Image: Esther Santer
Being around negative people can influence your performance, whether this is in your business, job or relationships. A daily dose of negative vibes can cause stress, anxiety and influence your thinking.
You can’t always control your environment and who you are surrounded with. However, if your environment seems to be ‘killing you softly’, it’s probably time you learn how to kill the negativity before it kills you. So how do you recognise negative people?
Negative people come in all shapes and sizes, no matter their ethnicity or background. You can recognise a negative person by a few patterns and characteristics that will keep popping up when you’re around them:
- They are always worried
Due to their need to always be in control, whenever they’re not, they are always on edge and worried.
- They are extremely sensitive
Negative people can make fun of others but can barely take a joke themselves. They are easily offended and interpret innocent remarks as an attack against them.
- They always stay in their comfort zone
It’s very rare to see a negative person move to a new place or do something new. Negative people don’t like to operate outside of their comfort zone due to their extreme fear of failure.
- They can’t take advice
Negative people love to give others advice. However, they can barely take advice nor do they apply their own advice.
- They always have a ‘but’
Due to their lack of not being able to try something new, negative people will always answer/reply with a ‘but’. But what if it doesn’t work out? But what if this or that happens?
So how do you remain positive when dealing with negative people? Probably very straightforward, but sometimes easier said than done…
1) Focus on positive things
Remaining positive around negative people is not an easy thing to do. It takes work to shift your focus and not allow negativity to affect your entire day. It also requires you to be aware of your own ‘positive’ triggers.
For example, if you’re having to deal with negative people at work you could use your lunch break to recharge and do the following:
- Read a good book
- Listen to uplifting music
- Listen to your favourite podcasts
It may sound cheesy but I always print out inspirational quotes and stick them around my desk. You can’t control your environment, but you do determine how it affects you.
2) Disengage yourself from conflict
The more you’re able to stay away from the unnecessary drama the better. It’s okay to disengage yourself from conversations that will not edify, inspire or motivate you. Having to deal with drama on a daily basis actually requires a lot of energy.
Have you ever been around those people who always seem to attract drama wherever they are? And just because you happen to be around them their drama now becomes your drama? And have you stopped talking to some people in your circle just because they had an issue with them?
Exactly. Those are the kind of people you need to keep at an arm’s length if you want to have a positive and drama free life.
3) Set your boundaries
“Negative individuals have a problem for every solution”
Research shows that people are naturally wired to emphasise negative things rather than the positive. This study also reveals that adopting a negative perspective is, therefore, more contagious than adopting positive thinking. So when dealing with negative people it’s even more important to learn how to set your boundaries.
Don’t allow negative people to kill your confidence and shut down your ideas. If they feed you with thoughts like… ‘but what if this or that doesn’t work?’ Just hit reply with ‘but what if it does?’. Unfortunately, negative individuals have a problem for every solution. Protect your energy and be wise about how you associate yourself with them.