HOW TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE PEOPLE.

Nothing is more deflating than the people in your life trying to burst your happy-bubble when you’re growing, learning and your perception is changing in a way that feels better for you.

Personally, I have a very low tolerance for negativity in my life.

If I let myself be around it for too long my energy levels literally drain right out me and quickly. So 99% of the time I will simply choose to remove myself from the person or the situation. Neither one of us will get what we’re trying to get out of the relationship anyway, so it’s a win/win.

But what if you can’t just drop ’em like their hot? What if it’s a family member, a co-worker or your spouse?

I hear you, sometimes it’s easier said than done, but it is possible and below are some tips that will help you protect yourself AND your bubble of happiness.

#1 TURN UP THE DIAL ON COMPASSION.

Remember that a negative person is usually negative because they’re hurting or trying to protect themselves from hurting in some way.

“Hurt people, hurt people”.

They most likely do not want to be that way, but they keep themselves there because #1 that’s where they’re comfortable and #2 they may not be able to see it for themselves and / or don’t know how to change it if they do.

This doesn’t in any way, shape or form make their behavior right, but if you look through a lens of compassion rather than judgment it will feel a hell of a lot better for you.

And this brings us to the next point….

#2 DO NOT TRY TO CONVINCE OR CONVERT THEM.

This is HARD, right??

I know it is for me… just ask my friends and family…

I’m a chronic learner and grower, it’s my fave thing to do in the whole wide world!

And every time I learn something new or grow in some way, it feels SO good that I can’t help, but to want to share it with everyone I care about. But you know what? 9 times out of 10 they aren’t there yet or it’s not the same for them.

You can’t force growth on someone, you can only support them in it.

Pain in the ass, I know, it’s definitely not for the impatient. Which is one of the reasons I started this business and blog, it gives me an outlet and gives them a break.

Every one needs to grow at their own pace and learn for themselves and we’re not even all here to learn the same lessons.

I know it’s hard for us positive peeps to wrap our head around why someone would NOT want our help to make their lives better, but as a dear FB friend of mine says, it’s simply “not your job”.

Trying to force it doesn’t feel good to either party, so it’s best to let them figure things out on their own.

If you have to co-exist with this person what you CAN do is to look for ways that you can relate.

Where are you on the same page? What do you have in common? Are there things that you both just have fun with? Where do you laugh together?

Keep your conversations and activities in those zones. Agree to disagree and stick with topics that are neutral as best as you can.

If things start to slip into the negative zone or into a zone where a fight can erupt, either steer the conversation back or remove yourself from the situation.

Leave the room, go for a walk or just take a deep breath and shut up if you can’t get away from them.

There is a difference between stifling yourself and saving yourself. By leaving, you’re doing the latter.

#3 SURROUND YOURSELF WITH AS MANY LIKE MINDED POSITIVE PEEPS AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN.

You want to make sure you have people who do share the same views, attitudes and values as you in your life. The energy is contagious and it will keep your spirits up, especially if things are difficult on the home front.

If you want to find LIVE peeps that share your views, hang out in places that you enjoy and you will naturally come in contact with people who have the same interests. You can also volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about and be surrounded by peeps with the same passion.

And I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it or not, but the inter-webs are pretty amazing for this type of thing as well.

I’m a hard core introvert and can go for very long periods of time with no human contact and feel quite content, so the internet is my saving grace for support.

When I first decided I wanted to switch careers and start this business. It was hard to talk to the peeps in my life, not because they were negative about it, but because they couldn’t really relate.

Instead of trying to force them to relate to me, I made a conscious effort to find some people that already could. I joined a couple FB groups and I have to say it was the best thing I could’ve done for my business and my sanity.

Things would’ve been a lot harder without all of the amazing peeps I met online and now I have new friends all over the world.

I’m NOT saying that you shouldn’t leave your house, (that’s not for everyone), but I am saying that you can ALWAYS find a like minded person in this day and age.

