Do you have friends who always complain about everything? Or do you know the perfect drama queen who always runs from one catastrophe into the other? Or the poor victim who always ends up in the dark corner left alone?
During my life, I have met many negative people, it all started with close family members. To give you some examples: The partner of my late grandfather was a woman who always saw the negative. Once, we watched an inspiring story about a former athlete who had rebuilt his life after an accident with spinal cord injury. He was a role model for strength and positive attitude. She watched the report without a word. When it had finished, she said: Why haven’t the doctors let him die after this accident? I sat next to her and didn’t know what to say. Every phrase she said reflected her negative perception of the world. I tried my best to cheer her up and change her perspective. Needless to say that it wasn’t successful. I left our conversations feeling exhausted and tired.
We all face short periods of negativity in our life, however, a person who transmits constant pessimism can drag you down.
What can you do to avoid this?
These six tactics will help you to decrease the impact of negative people in your life.
- Be aware of the negativity and acknowledge its influence.
The negativity of another person will influence you dependent on your level of sensitivity. I am highly sensitive and take on negativity like a sponge. I tried to tell myself many years that it wouldn’t influence me and it was wrong. True is that it always did until I learned to set boundaries. What happens if you are around negative people? How do you feel after you have been together with them? How is your level of energy afterwards? Be aware of the impact the negativity has on yourself and acknowledge it.
- Set clear limits.
If you acknowledge the negativity, you can react in a way that is compassionate towards yourself. We want to be kind, and this means that we are kind to others while being kind to ourselves. You should manage your energy level well. Limit the duration you are together with a negative person, see them or talk to them less frequent. How often do you want to be around with them? How long do you want to stay with them? Always keep in mind that you can’t change the negative attitude of another person. They have to decide that they want to change. You can only take care of yourself and your energy, and avoid to getting drowned by their negativity.
- Clear yourself energetically.
I experienced a fast recovery from negativity when I learned to clear myself energetically. How can you do this? If you have been together with a negative person, do a short visualization afterwards. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Imagine that you stand in a shower with white light. The light washes away any negativity from your body into the earth. Visualize dark or grey shadows that slowly sink into the earth. Continue with your visualization until the white light fills your complete body. Thank the light for its help. Feel free to change the visualization in a way that it feels right for you. Just listen to your intuition.
- Explore the other person’s world.
A very compassionate strategy you can use is to explore the other person’s world. Which stories are hidden behind the negative attitude? What are the hidden desires that haven’t been fulfilled yet? Strive to understand them. Explore their world with love and compassion. Listen to them, don’t judge them and don’t try to find a solution. Mirror them what you understood. Reflect the pain or the resentment you may perceive.
- Acknowledge the difference.
Another way to deal with negativity is to acknowledge the difference. There is no need that we all have the same opinion. That’s not possible. So just say, I think we see life very differently. I want to celebrate it. I want to enjoy it fully. You can’t control what they will do and you can’t convince them to follow you. You can just stay true to yourself.
- You always have a choice.
We are all adults. We can choose with whom we are spending our time. We are also responsible for the energy we send into the world. If the negativity of a person persists for years and there is no change, you don’t have any obligation to spend your time with them. You can’t change them. Practice compassion towards yourself. Is it compassionate to continue this relationship? Stop finding excuses for the other person’s behaviour. Everybody went through some crisis. I am sure you also had bad times in your life. Each of us is responsible how we deal with negative experiences and what attitude we choose towards life. Your time is limited and valuable. You have the choice to walk away from the relationship. You can choose whether you spend it with positive or negative people. With whom do you want to spend your time?
What are your experiences with negative people? I’d love to read your comments below.
Do you want to read more about this theme? Check the article Do you have the right to cut contact with family members?