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In this post, you’ll learn 12 ways to deal with negative people in a way that is kind and loving, so you can stay on your path of positivity!
One of the more difficult parts of beginning a journey of self-discovery and personal growth is that not everyone in your life is going to play along. Everyone is on their own journey and 99.9% of the time it’s going to look nothing like yours.
Just because you decide to be more positive, doesn’t mean everyone else is suddenly more positive too. Just because you’ve decided to follow your big dreams, doesn’t mean everyone is going to be cheering for your success on the sidelines. Just because you’ve decided to believe in a higher power and cultivate a relationship with the Universe, doesn’t mean the people in your life are going to all of a sudden foster the same beliefs as you. As a
No matter what you do, where you go, or how spiritual you may be — you will always come into contact with negative people. In order to show up as your best self and not get thrown off your own path of positivity, it’s nice to have some strategies to rely on when you cross paths with someone who might not be quite as lighthearted as you.
Learn 12 ways to deal with negetive people below
1. Walk away and pray
The first tip for dealing with negative people is to just walk away. This, of course, is only an option if the negative person is a stranger and you have no reason to ever see them again. So for this, let’s just assume the negative person you’ve come in contact with is a stranger — a cashier at a store, a teller at a bank, a rude driver, etc. The best thing you can do when you encounter a negative stranger is just let it go and walk away because you will most likely never see this person again.
Spending any of your energy being rude back, defending yourself, or getting offended is just pointless. Countering their negativity with your own not only makes the situation worse, but you bring the guilt of being negative with you for the rest of the day. All for a person you’ll never see again.
However, just because you won’t see them again doesn’t mean that they aren’t a human being that deserves just as much respect as you. There is probably a really good, and possibly painful reason they were being negative. That’s why any time you walk away from a negative person, take a moment to send love and light their way. Pray for their highest good. If you don’t believe in praying, just ask the universe to guide them to any help they might need. Next time you encounter a negative stranger, take a deep breath, let it go, and send some love their way.
2. Understand the reason for their negativity
People don’t have a pessimistic outlook on life or treat people badly because they are well-adjusted, happy people. On the contrary, negative people are dealing with their own fear, pain, and struggles. Treating people poorly, seeing the world as doomed, and living in a state of negativity is just a coping mechanism. It’s the natural way in which we try to protect ourselves and deflect our pain. If we don’t take the time to uncover our pain and take healthy steps to heal it, then we just deflect on autopilot. That’s what negative people are doing; they are protecting themselves by blaming other people for their problems and habitually reacting from a place of fear.
When you are around negative friends, family, or co-workers and feel frustrated or drained by their energy, you can take away the power they have over you by understanding the reasons for their negativity. When you realize that negative people are suffering or hurting in some way, it’s easier to not let their words and actions trigger you. It’s easier to stay on your own path when you know that the negativity with which they speak is not the truth. It is not your truth and it is not their truth, it’s a survival mechanism. Simply having this understanding helps you see negative people in a better light and as a result, you are less affected.
3. Respond with empathy and compassion
Now that you understand why negative people are the way they are, you can respond to them more thoughtfully and with more empathy and compassion. Most of the time when people are negative, especially if you are dedicated to being a more positive happy person, it can really get under your skin. I know when I’m feeling really great about life and I come in contact with a negative person, I get annoyed or defensive. I want to grab these people by their shoulders, shake them, and scream, “Do you hear yourself?! Do you hear the awful things you’re saying?! Why are you being so mean!? Why are you being so judgmental?!”
It’s so easy to let negative people lower your mood and when that happens it can be pretty frustrating. However, being aware of the reasons why people are negative gives you the opportunity to respond with empathy and compassion instead of getting annoyed and defensive.
For example, let’s say you decide to write a book. It’s taken you years to gain the confidence and courage to take the leap. You are fired up and ready to take on the publishing world. So, next time you see your Grandma you excitedly share your big plans and she responds, “You know how hard it is to write a book? Even if you do write one the chances of getting published are slim to none. And you’d be really lucky if you ever even sold one!” Instead of letting her negativity completely crush your dreams causing you to respond with anger or become defensive, take a moment and think.
