Managing Negative People

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Most people most of the time are mostly good and good to have around.  But there are a few who can wreck it for us all with their negativity.

Often, we have no idea where this negative behaviour comes from, but we are aware of the damage it can create for us and others if we let it:

  • Erodes confidence
  • Drains energy
  • Demeans your value
  • Destroys your image
  • Dampens your creativity and imagination
  • Deframes your skills and experience
  • Disbelieves your opinions
  • Damages productivity, performance and morale
  • Disposes your dreams
  • Drives you crazily!

Whilst understanding the ‘negative ones’ may well be sabotaging themselves as well as others we may not always be in a position to help them but we can do something to protect ourselves and others too.

Here are my five tips to handle negative people:

  1. Flood them with Positivity -– counteract their negativity with the opposite by setting them an example of positive attitudes and behaviour
  2. Surround yourselves with Positive people – seek out your supportive and encouraging family and friends and tap into their positivity whilst giving yours back too
  3. Do something about it – inform the ‘negative one’ about the impact their negativity is having on others in the workplace, listen to them, state the facts, ask for a change in action as what is currently happening is unacceptable. If it continues make a formal complaint.
  4. Look after yourself – your mind by taking a step back, taking a deep breath, view the situation gently, openly as it really and reframe it positively – your body by ensuring you get enough sleep, exercise and mostly eat and drink the right thing!
  5. Personal Power – remind yourself how great you are and don’t take the comments personally – the ‘negative one’ is unhappy but don’t allow this to make you unhappy too.

A couple of interesting and useful links to check out.  Firstly, we all have times when we too have been negative Alison Ledgerwood’s  excellent TED talk shows how we can get unstuck from our own negativity. Secondly, Brooks Gibbs’ talk on How to Stop A Bully demonstrates that the most successfully way to respond to negative behaviour is to be positive.

And finally whenever possible Stay away from Negative People.