Negativity is everywhere!
The two biggest culprits of spreading negativity are social media and the news.
It’s difficult not to feel depressed after spending time scrolling through a national news website or wasting 30 minutes scrolling on social media.
Most of the time we can limit our interactions with this type of negativity.
But what happens when the source of your negativity are the people around you? Your friends, family, and coworkers are usually difficult to get away from!
Even though these people fill you with unhappiness, you almost feel guilty for wanting to distance yourself from them – almost like it’s your DUTY to put up with them.
This is not the case at all!
Here are 7 ways to stay positive around negative people.
1.) Take Some Time To Educate Yourself
Does the negativity come from someone who is always worrying and pessimistic? This person probably isn’t intentionally trying to bring down the mood. They’re just difficult to be around because they’re a kill-joy.
Is the negative force in your life caused by someone who is genuinely toxic – out to take advantage of you, manipulate you, guilt-trip you, bring you down, etc.? This person will be addressed more below!
Or in some cases, a person with “low spirits” can be dealing with deeper issues – difficult life events or mental health issues. In this case, although you may never fully understand what they are going through, kindness, empathy, and understanding go a long way.
It usually doesn’t take very long to pin point who you are dealing with. Don’t make a medical diagnosis on someone (leave that to the professionals). But it’s usually not difficult to tell if someone is being difficult, going through a tough time, or genuinely toxic and mean.
Throughout life, you will meet people who need your patience and support. You will also meet people who you need to distance yourself from for your own sake.
Educating yourself goes a long way!
2.) If they are unavoidable, it’s okay to be silent
Toxic people often gossip, tell stories, spew negativity, and have a negative comeback for every positive comment you make.
They want you to agree with them and join in, making them feel validated.
When you find yourself in this circumstance, there is a time to say something and there is a time NOT to say something.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to sit in silence. This should send the message that you don’t welcome their negativity and toxic comments.
If a rude remark, gossip-laden story, or negative comment is said to you, you don’t need to reply! It isn’t your fault if they feel a bit offended. They are the problem, not you!
Don’t validate their words and actions if you don’t approve of them. Silence can be your friend.
3.) Try to keep your emotions detached from their drama/negativity
If you find yourself getting emotionally wrapped up in the things they say or do, it’s time to take a step back!
You are getting emotionally invested in the roller-coaster of emotions that they are bringing into your life.
This is incredibly difficult – especially if you are an empathetic person who’s sensitive to the needs of others.
Every time you are around them, they bring unnecessary drama, inflated stories, and negative comments that stir you up. Absolutely exhausting!
If you see a pattern of inflated emotions when you are around them, it’s time to make a few changes.
Their emotional drama shouldn’t ruin your day or make you feel like you need to help solve the problem. It isn’t your burden to bear!
If you have to be around them, try to let the conversation flow through you.
Their drama isn’t yours to fix, their reality isn’t yours to worry about, and their negativity isn’t allowed to put a damper on your day!
The more you practice not taking on their problems and negative attitude, the more detached you will feel from their toxic influence.
Related Article: 7 Things I Quit To Boost My Mental Health
4.) Have a conversation with them
This can so difficult, especially if you are the kind of person that hates confrontation!
However, if you care deeply for this person, but they are becoming a difficult person to be around, you need to make them aware of it.
Don’t just “grit your teeth”, tolerate them, and count the minutes before you can get away from them! Healthy communication needs to be a part of your relationship.
Ask to talk with them and schedule a time where you can sit down and have a kind and loving discussion about your relationship/friendship.
No one likes constructive criticism because it hurts really badly. Feeling judged is an emotional experience.
But if their negative behavior is damaging the relationship, it absolutely has to happen!
Do some planning and research before sitting down to talk. Find a way to start and develop the conversation in a way that feels natural and un-accusatory (in a cruel way).
For instance, “Your horrible and toxic attitude is ruining our friendship” isn’t the best way to start the conversation!
If they lash out at you, blame and guilt-trip you, play the victim, and refuse to take responsibility, the relationship may be drawing to a close. (See #4)
However, if your conversation brings awareness, a willingness to change, and a closer bond, this person is someone you want to hold close!
5.) Distance Yourself or Go “No Contact”
When someone refuses to take responsibility for their actions and continues to act as if nothing is wrong with their behavior, they cannot be allowed to stay in a place of influence in your life.
Sometimes their actions merit a healthy distance. Other times, going total “No Contact” is necessay.
Have they blatantly lied to you, stolen from you, abused you, been two-faced, threatened you, cheated on you, taken advantage of your relationship, and been a toxic influence in your life?
It’s a difficult position to be in because not allowing someone into your life can sometimes makes you feel like you are being petty or unnecessarily harsh. It’s so easy to guilt yourself, isn’t it!
However, if someone will not stop causing harm to you and your family, you need to take steps to remove them from your life.
Relationships are built on mutual trust. If someone has proven themselves to be untrustworthy, don’t try to explain away the reasons for their dishonesty.
Choosing to go “no contact” with someone will allow you to heal and move on with your life.
6.) Work on Yourself For a While!
It’s so easy to let someone get under your skin and ANNOY YOU!
Sometimes, you are letting them ruin your day – and it is not necessary!
Maybe you’re a control freak when it comes to managing the environment you are in. (Aren’t we all, just a little bit!)
Take a step back and acknowledge the different personalities that are in your life – friends, family, coworkers, etc.
Some of those personalities are going to rub you the wrong way. They just are.
If someone’s personality annoys you, it isn’t the end of the world. It isn’t your job to change them!
Try to appreciate the good in them or try to change your perspective.
P.S. Getting some therapy can help so much! It can help you identify things you struggle with and how to deal with them. Everyone deserves to experience the benefits of therapy!
Related Article: 9 Surprising Signs You’re a Negative Person
7.) Be Pragmatic – Say it how it is and choose positivity
Pragmatic: dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.
You want people to like you. You don’t want to offend them. You don’t want to get into an argument. You just want things to be nice and normal!
But if you’re reading this article, you’ve got some trouble going on in your life.
If this is the case, you have to stop worrying about everyone else. You’ve only got one life! Live it well!
If you have a negative and toxic person in your life, don’t react emotionally in the moment. Think about it, devise a plan, and act on it.
Does this plan include calling the toxic person out? Does it include distancing yourself from them? Does it include working towards being more positive and choosing joy.
ACT ON IT! Be sensible and realistic – something that can be difficult when emotions are high. (Been there, done that!)
What makes you happy? What fills you with contentment and joy?
Choosing to be positive will have an amazing effect on yourself and those around you.
- 7 Types Of Toxic People That Will Ruin Your Life
- 9 Emotional Abuse Tactics to Watch out For
- 7 Things I Quit To Boost My Mental Health