Maybe she’s never seen someone succeed before and she’s afraid you’ll fail. Maybe she loves you so much and doesn’t want you hurt and to deter you from taking the risk is her best line of defense. Then you can say, ”Thank you for worrying about me. I know writing a book is hard, but I’m willing to do the work. I’ll never know if I never try.” That’s so much better than getting angry, starting a fight, or feeling defeated. Next time you perceive someone as being negative, put yourself in their shoes and see if there is a deeper meaning behind their words and actions that will allow you to respond with compassion.
4. Listen, rant, and agree
I recently watched a Gabby Bernstein video, where she shared a great way to deal with negative people who are complaining or going on a pessimistic rant, and that was to listen, rant with them, and agree. When I first heard this, I was like, “Ummm what? I don’t want to feed into someones negative energy like that!” However, if done correctly, you won’t be feeding their negative energy at all. You’ll actually be freeing them from it.
For instance, if someone you know is constantly complaining about how tired and sick they feel and inside all you can think is, “Duh, of course, you always feel tired and sick you’re constantly affirming it for yourself!” Instead of actually saying that or offering solutions, just say, ”It must be really hard to feel that tired all the time. That really sucks that you feel so sick.” Notice that you’re not agreeing with their negativity by talking about your own issues, you are keeping the attention on them
This essentially reflects their negativity back to them, but not in a mean way. It helps them to see their situation more clearly and then want to make a change. You’re not belittling their feelings, fighting with them, or trying to say you have a better way to solve their problems. You’re just agreeing with how they feel about their situation. Then they can say, “Wow. This really is hard. This really does suck. I don’t want to feel this way anymore.” Simply listening and agreeing neutralizes the situation and you can move forward without ever having to get off your positivity train.
n’t take it personally
One of the worst things you can do when you encounter negative people is taking it personally. If you’ve read any of the other tips above, you know that negative people are fighting their own battles and it has nothing to do with you. If you’ve ever read The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, then you know the second agreement is “Don’t take anything personally.” Dealing with negative people is the best time to keep that agreement at the forefront of your mind. Don explains that even if someone directly insults you, it’s still not about you — it’s about them.
For example, if one of your friends is really rude to you one day for seemingly no reason, don’t immediately think it’s because you must have said or done something wrong. Realize that they must be going through something and it has nothing to do with you. When someone is mean to us or insults us its human nature to want to defend ourselves. Or if you’re a sensitive person like I am, you’ll feel attacked and want to retreat to protect yourself. It’s in those moments that we have to realize that whatever the other person is feeling has everything to do with what’s going on in their mind and nothing to do with us.
Not taking anything personally, even direct insults or comments, will free you from unnecessary suffering. That does not mean it’s easy though, it definitely takes practice and persistence to not let other peoples actions affect our own confidence or self-love. However, it’s so worth it and it’s the best way to protect your happiness and positivity in the face of a negative person.
6. Don’t blame yourself
This one goes along with the last one. While we don’t want to blame others for the way they make us feel, we also don’t want to blame ourselves for their negativity. We want to stay away from thinking that the reason someone is so mad, rude, depressed, sad, and mean is our fault in some way. If someone is in a negative mood, it’s because they allowed themselves to get to that place, consciously or subconsciously.
This one is especially important when dealing with close family and friends. We tend to worry more about how our actions are affecting the ones we love and when we think we are at fault for putting someone in a bad mood, we can take it personally and blame ourselves. Unless you intentionally tried to hurt someone you love or you know 110% that something you did unintentionally hurt someone, don’t blame yourself for somebody else’s negativity.
7. Take an honest look at yourself
Sometimes negative people are triggering us for a reason. When a negative person is really getting under your skin, take it as an opportunity to uncover something about yourself. Is your reaction to this negative person shining a light on your own judgments, assumptions, and insecurities? Is this person really being that negative or are you just perceiving them that way? Take a moment to turn the attention to yourself when you encounter a negative person and look at it as an opportunity for growth.
