I am fortunate to have known many different types of personalities throughout my life. However, that meant also dealing with people who are quite negative, which can be challenging. They never have anything nice to say about anyone, they look for the worst in people and they put you down, but ever so subtly so you don’t actually realize they’re doing it.

I’m not saying I am the most positive, kind-hearted, non-judgemental person on the planet because I’m not but for the past few years and especially the past few weeks, I have been trying to become the best version of myself. I purposely remove myself from negative situations, and I try my hardest to remove myself from negative people, but it’s not always that easy. You’re not always in a situation where you can confront someone about their negative behavior; maybe they’re your boss, or a friend of a friend, or a family member who you have to keep the peace with, so here are a few things you can do when faced with a negative person in a situation out of your control.

For every negative comment they make, make a positive one

We’ve all been in a situation where we have had to spend time with a person who never has anything nice to say about anyone. Now I’m not judging people for being this way because everyone is different, but it’s not nice to hear someone say, “He’s fat” or, “She’s ugly” for every single person who walks past. Try and turn every negative comment they make about someone into a positive. They say, “He’s fat,” you reply with, “Doesn’t he have a lovely smile.” They say, ”She’s Ugly,” reply with, “How beautiful is that top she’s wearing.”

Next time you’re with someone who likes to see the worst in people, only talk about the good in people. We all have times where we are a little bitchy and let out our own frustrations. I’m not trying to say I’m a saint and that I’ve never had a negative thought or judged someone because in the past I have, and it takes time to grow and change. Fight these negative thoughts with positive things and try and turn negative views into something positive, whether it’s someone else’s views or your own.

 

Girl enjoying her time

 

Be understanding

Try and understand why they are the way they are. Maybe they put people down because they have low self-esteem and maybe they put you down because they’re jealous of the kind of person you are. Maybe they have had a bad start in life, and maybe they have been surrounded by negativity and negative people and this is why they constantly look for the worst situation. When I meet a person who is like this, I don’t feel any bitterness towards them, I feel pity, and it upsets me that someone must feel so low in their life that the only way they get through is by putting others down.

Be thankful that you don’t think this way, be grateful that you look at the world and see beauty. Try and see the best in everyone and try to understand why people are the way they are. When I am with a negative person who isn’t being very nice, I say thank you to myself for trying to become a better person. I say thank you that I don’t see the world in such a negative light and I say thank you for my wonderful family and friends for surrounding me with positivity.

Flood them with compliments

The old saying ‘kill them with kindness’ – not quite, but try and flood them with happy thoughts. If they try and put you down about something you do, whether it’s a piece of work or a change in your appearance, if they are being negative about it, reply with a compliment. I’m not saying if a close friend or family member says one time that they don’t like what you’re wearing you have to be offended and go on the defensive.

I’m talking about that person who constantly puts you down, the person who ALWAYS makes a negative comment about your clothes, your hair, your work, etc. If they tell you they aren’t sure about your new hairstyle, reply with, “Ahh, don’t you? I love your make-up today.” It will be hard, and it will make your stomach knot up inside. You’ll question why you’re being nice to someone so mean, but by doing this you are giving out positive thoughts and feelings, and they will all come back to you in one way or another.

Hopefully by doing this enough you will possibly leave an impression on this person’s life and they may begin to look at the positive side of things rather than the negative. If not, then at least you’re being a nice person, and that’s all you need to worry about.

See the cranky horse

This is my personal favorite as I can have a little giggle when implementing it. I’m obsessed with Rhonda Byrne and her books. ‘The Power’ was the first one I read, and there’s a whole chapter in it about dealing with negative people. Rhonda says the best thing you can do when dealing with someone negative is to imagine them riding a horse.

Now if this person is being a crank, whether it’s your boss giving you stick for something out of your control, or someone who is being a little bitchy about other people, just imagine them riding this type of horse. I used to do this when my manager was moaning to me about something that wasn’t my fault. He would come storming over to me, but all I could see was him sitting on a huge, grumpy horse stomping over to me.

I used to work in an extremely bitchy environment and it was so easy to get sucked into the bitchy culture. To try and avoid this, if someone is bitching to you about another colleague or friend, just imagine them sitting on a bitch horse – imagine a horse dressed as Regina George from Mean Girls if you have to! I know it sounds silly but it really helps. I always have a little giggle to myself which means I am thinking positive, happy thoughts.

It’s not always realistic to remove yourself from negative people, and it’s not realistic to think that by doing this you’re going to somehow be the most positive joyful person in the world, but what’s the harm in trying? There is none. There is no harm in doing little things like this to try and make yourself feel better and in trying to better yourself. Next time you’re in a situation with a negative person, try and do just one of these things, and see if it makes you feel better. They certainly help me.

by Samantha Russell