The more you fill your life with like minded positivity, the more your life will fill with like minded positivity. Clever, eh?

#4 KILL ‘EM WITH KINDNESS.

You have NO control over what others do or say, but you do have COMPLETE control over how you respond to it. And by choosing a different response you can completely change the dynamic of the situation or the relationship.

Dr. Wayne Dyer once said,

“Attachment to being right creates suffering. When you have a choice to be right or to be kind, choose kind and watch the suffering disappear.”

#truethat.

As a naturally opinionated and argumentative libra who has been a “know-it-all” for most of her life, I can attest that this is, indeed, true.

If you don’t believe me give it a shot for yourself in real life. I used to perform experiments on this topic all throughout NYC. (Lots of opportunity there.)

It’s very easy to get annoyed and frustrated in that city and I was for a long time, but when I started playing with how I reacted to people and scenarios, instead of focusing on what THEY did or were doing, hands down, EVERY single time I practiced kindness over being “right”, the situation would diffuse.

The other person would immediately back down, usually apologizing for their behavior and I would sometimes even get them to smile.

It can be harder to do this with someone your closer to emotionally, because you both know each others sensitivities, but it’s definitely a muscle you’ll want to build if you want to keep yourself feeling happy and positive.

Speaking of sensitivities….

If you can embrace this next step, your whole life will change.

#5 START LOOKING FOR WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF FROM THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE.

One of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is to stop blaming someone else for making you feel a certain way.

When someone pushes your buttons or triggers you with what they say, stop for a sec and instead of getting defensive, detach and observe YOURSELF.

Ask yourself these 2 Qs:

1. WHY is this triggering me? Why am I angry about what they are saying?

2. HOW does it make me feel? What’s the underlying emotion that I feel when they say or do what’s upsetting me?

Then you need to do 2 things

– Look for where YOU are acting out that emotion with other people / situations.
– Look for where YOU are acting out that emotion with yourself.

The people in our lives mirror us. Meaning they reflect our own issues back to us. It’s not their crap, it’s our crap that gets us all hot and bothered.

You’re also reflecting them back to themselves, which is why your positivity is probably pissing them off so much. It highlights their misery.

If you let yourself realize this and actively notice it, you will have some serious A-Ha moments in your life.

Once you’re clear on what’s going on under the surface, you can then make a conscious effort to bring more of your desired feeling into your life.

You can do this by looking for ways to create that feeling for yourself AND for others.

For example:

If your negative person is making you feel judged, then you would need to look for how you may be judging yourself and others.

Once you find it (and you will find it : ), you can then stop, and start doing the opposite.

Maybe what you wish to feel is more compassion and love.

The way to bring more of that into your life is to give it. Start being more compassionate and unconditionally loving with others AND yourself.

Repeat after me:

What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows. What I focus on grows…………….

Therefore:

If I change my focus, I will change what grows.

Write that on a post it and keep it front and center until recognizing it is second nature to you.

Ok, I want to wrap this up with a little food for thought.

I wholeheartedly agree with the saying:

“People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”

As we grow, the changes in our energy creates shifts in the dynamics with the people in our lives. They’ll naturally either grow with us or they’ll slowly fall away. It can be hard to accept this, but not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever.

Holding yourself back or keeping yourself small because someone else isn’t on the same wave length as you is only going to make everyone involved miserable.

And it keeps both of you from living up to your full potential.

Of course you should give it your best effort if it’s a relationship you want to save, but sometimes it really is best to just bless the fuck out of each other and go your separate ways.

So what do YOU think about all of this?

Can you relate?

Is there something that you have done to deal with negative people in your life that HAS worked for you?

Or is there something you’ve done that has back fired and you wish that you could take it back?

We’d love to learn from your lessons too, so share ‘em in the comments below!

KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE INTO THIS?

THEN GET YOUR SHARE ON.