Ask yourself why is what this person is saying or doing affecting me so much? Maybe the sheer fact of them being negative is reflecting your own negativity back to you and making you uncomfortable. If you really want to learn to take a hard, honest look at yourself — your judgments, assumptions, and insecurities — I highly recommend reading Judgment Detox by Gabby Bernstein. She really shows you how to peel back your layers and then discover why certain people’s words or actions can be triggers.
8. Follow your path with passion
It’s really easy to let other peoples negative opinions sway you off your path. Let’s be honest, most of the time it’s less like a sway and more like a strong kick! Nobody wants to have their passions, dreams, ideas, or beliefs squashed by someone, even if that someone is trying to help in a roundabout way or facing struggles of their own. Even when you’re really good at not accepting someones negative energy, the harsh stab of a critical, demeaning or rude opinion is still painful. However, in the face of that pain, you have to keep following your own path with passion!
Every time someone kicks you off your path, get right back on. Follow your passions, fight for your dreams, make your ideas a reality, and stand up for your beliefs. Not with more negativity, anger, jealousy, or fear. But with dedication, excitement, hope, and love. A million people can knock you off your path, but the only person who can keep you on it is you.
9. Protect your energy
I’m about to get into some “woo woo” stuff, so if that’s not your thing, skip ahead. Okay, there are a couple of metaphysical ways to protect your energy from people’s negative energy. One, you can carry or wear crystals. There are certain crystals and stones that are known for their ability to absorb or deflect negative energy. If you know you’re going see someone whose negativity usually gets to you, wear a crystal necklace or put a crystal in your pocket. If you’re curious about crystals, check out this great article on 5 crystals that protect you from negative energy.
Another thing you can do to protect your energy is a little energy medicine exercise called The Zip Up. Running up the front of your body is your central meridian where all your chakras lineup. By pretending to zip up the front of your body from your pelvic bone to your bottom lip, you are essentially closing up your energy so it can’t be touched. I’ve used this technique on many occasions and it really works. For a demonstration, check out this video.
10. Be the most positive person in the room
Have you ever noticed how when you spend a lot of time with a negative person, you start to feel like your energy is literally getting sucked out of you – like you feel a heaviness you can’t explain? On the other hand, when you spend a lot of time with a positive person, you feel happier and lighter?
Be the most positive person in the room! Be the light that makes people happier, not the darkness that brings people down. The negative people might get annoyed because your energy is so different from theirs it makes them uncomfortable. They might even say or do something to purposely try to make you give in to negativity so they feel more comfortable. Don’t give in! Eventually, they’re going to start feeding off your energy without even knowing it.
11. Have some alone time
Another thing you can do if you find yourself surrounded by really negative people or you’re with a negative person for a long period of time — spend some time alone. Remove yourself from the situation or away from the negative person and find a safe place where you can be all alone. Sit in silence, meditate, read, or listen to music, whatever it takes to recharge and regroup. Remind yourself of who you are and what you believe
12. Take responsibility for your own positivity and happiness
You cannot rely on others to always be positive so it’s easier for you to stay that way. You have to take responsibility for your own positivity and happiness. It’s up to you to cultivate awareness and mindfulness so you don’t react to negative people with negativity, but instead have space to respond with love and compassion. It’s up to you to uncover your own wounds and heal them so you’re not easily triggered by others. It’s up to you to practice using these tools, so they get easier and easier over time. Take it upon yourself to protect your own positive energy and happiness.
Being around negative people is not easy when you are on a mission to be a kind, happy, positive person. It’s easier just to give in to the negativity and fight back with even more negativity, but we all know that only makes it worse. However, using the 12 tips for dealing with negative people above, you’ll be able to protect yourself from negativity with kindness and love. You’ll be able to stay on your path and be the most positive person in the room, even when negative people try to bring you down.