While we can remove unwanted friends from our lives, we cannot usually do this with family and

co-workers. It is also the case that you might not like these people, but you are often required to interact with them. It is essential to set a boundary and even avoid interaction with them if possible. If you do have interactions with them, keep it short and cordial. Find a polite excuse to walk away or disconnect a call. These people often try to drag you down into their negativity because misery loves company. You have to be mindful of this, and pull away from them as quickly as possible. The more you engage with them, the more they can drain your energy. Don't let these people drag you down and affect your mood and well-being.

Remember, YOU control your thoughts and feelings, not these people. There are many ways to overcome a hostile environment quickly. Here are some examples:

  • listening to your favorite music

  • calling or visiting an uplifting friend or loved one

  • watching a favorite movie or show

  • taking a mindful walk or drive in nature

  • doing a 10-minute meditation

Be well, stay POSITIVE, and have a great day!

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