How to deal with negative people - 5 practical tips that work

how to deal with negative people

Dealing with negative people can be tiring

Negative people influence how you feel. And if you work hard to be more positive thinking, you will notice that negative people eat your energy and drag you back down to the darkness that you are swimming away from.

But you have no control over other people. So how can you deal with negative people in a way that works? How do you prevent yourself from becoming exhausted and negative?

These tips will help you on your way. You can try them out today and discover that - with a little attention and love - you can deal positively with negative people.

1. Move the conversation away from negative topics

Negative people use your attention to park their misery with you. They want to tell their story and often remain stuck in negativity, powerlessness and the victim role.
Let the other person tell her story and listen with attention, but do not let the negativity continue unbridled. Use smart conversation techniques to help the other get rid of negativity.

How can you do this? For instance:
  • “I can imagine that this is difficult for you. Oh dear. Well, enough misery! Let's talk about something nice, where did you go on vacation again? "
  • "Gosh, that sounds intense. How did you feel afterward? "
  • "What are you going to do about it?"
  • "On another note…"
  • "Well, all that misery. But luckily everything went well for the rest. "
Negative people often tend to always talk about a few negative topics. But you don't have to repeat them endlessly when the point is made. Introduce a more positive topic and steer the conversation away from unnecessary negativity.

2. Ask refreshing questions

A question needs an answer. That's how our brain works. When we hear a question, we automatically search for a possible answer. And if we ask the right questions, we can help the other to search through more positive thoughts.

Ask questions that invite the other person to dig into positive thoughts. For instance:
  • "How would you like it to end next time?"
  • "What things did you like about it?"
  • "What was your highlight last week?"
  • "What did you like about that?"
  • ”But who is your best colleague then? Why?"
  • "What are you looking forward to in the coming period?"
  • "What is a small step that you could take today to make the situation better?"
And another strategy: ask 5 times why.

By asking a few times, you often get to the heart of the problem quickly. And that core is usually a fear, an uncertainty. And by letting a negative person figure out step by step where his negativity comes from, lights can come on that reduce the negativity.

It is of vital importance that you do not judge, but only keep asking questions from interest. For instance:
  • "You say you think he is a jerk, what exactly makes you think so?"
  • "Then why do you find that trait so annoying? Why is this affecting your nerves so much? ”
  • "What do you think the reason is that you are always annoyed by people who think they know everything better?"
Keep it airy and package the questions in a natural way. Make sure that you do not come across as knowledgeable or assume the image of a therapist. You can spread the questions about it through the conversation: "You said earlier that your work makes you stressed, which aspect of your work causes you the most stress?"

With every 'why question' you come a little closer to the reason behind the negativity. And this also increases the insight of the other.

This is a fun way to have incredibly interesting conversations that are loving in nature and that feel meaningful to both you and the negative person opposite you.

3. Translate the negative message in your head

It is easy to dismiss negative people as "irritating" and simply to avoid them. And it is absolutely important that you spend your time with people who consume your energy so that you do not exhaust yourself unnecessarily.

But also realize that negative people have good reasons to be negative. Often negative people feel unhappy, insecure and dissatisfied.

Negative people often feel pain inside. If you want to approach them from love and compassion, it is important that you do what you can to light a light in that inner darkness. Without judgment, without being intrusive.

Therefore try to translate the negativity in your head into the 'real' underlying message. What is the negative person really trying to achieve?

In many cases this is easier than it seems:
  • Someone who talks a lot wants to be heard.
  • Someone who shouts, shouts for attention.
  • Someone who is deeply in the victim role feels helpless and has little faith in his own abilities.
  • Someone who brings others down tries to feel a little better about herself because she feels intensely insecure.
  • Etc.
Once you have translated the negativity, see how you can help remove the source of negativity (temporarily).
  • Listen with full attention, without judging.
  • Show that you accept the other.
  • Let know what traits you value in the other.
  • Focus your attention on the strong qualities of the other.
  • Say things that build the self-confidence of the other, not things that break it down.
Practice to see through the negativity, and the vulnerable person behind this negative "skin" really see. All that negativity is often just a way to stay afloat in an inner world full of fear and uncertainty.

Be loving. Practice compassion. This allows you to break through the skin and possibly penetrate a beautiful personality that only reveals itself when it feels safe enough to expose itself.

4. Know that you don't have to come up with the solution

If you give someone the feeling that they need to change, you unconsciously send a very strong message to that person: you are not good enough for me, you will only receive my love if you are different.

This message always has the opposite effect. It creates seclusion, withdrawal and a defensive attitude.

You cannot change others. The only thing you can do is work yourself to get better and better. You can inspire others with your actions - the rest is usually wasted effort.

Negative people are not waiting for your solution. They mainly ask for attention, for a listening ear. Someone who sees how much they struggle. Someone who accepts them and does not want to change them.

Acceptance is the magic word. No matter how difficult this feels. You can use negative people to quickly develop your capacity for compassion and acceptance. And as you move forward, you can mean more and more to the other.

Your positivity may even 'infect' the other. And if that succeeds, then you have achieved something very beautiful.

5. Be positive

As said: your actions say more than your words. Act as a positive person. That way you protect yourself against negativity and you can possibly help the other person to be more positive in life.

To sympathize with someone is not the same as taking over his emotions. You can easily get around in someone's situation without becoming sad, anxious or negative yourself.

And that is also what you want to do. You want to pull the people around you up towards happiness, peace, and trust. Do not be pulled down yourself. Because if you feel negative, you can't help anyone anymore. Then you lose your ability to help others become more positive.


Negative people cannot make others positive, confident, hopeful and happy. So be there for the other, but don't get sucked. Be a light that lifts the darkness and doesn't let anyone turn off your light.
How to deal with negative people - 5 practical tips that work How to deal with negative people - 5 practical tips that work Reviewed by Amit on June 09, 2019 Rating: 5
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