Category Archives: spiritual guidance on dealing with negative people

The ABC’s Of Dealing With Negative People Part III

In this series of “The ABC’s Of Dealing With Negative People,” we’ve covered many strategies to help us cope with those who are chronically negative so that we don’t become infected with such energy.

We’ve looked at abstinence, breath work, communication, detachment, employing a buffer, and forgiveness in the first part of the series. 
In the second part of this series, we’ve looked at giving gratitude, using a “hot-word” or code word, imagining a protective shield around you, journaling your feelings as an outlet, choosing kindness, and learning about yourself in the face of negativity. 
Having an action plan that allows you to act in a way that doesn’t reinforce their negativity and one that may even help them is key. Let’s examine some more strategies.

M. Model positivity. Energy is contagious. Focusing on the negativity of others will only create more negativity. You will only be brought down when you allow it. Instead, focus on your own energy. Keep your enthusiasm high. Whenever you are presented with negative information, put a positive spin on it. Make your positive energy bigger than their negative energy.

N. Numbers don’t lie. Research shows that negative people have significantly higher rates of stress, disorders, and disease. Our mental state plays a huge role in our physical health. Take time to engage in activities that keep your stress levels under control.

O. Ownership. Own your thoughts. Own your emotions. Own your life. Instead of pointing out what the negative person is doing wrong, ask yourself what you can do to better the situation. Shift your focus from their negativity to your positivity. Own what you are feeling and maintain a positive boundary. If you have been enabling the situation, own up to it, and then make the necessary changes for positive growth. Remember, you are not responsible for their behavior, only yours. Empower your life by owning it.

P. Perceive the person in a more positive light. Be willing to see and focus on the good qualities in that person. Sometimes people trap ourselves when they focus only on the person’s negative attributes, thus perpetuating the negativity. If you aren’t ready to change the way you look at him or her, give it time. Trust that you’ll make this step when the time is right.

Q. Quiet your emotional response. Negative people feed on strong reactions from others. They will poke and prod with their comments because they want a reaction. They look for ways to push our hot buttons, and if we’re not aware of their actions, they’ll push them every time. Why they do this could be because they lack love, positivity, and warmth in their own lives. Resist the urge to return judgment by keeping your own emotions under control. Any emotional reaction from you gives them the go-ahead to continue because it lets them know that they can depend on you for a reaction.

R. Refuse to take things personally. Negative people can be quite critical with their insensitive, hurtful, rude, angry comments, especially when directed at you. Rather than let those comments infect you, remember that words in themselves have no meaning, until you apply meaning. Objectify the comments by saying, “That’s a different perspective,” or “That’s a point of view I’ve not heard before,” or “You are entitled to your own opinion,” and leave it at that. Deflecting or neutralizing negative comments puts you in control, and when negative people see that they can’t get a reaction out of you, they will move on to someone else.

S. Smile and remain completely detached. Whenever a negative tsunami hits, just smile and don’t say anything. Excuse yourself and leave the room if you must. Just don’t get involved. Negative people want to stir you up, catch you in their web, and start draining you of your energy. Remember, they want you to react; it gives them all the power. To detach, step back inside of yourself, find your center, and simply observe what is unfolding. Pretend you are watching a reality TV show, and smile, knowing that their unhappiness has nothing to do with you.

The healthiest approach you can take is to examine your actions and conduct yourself in ways that do not reinforce the person’s negativity.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s final post in this series. 
To catch up, please click on the links below:
Read here for Part II.

Your comments are valuable. Please share your ideas to help others.

The ABC’s Of Dealing With Negative People Part II

This is a continuation from a previous post. Read here to catch up on the ABC’s of dealing with negative people. 

In the last post, we started to cover some strategies to help us to deal with the negative people in our lives, especially when we can’t avoid them. We covered the importance of abstaining from engaging in negativity, breathing our way through it, communicating our feelings, detaching ourselves emotionally and distancing ourselves physically, employing a buffer, and practicing forgiveness
What else can we do to protect ourselves, especially when someone repeatedly drains us? And how do you maintain a sense of compassion without getting ensnared in their web? Here are more strategies:

G. Gratitude. Negative people are so busy complaining, criticizing, and chastising that they leave no room for gratitude. To combat their negativity, practicing giving gratitude, appreciation, and love for the people and things around you. By acknowledging that you are grateful, you’ll become a deliberate attractor of positive vibrations. If anything, be thankful for that person serving as a reminder to you to remain positive.

H. Hot-Word. If the negative person is willing to change his or her ways and thinking, agree on a “hot-word” or code word to use whenever that person says something negative. In the movie, Meet the Fockers, Dina uses the code word “muskrat” whenever Jack is being inappropriate or rude with Greg. It was her way of telling Jack to be quiet.

