Let’s face it, negative people can be a drag. Their whining, nit-picking and gloomy outlook can make us want to give up on our goals and ambitions.
But we don’t have to put up with negative people.
Although it may seem that there’s nothing we can do about them, there is.
Rather than passively soaking up their angst, here are 7 ways to deal with negative people courtesy of Stepcase Lifehacker.
1. Spend less time with them.
Yes, that means physically separating yourself from your down-in-the-mouth friends. That may mean making a conscious decision to spend less time with Uncle Festus but you’ll be healthier and happier in the long run.
2. Speak up for yourself
In my first few weeks in real estate someone very close to me asked me why I thought I could sell real estate.
“You’ve never sold a thing in your life,” was their negative assessment.
“I will because I said I will,” was my response.
I sold 54 properties the next year.
The lesson, don’t absorb other people’s crap. No matter who it’s coming from it’s still crap and it’s worth letting them know you stand for playing a bigger game.
3. Don’t pretend that their behaviour is “OK.”
I once had guests over for dinner. We got into a discussion about the ethics of real estate sales people. Of course their views were anything but positive.
A couple of days later I noticed that I was feeling gloomy and dark and started to wonder why.
I traced back my gloom to that conversation.
Having worked out where my gloom had originated I was straight on the phone.
“You’ll always be welcome in my home, I said, “but don’t ever speak about agents that way again.”
“Agents make moral and ethical decisions that most people will never have to make,” I explained. “And until you’ve walked in their shoes you’re not welcome to dump your negative, cynical views about agents on me, especially while you’re in my home.”
They got the message.
4. Don’t make their problems your problems.
Helping a mate out in need is the Aussie thing to do. It’s good to listen to someone’s problem and help out where we can.
But it’s another thing altogether to make your friend’s problem your problem, especially when they have no commitment to doing something about it themselves.
And let’s face it, some people are masters at garnering sympathy for themselves through creating a never-ending series of dramas and problems. More fool us if we fall for the trap.
5. Change the subject.
Sure, acknowledge what the person has to say but then move the conversation to something more positive.
So, how about those Fremantle Dockers, hey?
That usually does the trick.
6. Talk about solutions, not problems.
Sometimes changing the topic of conversation isn’t possible. If that’s the case it’s worthwhile switching things up so that the conversation becomes an active effort to search for a solution.
“If there was a solution, what do you think it might be?” you might ask.
A question like that is often all that’s needed to get the conversation to shift to creating possible solutions. That’s way more fun than wallowing in the mire of problems and drama.
7. Leave them behind.
Yep, sometimes you just have to say adios and move on. It can be tough, especially if your friend is close or is a family member.
In the long run you’ll be healthier and happier and the world will be a better place.