We all have them in our lives—negative people. Although we can avoid associating with negative strangers and acquaintances, what can you do with the ones you can’t avoid due to blood, marriage or because they’re otherwise good people? Here are a few tips.
Resist the urge to change their minds. Although they may become less negative over time, don’t try to change their attitudes—that’s up to them.
Read between the lines. Oftentimes, negative people just want to be heard, like anyone else. It’s just that they’re delivery method can be a bit of a downer. Acknowledge what they’re saying and offer empathy.
Help them think of solutions. One of the gifts that optimists have is the natural ability to look for solutions to any challenge. Listen to the person’s complaint and help them think of solutions. It may help to offer solutions based on your own experience. However, know that there might be some kick-back in the form of “yeah, but…” Remember, you can offer all the solutions in the world, but it’s up to them to solve the problem.
Change the subject. If their complaining or negativity is wearing you out, change the subject. They’ll get the message that you don’t want to hear it anymore, and it may prompt them to focus on something else.
Don’t let their attitude drag you down. You’re in control of your attitude, no matter what. If you feel that their negativity is beginning to impact you, excuse yourself and go for a walk, read something inspirational or put on your headphones and listen to some inspirational music to reconnect with your positivity.
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