I. Imagine a protective white bubble or shield surrounding you. This is a simple exercise that has surprising results. Visualizing a protective force field around you helps you to feel that their negativity can’t penetrate you. This can be done beforehand or in the presence of the negative person without his or her knowledge.

J. Journal. After spending time with a negative person, it’s important to decompress. Sometimes it takes hours to rid yourself of their energy. Write down your feelings and concerns. Journaling about it helps to alleviate the pressure. Keep a small notebook handy, and when you begin to feel overwhelmed, excuse yourself to the bathroom or somewhere quiet, and take a few minutes to write it out of your system so that you can recharge.

K. Kill ‘em with kindness. This does not mean to act kindly outwardly to the person while inwardly judging them. When we do this, we are trying to manipulate the situation or someone’s opinion about us; we are coming from the ego, rather than from the heart. Instead, apply kindness to yourself and coax yourself off the high horse of “they’re wrong and I’m right.” Let go of the attachment of wanting any kindness in exchange. Be kind from an authentic place.

L. Learn. If there is one particular person who drains you the most, examine why it is affecting you so much. Rather than let that person throw you into an emotional tizzy, analyze what feelings are being brought up within you, and use them to learn about yourself.

Dealing with negative people can be quite challenging; they have the ability to change the moods of others in an instant, but only if we allow them. As long as we are aware of those influences, we can prepare and protect ourselves so that they don’t infect us. It’s our choice to let negative people infect us or not.

This series will continue tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you’d like to share some of the ways in which you deal with negativity, please post your comments below. 

The ABC’s of Dealing With Negative People Part I

They are around us.

At work. In the neighborhood. At family functions. And, at times, in our own home.

Sometimes they come out of nowhere and just suck the life out of us. You try to remain positive and strong, but their negativity drains you, exhausts you, and may even depress you.

Call them Energy Vampires. Call them Emotional Terrorists. Call them whatever you will. But whenever you are around a negative person, you experience what Judy Orloff describes in her book, Positive Energy, “a sense of being demeaned, constricted or attacked. You intuitively feel unsafe, tense or on guard. You sense prickly, off-putting vibes. You can’t wait to get away from them. Your energy starts to fizzle. You may feel beleaguered or ill.”


Becoming aware is the first step. That’s one helluva wake-up call!

Spotting them and gaining an understanding of how they operate is the next step (refer to my post “Do You Affect or Do You Infect With Your Energy?” ). You may know this kind of person as the drama queen or king, the criticizer, the complainer, the blamer, the fixer-upper (needs A LOT of help); you can probably add more to this list.

When you are aware of who they are, you can actually work on protecting yourself from them. Here’s how:

A.  Abstain. Don’t engage in the negativity. You may have provided a listening ear, offered help, and provided support in the past, but if the person continues to harp on the same issues, it’s time to disengage. Try switching the topic to lighten the mood. Make for light conversation by talking about new shows, new books, daily occurrences, hobbies or happy news. If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to excuse yourself.

B.  Breathe. The simple act of deep breathing connects you to your essence. Take a few minutes to ground yourself by inhaling calm and exhaling negativity. This helps to neutralize fear or other difficult emotions. As you exhale, visualize negativity leaving your body. Send it to the light for healing and transformation. As you inhale, visualize peace entering your body.

C.  Communicate. Tell the person how it makes you feel when s/he is negative around or toward you. Do this gently as people don’t like to be lectured on how to behave. You want to avoid inflaming the situation. Every time s/he tells you something negative, say, “Now tell me something positive.” This serves as a neutralizer and as a gentle reminder that you will not tolerate negativity.

D.  Detach. Sometimes you have to distance yourself from the person, either by reducing contact or dropping them from your life.

E.  Employ a buffer. If you can avoid being alone with this person, do so. Being alone makes you the receiving end of all the negativity. Make sure you have another family member, your spouse or partner, or a friend with you in the presence of a negative person. The more, the better. Having others around may bring out a different, more positive side in that person.

F.  Forgive them for they know not what they do. Some people have no idea how negative they are. You can bring it to their attention, but that does not mean that they will change their ways or thinking. Understand that you are not responsible for their behavior, but you are responsible for yours (for more on forgiveness, read my post here).

No one can tell you that dealing with a negative person is a pleasant experience. It is downright uncomfortable at times. But when we build our awareness and develop an understanding, we can take steps to protect ourselves when we do have to deal with them.

Tomorrow I will continue the ABC’s of dealing with negative people. Stay tuned.