How to Deal with Negative People (Without Feeling Burnt Out)
How often do you dread catching up with an old friend over coffee, calling your sister-in-law, or spending the holidays with your mother because you always feel depleted afterward?
Some people have an endless supply of negative energy that makes your relationship with them difficult, no matter how much you care for them.
Learning how to deal with negative people can help you protect yourself from toxic interactions and restore peace.
How Negativity & Negative People Can Wear Us Down
Negative people always find a way to spin every situation, conversation, and experience in a negative direction. Their negativity can wear us down, affecting our mood, happiness, and well-being.
Here are some of the ways negativity and negative individuals may drain you.
Negative people exhaust you. Every interaction with a negative person can cause you to feel depleted and overwhelmed. Their persistent despair, anger, or passive-aggressiveness can cause prolonged frustration and tension in your relationship, leaving you feeling stressed, unhappy, and emotionally drained.
Negative people are always the ones who suffer. Complaints are an essential component of negative people’s narratives. Their comments and actions usually make you feel uncomfortable. For example, a negative friend, family member, or coworker will never accept responsibility for their issues, often making you feel guilty for their negativity.
They don’t respect boundaries. When you attempt to set boundaries, a negative person will make you feel bad about it. So, you might end up feeling guilty all the time, believing that you are responsible for the person’s feelings.
They drive you crazy. You may find it difficult to calm down after interacting with this person. Or you spend time agonizing over a negative person and their behavior without coming to a constructive solution.
You are a different person around them. Negative people bring out the worst in you. You catch yourself acting in ways that contradict your standards and ideals when you are with them, powerless to control yourself.
How Do You Tell a “Negative Person” from Someone Having a Bad Day?
We all have those days when we just ooze negativity and need to rant about everything and everyone.
But some people are so constantly needy, offended, angry, judgmental, or disrespectful that they wear out everyone around them.
They will never text or phone you to check on how you are doing; your relationship will constantly revolve around them and their issues. As a result, they are always miserable, hurt, and concerned. Nonetheless, you may find it difficult to feel compassion for this person since their energy drains you, leaving little room for empathy.
Warning Signs Someone is a Negative Person
The most evident warning flag that you are dealing with a negative person is exhaustion after speaking with or spending time with them. You may also feel quite uneasy about approaching them again.
Here are some additional warning signs that someone is a negative person:
- They always try to bring you down with them.
- They don’t know how to handle criticism.
- They tend to think in “all-or-nothing” terms and label everything “catastrophic.”
- They are quick to judge everyone and everything.
- They are pessimistic.
- They are energy suckers.
5 Ways to Deal with Negative People (Without Feeling Burnt Out)
Negative people spread negative energy like wildfire; their energy consumes and drains you.
So, here are five tips to help you learn how to deal with negative people and protect yourself while they’re around.
1. Don’t Argue with Them
Arguments with negative people rarely result in their changing their opinions; therefore, they are often pointless. On the other hand, getting into a fight with a negative partner, parent, friend, or coworker can only lead to more negativity, making you feel burnt out and upset.
2. Avoid the Blame Game
Set boundaries around what is acceptable and what is not in your communication with a negative person. Negative people often draw you into a negative spiral, blaming you for their feelings. When this happens, try to ignore their negative comments or state categorically that you will not tolerate such communication.
3. Be Calm and Secure in Your Responses
Negative people rarely seek advice; they want to vent and rant about everything. So, don’t engage too much when your roommate starts complaining that they’ve been wronged or mistreated all their lives. Or when your toxic boss starts fuming because the job is “never done” as they had hoped. Avoid taking such talks too personally, and don’t let them inflict self-doubt. Instead, keep your cool and stay confident.
4. Try to Empathize (When You Can)
Even if it is difficult to constantly feel for a negative person in your life, try to listen attentively to what they have to say since they often want to be heard. Maybe they’re worried about their health, having relationship troubles, or experiencing challenges at work. You may demonstrate empathy and make the negative person feel better by listening.
5. Don’t Let Yourself Be Cornered by Their Negativity
The significant amount of distress in relationships with negative people comes from our reluctance to say “no” while staying calm and offering no further explanation.
Don’t let their negativity draw you in. Listen to them, but don’t give them advice or let their negative energy influence your self-perception, mood, or opinions. Reduce your interaction with them or avoid them entirely if necessary. Keep in mind that your well-being comes first.
Learning to Transcend External Negativity is a Powerful Tool
Our relationships should make us feel happy, appreciated, and secure. They should bring out the best in us and help us grow. However, relationships with negative people can do the opposite, making us feel uneasy, worn out, and unhappy.
Learning how to deal with negative people can help you feel less stressed, angry, and upset.
Coaching can be a safe place to address your troubled relationships with negative people in your life and learn how to transcend their negative energy. If you want to learn how to deal with negative people and get past their bad energy, contact me to set up a free empowering conversation.