Have you ever sat with someone and felt all the energy in the room has been sucked out? Does it not feel like you have fallen into a black hole?
Well, it is caused by those “Negative People”; people who completely drain you and exhaust you from your positivity, no matter how strong you try to stand. Those “human black holes”, convert the people around them into negative people like them, surrounding you in a culture full of negativity.
How do you recognize a negative person?
Negative people make the people around them experience a sense of being demeaned, constricted or attacked. They always make you feel unsafe, tense or on guard. You sense strange vibes pulsating from them which you cannot wait to get away from. All of your energy starts to fizzle leaving you feeling beleaguered or ill.
Also, you have to pay attention to what the person talks about. Is it always about how bad things are? Do they just complain and never actually do anything about what is upsetting them?
Negative people vary as they can have different characteristics and traits. They may fall in the following categories: the weeper, the blamer, the drama queen, the constant talker or jokes teller and the fixer-upper (requires endless help). You find them everywhere; they could be your friends, acquaintances, colleagues or even a family member.
You may possibly feel that you have to solve the energy drainer’s problems as your duty. However, you’re not responsible for their personal life or their negativity. You do not have to feel guilty for them being unhappy. Let go of trying to fix or help them. That’s not what they want anyway.
Here are 8 tips on how to deal with negative people:
1. Do not Engage in the Negativity
Negative people tend to focus on the bad and ignore the positive. They also have a tendency to exaggerate issues that they are facing, making their predicament seem a lot worse than it actually is.
When you converse with a negative individual, provide a listening ear and offer help if needed. Provide support – let them know they are not alone. However, be sure to draw a line somewhere. If the person keeps focusing on the same problems even after the first few conversations, then it is a sign to disengage.
2. Ignore the negative comments
For starters, try to switch topics. If they go into a negative swirl, let them continue, but do not engage in the negativity. Give a simple reply such as: “I see” or “Okay”. Whereas if they are being positive, reply in affirmation and enthusiasm. When you do it often enough, they will soon realize what is going on and will start to be more positive in their communication.
3. Maintain your positivity
One way to maintain positivity is to visualize a bright white light around you, like a bubble, or think of happy thoughts. That way, you are “disarming” the negativity.
4. Engage them in a Positive Conversation
When a person starts talking negatively, try to change the subject to something positive:
Ask them to tell you something great about themselves, something nice that happened to them recently, or what makes them smile! You can start by talking about something funny that happened and ask them to tell you something funny in return.
5. Praise them about their positive traits
Often negative people aren’t just negative to others but they are also negative to themselves. If you already feel negative around them, imagine how they must feel all the time. What are the things the person is good at? What do you like about the person? Recognize the positive things and praise them for it. They will be surprised at first and might reject the compliment, but on the inside they will feel positive about it. That’s the first seed of positivity you’re planting in them and it’ll bloom in the long-term.
6. Change the topic
Some negative people are triggered by certain topics, so avoid bringing them up. If you feel that the conversation is leaning towards a rant, try changing the topic to something else; talk about simple topics and turn it into a light conversation. Choose topics like new movies, daily occurrences, common friends, hobbies and happy news. Keep it to areas the person feels positive towards.
7. Hang out in groups
Have someone else around when conversing with the negative individual. In fact, the more people, the better. This way, the negative energy is divided between you and the other members, and you don’t have to bear the full brunt of the negative energy.
The plus point of having someone else around is that people bring out a different side to an individual. By having another party around, it may bring out a more positive side in the negative person. I experienced this before and it helped me to see the “negative” individual in a different, more positive light.
8. Reduce contact with them / Avoid them
If all else fails, reduce contact with them or drop them from your life. Rather than spending your time with negative people, focus on the positive people instead.
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.