CHECK OUT THE COMMENTS BELOW OR ADD YOUR OWN

  1. Anna Bethea

    Thank you for this post! I needed it. It’s not that I have so many negative people in my life, but sometimes it can become isolating to sit with one’s own negative thoughts for too long. This is why I’ve chosen to go looking for more positive people to “hang with” online, and thus, how I came across your blog post. 🙂

    I loved all of your tips – you cover some DEEP stuff, but in a very accessible way. Keep writing, and I’m glad you’ve found your space to spread compassion to the rest of the world!

    Reply
  2. Anne Omland

    Love this post, Susan! I found myself agreeing with the entire thing.

    One of the points that stands out for me is #2- do not try to convince or convert. It reminds me of what my mom always says, “you can’t control what others think or do, you can only control how you react to it.” Looks like you two may be onto something!

    I also love the mantra (which I’ve decided to commit to for the week) on “what I focus on grow.” Love this!

    I relate to #5 as well. Sometimes when caught up in the moment it’s easy to fire off a response or reaction instead of taking a minute and being compassionate. For example, some lady cut me off on the way home today. I got really pissed and thought of something nasty. Once I realized how ridic this was, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. (Yes, that whole dramedy happened in the car by myself…). It’s always a great reminder to simply be kind.

    Thanks for this, Susan!

    Reply
  3. Anna Long

    Girl you hit the nail on the head! Love your suggestions! Number 5 is sometimes painful…often times what irritates me most in others (or things that I have the least tolerance for) and struggles I’m currently facing myself. You would think this would make me more compassionate, but it doesn’t (at least not right away). Great reminder 🙂

    Reply
  4. farah

    omg Susan! I TOTALLY agree!!! You have hit the nail on the head. I totally get ‘hurt people hurt people’ and confusedly put up with a neggy person for ages, ‘hoping’ they would heal and actually it was stifling and they didn’t change at the pace or in the areas I wanted them to. Being around energetic, like minded people, listening to stuff which uplifts me and supports my energy and finding peeps online too is fantastic! Great post, thx 🙂

    Reply
  5. Beth Hewitt

    Hey Susan,

    Can I relate?

    To which bit?

    LOL. Do you know as I was reading your post I was thinking, is this girl me? Have I written this post? I felt a really strong connection. Rest assured I wouldn’t normally write a comment like this but I am going to go with my intuition that you wont think that I am a raving lunatic and that you will understand what the heck I am babbling on about.

    Then when you told me you was a LIbra as well, and a “know it all and an introvert”

    If there is anyone that understands me it will probably be you. So YES I related to every word you wrote.

    Plus I was compelled to write this comment when I saw the words

    “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime”

    I truly hope once you have done some background checks on me (HEHE), you will see that I am actually normal and you will want to connect with me sometime 🙂

    Love your blog.

    All the best with your business. I have given up trying to convince my friends and family and now just hang out with cool like-minded peeps who understand me and support me on my journey.

    Beth 🙂

    Reply
    1. Susan Post author

      Beth I’m cracking up at your comment!! I don’t think you’re crazy haha and I love that you follwoed your intuition! One of my bff’s is also an “introverted know-it-all libra” as well. Birds of a feather… Thanks so much for reading and for all of the compliments!!! I’m SO happy that it resonated with you! All the best to you too! xo

      Reply
  6. Dana

    Great advice! It’s important to remain focused on the points you made in your blog. Stay clear headed, remain positive, and reflect on reactions. Difficult at times, but I am a work in progress: ) Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Michelle Sears

    Susan I can relate to this entire post so much that I feel like I wrote it! That’s awesome. I started my online website for the same reasons. I felt like I couldn’t find positive people in my local surrounds. Now I’m surrounded by them. They know that that’s me and I’m going to look for the positive in every situation because I choose to be happy. And it they don’t, then they know that I’ll never be any other way so they just be happy, even if it’s for my benefit, I don’t care. I refuse to be around negativity all the time too. 🙂 Great post! I really love it, it made me feel like I just had a very positive visit with a very positive friend.

    Reply

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