In today’s world it seems inevitable that no matter how positive we try to be, sooner or later we are going to encounter negative people. In fact, you might even be surrounded by them already, and feel held back by them to the point where they sap your energy. As we all become more connected online and encounter more and more views of the world it can become quite overwhelming can’t it?
We don’t want to live in a bubble where we only engage with people that share our views and opinions because that leads to a limited perspective on life. We can encounter people who have different views than ours and express them in a respectful manner and that can be a hugely positive experience. It might even be that we learn something new and change our opinions. However, those negative people who always take a contrary view, who always dwell on the negative or who are deliberately argumentative can be incredibly draining.
So how do we deal with those negative people, their opinions and views? Here’s a few thoughts for you to consider?
If a person is constantly whining and complaining, you can draw on your own reserves on energy and try to stay positive. You can note all the lessons that can be learned from what the person is upset about. You can be sad for them and wish them well. You don’t have to be dragged down by them.
You can reframe negative thoughts and situations in a more positive light. If a friend has a car crash, for example, point out that yes it was bad (after listening and expressing sympathy), but at least no one was seriously injured and the insurance will cover it sooner or later.
Point Out Their Pattern
If a person is constantly negative, they might not even realise it. Or, they might think they are “being realistic” so no one will “be disappointed” if things don’t work out. Point out their pattern of always looking on the gloomy side and see if you can give examples that will help reframe their thoughts.
Don’t Dwell on the Past
If someone is stuck in the past in relation to an event from when they were younger – accident, divorce and so on, point this out. It’s happened already and is over and done with. Move on. Don’t let the event define your entire life and affect your relationships with everyone.
Rework the Relationship
Rather than just avoid the person and not tell them why, you could try to rework the relationship. Be honest: “Spending time talking with you drains my energy and I start to feel bad about my life. Maybe we can try to do some positive things together that will give us both some more positive energy.”
Suggest a walk, a workout, seeing a funny movie together, whatever. If you still can’t shift the dynamic, it might be time to start surrounding yourself with more positive people.
Positive energy brings positive feelings. Don’t let negative people drain you.