Learning to Cope With Negative People


Bringing more positivity into our lives can work wonders. Once we start getting into that happy mindset you can start to see the world through new eyes. But what do you do when you come up against negativity or, more specifically, negative people? You’re up there riding the positive wave and suddenly you can come crashing down from a bad comment or a bad attitude from somebody.

Whether at work, home or school we can come across these people quite often and it can have a detrimental effect on our happiness especially when we have to spend time with them or they are close to us.

It’s quite common to hear that spending time with negative people can bring you down while positive people keep you at that higher vibe for longer. The message we broadcast in our everyday lives have a profound effect on those around us. As social animals, we are extremely receptive to the people we establish relationships with whether they are colleagues, friends, family or even the barista we say hello to at the coffee shop. So as well as making sure we ourselves are not broadcasting a negative vibe to those around us, we must protect ourselves from the negativity of others.

We all know that person. The one that never has a positive thing to sayenters into a rant or always possesses a negative slant on everything. They may seem to be small things but they can lower our happy vibe very quickly.

So what can we do with the people in our lives that are constantly coming at us with negativity? The obvious answer may be to cut negative people out of our lives but this isn’t easy or necessarily something we want to do. Instead there is a strategy to lessen contact with these people that can be useful to combat these situations without going to extremes.

When someone is being negative and the situation is not allowing for positive communication to exist then the smartest thing you can do is follow these three steps…

Retreat. Spend time away from this person and away from their negativity. Whether that means stepping away momentarily or taking a longer break.

Delve into your positive resources. This is where your happiness habits really come in handy. Meditating, thinking about what you’re grateful for in your life, taking a walk, listening to a good song – anything that will get you into that positive state. These seem like small tips and tricks but what they end up doing is transforming the way our brain experiences its reality. The more we pull on our positive resources, the less impact a negative person can have on us and this is so important for our overall happiness.

Re-enter. If it’s someone you can’t avoid, have a plan about how you’re going to effectively communicate with them. Be positive with them and try not to spend time listening to any negativity. Smile, be pleasant and continue the positivity in small conversations and meetings with them. The aim is to create short, communicative bursts of conversation while maintaining a positive atmosphere. By doing this you establish a pattern of positive interaction where that person isn’t affecting you negatively as much and also, in turn, you’re positively influencing them as well.

Since we influence each other significantly in our everyday lives, it isn’t just important to lessen our time spent with negative people but the best way to combat this is by modelling the positive behaviour ourselves. By doing this we’re reminding people that there is that choice to have a more positive mindset.

Of course, spending time with more positive people is always a wonderful thing and finding that time to engage with them should be done as much as possible. It elevates us greatly and does wonders for our happiness. In our daily lives, it’s not always possible to avoid the negative ones so why not try and be an ambassador for positivity and teach them from your own happy outlook and mindset? If we’re not going to spread the happiness then who is? 🙂



4 thoughts on “Learning to Cope With Negative People

  1. coachjerry

    Emotions are catching. They can spread just as effectively, and even faster, than germs. Maintaining a positive viewpoint can be difficult around negative people. I either remove myself from their presence or if that’s not practical I silently go to my internal “happy place.” As a last resort, I might say something like “I don’t see it that way. I believe…”

    Great post, something to keep in mind each day. Other viewpoints than ours can be stimulating, but only if they’re presented in a positive, challenging way.


    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      I totally agree with you. It can sometimes be a fine line between whether someone is being negative or if they are just saying something that you disagree with. It’s important to be aware of the differences and be open to it. Like you say, as long as they’re presenting it in a positive way then that’s great 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Jerry!

    1. A Life Less Ordinary

      Thank you! Yes, you’re right. I think people need to be a bit more mindful of how their words affect others even if they are not out to intentionally hurt – we never know what’s going on in another person’s mind so compassion is key!

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