Navigating the presence of negative people in our lives can be a difficult challenge. Whether they’re a customer whose business we value, a friend who has been by our side through thick and thin, or even a colleague at work, it can be hard to cope with their negative energy. Rather than shying away from or attempting to avoid them altogether, there are steps we can take to better manage these interactions. We can start by understanding the root cause of their pessimism and attempting to engage in dialogue that is empathetic rather than self-serving.
This could involve inquiring further into their concerns and sharing your perspective on how things could turn out differently for them if they adopted a more optimistic outlook.
Additionally, it might make sense to offer practical advice on how they could improve their situation, such as setting realistic goals and breaking down tasks into manageable bites.
Finally, being mindful of your own energy is key – try not to let the other person’s pessimism swallow you up or carry over into your next task!
Strategies For Handling Negative Individuals.
Implement These Easy Fixes To Manage Negative Individuals In Your Daily Life.
1. React With A Sense Of Humor.
To combat this, humor can be a useful tool as it can create an opportunity for self-reflection and realization.
One way to do this is by pointing out the contagiousness of grumpiness in a jovial manner, which can give those who have been complaining a chance to view their behavior from a different perspective.
Additionally, making light of negative behavior can help remove the stigma associated with it and create an environment that is more conducive to open and honest communication.
2. Defeat Them With Kindness.
Negative people can be destructive to any workplace culture and the economy.
A 2019 SHRM report demonstrated how employee turnover due to toxic environments can cost companies an enormous $223 billion over five years.
To combat this, Gordon suggests using kindness as the best weapon against negative people – otherwise known as ‘energy vampires’ – who can drain both your life energy and financial resources.
With positive vibes in your personal arsenal, you have a much better chance at truly tackling negativity in the workplace and preventing it from adversely affecting productivity or revenue.
3. React With Positivity.
It is possible to counter the negativity of a colleague or spouse with an optimistic perspective. A great way to do this is by ignoring the negativity and putting on a positive attitude.
For example, when encountering a negative coworker, one can make it their personal mission to fight off the pessimistic outlook and maintain an upbeat and cheerful outlook.
This approach helps to power over the situation, as positivity often outweighs negativity; in fact, it usually takes up to three pleasant experiences to nullify one negative interaction.
Thus, if one exchanges criticism with their spouse, initiating three contented moments can help restore peace and goodwill in the relationship.
By remaining positive even when faced with gloominess, it is possible to spread cheerfulness and optimism throughout any atmosphere.
4. Retain Authority Over Your Own Attitude.
Negative people can be a real drain on your emotional and mental well-being. While it may be tempting to try and change their outlook, it is important to remember that the only thing we can truly control is our own attitude and reaction.
As Gandhi said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
We have the power to protect ourselves from being pulled into a vortex of negativity by not letting other people’s attitudes influence how we feel and think.
Taking steps to maintain our own positivity, such as intentional self-care, reflection, exercise, or engaging in an activity that brings us joy are all ways to cope with difficult people in our lives and shield ourselves from their negativity.
Effective Strategies For Coping With A Negative Spouse.
It can be difficult to halt the never-ending stream of complaints from a spouse that seems to grow stronger with time.
In a 2009 study conducted by the University of Michigan, researchers found that married couples who stayed together for extended periods of time had increasingly negative perceptions of their partner.
This was not consistent across other types of relationships, such as those between children and friends.
It’s possible that over time patterns are established in interactions between partners which leads to a downward spiral in relationship quality.
Alternatively, it may also be due to the fact that partners are more willing to share both good and bad experiences as they age.
No matter why it’s happening, it can be hard to cope with this kind of behavior.
Marie McIntyre, Ph.D., owner of Your Office Coach career coaching service, suggests making a conscious effort not to get trapped into listening and responding to the endless complaining cycle.
Instead, McIntyre recommends controlling the conversation by redirecting topics away from negative connotations – bringing up something new like an upcoming movie or weekend plan is one way to do this.
1. Keep An Eye Out For These Common Complaints.
In his research with more than 3,000 couples, renowned relationship expert John Gottman, Ph.D., discovered that some chronic complaining styles could have dire consequences for marriages. Specifically, those who express contempt towards their spouse or are constantly defensive can predict a higher probability of divorce.
On the other hand, couples who display positive emotions and attitudes towards each other and their marriage are likely to enjoy longer-lasting relationships.
Through analyzing various elements of communication such as body language and facial expressions in addition to verbal complaints, Gottman was able to make some profound observations on the success or failure of marital relationships.
2. Shifting The Discussion’s Tone.
The news that many individuals may take comfort in is that, although it’s not possible to modify fundamental personality traits such as an optimistic or pessimistic outlook, there are ways to help a partner handle and express these emotions differently.
Robin Kowalski, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Clemson University and author of Complaining, Teasing, and Other Annoying Behaviors, explains that “every individual on this planet complains” but they might not be aware of how their tone affects the situation.
For example, saying something like “It’s cold outside” in a flat voice will likely evoke a more sympathetic response than speaking with a whiny pitch.
She goes on to say that couples have more contact with each other than anyone else in their lives so it’s common for them to use one another as sources of comfort when voicing out frustrations or complaints.
Strategies For Managing Negative Individuals In Friendships.
When it comes to friendships, it can be difficult to navigate conversations with whiners and complainers.
Though it may seem like they are doing more harm than good, complaining can actually be a way for friends to find common ground and start a conversation.
In some cases, negative comments are more likely to spark a sympathetic response rather than a positive one.
Then there are the yes-buts – those people who seem to have an excuse for every suggestion made.
It’s important not to get sucked into their complaints, as this can quickly turn into an unproductive argument of who has the worse situation.
Instead, try redirecting the conversation by bringing up positive topics that you have recently experienced or heard about.
This will help bring the conversation away from any negative thoughts and back towards happier subjects – which is likely what everyone needs at that moment.
Even though it may be annoying at times, most people use complaining as a way of forming connections with each other – so try and foster that connection in a more productive way by finding something positive to talk about instead.
Effective Approaches For Handling Negative Individuals In Customer Service.
Part of what decides how irritating a person’s persistent lamentations can be relies heavily on the way they are understood and interpreted.
In matters relating to customer service for your business, the same timeless maxim holds true: the client is always right.
It is important to analyze their grievances objectively and search for any underlying truth in their complaints about your product.
Make sure to act upon their requests—which may be concealed beneath the whiny facade—to show them that you are there to resolve any problems or dissatisfaction they may have with your service.
Cheree Berry, founder, and CEO of Cheree Berry Paper, a St. Louis-based graphic design company that specializes in wedding stationery and custom invitations, has dealt with more than her fair share of difficult clients over the years.
Not only do these issues come in a variety of forms revolving around design-related queries; but also involve interference from an intrusive relative or two, which requires Berry to double as a family therapist at times just to keep everyone on track.
No matter how heated her exchanges with customers become, Berry remains steadfast in her approach by taking a few moments to gather her composure before she responds.
Ultimately, it boils down to the individual’s personality type when it comes to handling negative people in one’s life—do we join in on their behavior or remain levelheaded?
According to Gordon, it is far easier to let others dictate our attitude than it is for us to stay resolute in our composure.
Therefore, it is essential that we remain cognizant of how we manage such situations and strive towards a better outcome through active thoughtfulness as opposed to passive acquiescence.