No matter how much of an optimist or upbeat person you are, at some point in your life you will be in the company of a decidedly negative person.
Negativity is not just an undesirable quality in the person who possesses it, but it also has the potential to spread to anyone nearby. If you have someone in your life who is a ‘Debbie Downer’, it can raise your stress levels and contribute to long term adrenal fatigue.
Very often, negative people do not realize how their pessimistic attitude can affect others, and therefore they do very little to try to change how they act. Luckily, there are certain tips and pointers that you can use to better deal with the negative vibes that are being emitted in their company.
Does this scenario feel familiar to you? Do you know someone who tends to dampen the mood with his or her negativity? Here are a handful of great ways to deal with pessimistic and negative people, give your adrenals a break, and lower your stress levels.
1. Resist The Urge To Judge
It is very easy to become preoccupied with judging the character of a person who harbors so much negativity. Though it can be cathartic to vent your frustrations, what you are really doing is dragging yourself into the very same cycle as the person you are complaining about. Rather than focusing on the negativity, instead focus on rising above it and concentrating on your more pleasant and amiable personality.
2. Show Support, But Avoid The Hole
It is always the right thing to show a degree of compassion for somebody who seems to be in a negative spiral, but you must give this compassion in such a way that you can avoid falling in to the same hole yourself. Understanding somebody’s pain is not the same as indulging it, and your attempts to help should always be backed up by encouragement for the behavior to change.
3. Keep A Positive Boundary
Keeping a boundary of positivity between you and the negative person is essential for your frame of mind. You may not be able to change the attitude of your acquaintance. Remember to focus on controlling what you can, i.e. your own attitude and mental state.
4. Don’t Go For An Easy Fix
Many people are often tempted to try to play the amateur therapist when dealing with really negative people. Trying to provide a quick fix for somebody when you may not have the full details of their situation can potentially do more harm than good. This is true even if your efforts come from a very positive place. It may be best to provide a sympathetic and patient ear, instead of suggesting ways in which they can fix their lives.
5. Keep Your Temper
We all know there are few things more annoying than a person who is constantly harping on the downside of every situation. Whether it’s a rant about television, or sports, or current affairs, do your best to curtail the outburst of frustration that you might begin to feel. Rather than confronting the person on their bad attitude, simply opt to change the subject away from one that is evoking so many complaints.
6. What’s In It For You?
There comes a time in certain friendships when a person must sit down and really consider what they are getting out of a partnership that constantly revolves around one participant’s negativity. If you find yourself repeatedly playing the verbal punching bag for your friend’s negative view on life, then it might be time to put some distance between the two of you. Life is too short to be made miserable by another.
7. Don’t Take It Personally
If breaking off the friendship is something you do not wish to do, then try to remember that the person’s negative attitude is not a personal slight on you (even if it can feel like it at times). To avoid catching some of that negative energy, continually remind yourself that this person is not annoyed at you or actively trying to upset you. As long as you keep this in mind, you can rest assured that your conscious is clean with regards to the reasons for your friend’s attitude.
8. Act, Don’t React
It is counterproductive to become frustrated with a person’s negative attitude if you had the chance to preemptively ease it. Don’t wait until your friend has become angry or depressed about a subject if you saw it coming. For example, you might give your group of friends an advance warning that a particular topic should be avoided. If that topic enters the conversation, change the subject or reminisce about some funny memories instead.