The Savvy Working Mom
Dealing with Negative People

Dealing with Negative People

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Ugh, the Negative Nellys and Nancys of the world can bring you down. They can rob you of your joy and stop you from having great days. It can be a friend, co-worker, or even our mothers, who are a negative force. They are not bringing the kind of energy to your world that you need. Let’s talk about how we deal with them, especially when it’s someone close to you that you can’t just, X out of your life. Here are a few tips that I use that help me deal with the negative people in my life. 

Set Boundaries

Set boundaries to minimize the time you spend with negative people. Minimize the conversation. Don’t let things linger. Once you have gotten the point across, or whatever it is that you need to talk to them about, move on. Any conversations that you can have over text or email do that. Communicating via text or email is a great way to minimize interactions and minimize the opportunities they have to shed negative energy onto you.

Set Strict Time Limits

If there is someone you have to spend time with, or you feel like you have to spend time with, set strict time limits on how long you will be with that person. Maybe an hour, maybe 90 minutes, and then make sure that you have something real going on afterward to hold you accountable to your timeline. It’s easy to get guilted in or feel like you should be spending more than 30 or 60 minutes with the person. If you have something you’ve committed to after that event or that engagement, it will help clear you out. 

Develop a “Cleansing Ritual” 

Develop a cleansing ritual for after you’ve dealt with this person. Come up with something that will help you feel better after spending your time with this negative person. It could be going for a run or reading your gratitude list. If you don’t have one, a gratitude list is simply a place where you write down all the things that you’re grateful for. All those wonderful experiences and the wonderful people in your life you write it down in a list. That’s your gratitude list. 

Maybe you call someone who always makes you feel better. Maybe you go onto YouTube and watch silly cat videos. Whatever’s going to make you feel good, create that type of cleansing ritual for yourself after you come into contact with this person. Even when you feel like, “Oh, it wasn’t that bad.” Just do it. Complete the cleansing ritual, because you never know, that negative energy may linger without “cleansing” yourself from it. 

Offer Positivity 

Try to help them to see situations in a more positive light. Some people are on a downward spiral and do need help and support. So try to help them to see things in a more positive light. If, for some reason, you try and you try, and they don’t accept your positive perspectives, then stop. Don’t keep trying because that’s only going to make things harder for you. Try three times, and then you’re out. 

Everything Doesn’t Warrant a Response

Please don’t respond to everything that they say. There’s probably going to be a lot of complaining, a lot of bashing, a lot of negative talk coming from them. You don’t have to respond to everything that they say. Sometimes, when we engage, we give that negativity power over us. Rather than being an active participant, acknowledge their statements with a “hmmm” or “okay,” then move on. 

It’s Not Your Job to Make Them Happy 

It is not your job to make people happy and it’s not their job to make you happy. You are responsible for your happiness, and they are responsible for their happiness. Don’t put that burden on yourself. 

Be the Light in Your Own Life

And lastly, when it comes to dealing with negative people is to focus on what you can control, which is to focus on your actions and be a light in your life. Be positive, be kind, find ways to express positivity and kindness throughout your life, and it’ll create more joy for you. You’ll have more great days when you focus on being the light in your life. 

Take Action

When it comes to dealing with negative people, it can be challenging; however, you can start preparing yourself today. Start to plan what your cleansing ritual will be. If you’d like to read your gratitudes but do not have one yet, you can start that list or journal today. This action will equip you with a tool to utilize when you come into contact with a Negative Nelly or Nancy. When you plan for the inevitable, you equip yourself, which leads to living a life you love. 

For more self-care tips check out, 5 Unexpected Ways to Boost Your Confidence.

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