It's often said that you are you are who you surround yourself with. When people around you are happy and positive, you're more likely to feel happy and positive. Similarly, when you're surrounded by people who are negative we start looking at the world with more, you guessed it - negativity. Even if the negativity isn't directed at you, it can still have an impact on your own outlook.
Now we all have somebody in our lives who can have a negative impact on us. Sometimes we can let go of these people, but other times (if it’s family or a colleague) it's harder to simply cut ties.
So to help you dear with those less than positive people in your life, here are 5 strategies to deal with negative people.
1. Set Boundaries
Limit the number of interactions you have with this person whenever possible, especially during stressful periods. It may not be a good idea to make a drastic change. If you speak to this person everyday, start spreading it out to every other day and then gradually to every three days, etc.
2. Don't Feed into it.
You can let the person speak and express themselves, but do not feed into it. Instead of agreeing and engaging in the negativity, try to respond with a simple “I see” or “mmm, hmm.”
3. Change Topics
Switch the topic to something else. Try telling them a story about something positive to get them to become more positive too!
4. Add Buffers
If you have to see the person, try to do so in a group setting so the person does not suck all the energy out of you. If you find that you need to see this person, it is much easier to do so in a group setting. That way, you can “spend time” with them without actually having to speak with them very much.
When all else fails, it’s important to stay grounded and not get sucked into the person’s negative energy. Try taking some deep breaths, inhaling for four seconds and exhaling for four seconds, or visualize some sort of armour or light protecting you from them.
There are some great tools out there to help you with this if it is hard to get started on your own. Feel free to email me and I will send you some links. Remember taking care of yourself with help you be there more for others too!
I hope you have a stress-free day!