No matter where you are, what you do, or what your current status is, there are always gonna be a bunch of negative people with the sole motive to push you down, criticize your actions, and undermine your values. They will mock you, berate you, insult you, disrespect you, lash at you, ridicule you, scorn you, poke fun at you, and whatnot. Hence, it’s imperative we learn how to deal with negative people in such a way that it doesn’t make us sweat.
We, in all honesty, suck donkey balls when it comes to dealing with negative people. Either we become furious with the person and start acting totally rashly in an irrational manner, or we become so upset and distressed with the person, that we can’t think about anything else.
“John HAS NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT HE DID TO ME!! I am gonna make his life a living hell. How dare he insult me in front of my boss! I am gonna massacre him left right and center. He’s gonna get it back from me LIKE HE HAS NEVER SEEN BEFORE. I am gonna make him pay. I will beat his sorry ass like a Cherokee drum.”
“Oh my God! How could Johnny do this to me!! I am his best friend, and that’s how he repays me. Am I such a horrible person? Don’t I deserve respect from my buddies? Whaaah ”
There has to be a better way to deal with negative people, other than being either a total jackass or a complete wuss. And gladly there is.
#1 Way to Deal With Negative People: Don’t
Some people’s basic nature is to just find shortcomings and limitations in people and situations. That’s all they know how to do. “Oh, why the hell is it so hot in here?”, “Damn, it’s freezing like crazy”, “Had you done this, this, and this you would have been better off”, “I told them they shouldn’t have done it, poor guys.” They are the kind of people who are frustrated when it’s raining like hell, and also frustrated when it’s not raining at all.
The most important thing to understand is that you don’t have to change these people, you can’t actually. That’s a trap that many people get entangled in. This is the first chapter on how to deal with negative people.
So many of us try so freaking hard to change those negative people. They think everything will be fine once these people change for themselves. Well, I have got news for you. You can’t change people. You don’t have to take that responsibility on your shoulders. The only person you need to be in charge of is you and you alone. Once you take your own responsibility seriously and change your thought process, everything will change. You will come to this realization that those people who were negative, are still negative, and are likely to remain just so.
So, why bother in the first place? Why make a futile attempt in changing the unchangeable? Now, I am not saying that they can’t change at all. All I am saying is that you can’t change them and shouldn’t waste time on something like this. Only they themselves can change their beliefs and ideologies. Let them be as they are. If they want to be miserable and unhappy in life, then why do you wanna forcefully make them happy? First, they won’t change, and second, they would take you down along with them.
#2 Way to Deal with Negative People: Responsibility
You can just take your own guarantee and no one else’s. You need to take care of your own happiness in life. And that will happen when you walk on the right path in life, which is to look at the bright side of life. Even looking at the positive side of the negative people. As simple as that. Now instead of reacting to them or letting them shake up your internal systems, just sit back and enjoy. Those poor souls have been conditioned to act this way right from their childhood. So, who the hell are you to take away their birthright huh? Let them have their fun.
It’s not entirely their fault. They might even be completely oblivious to the fact they are negative in the first place, because maybe they grew up in an environment where it was considered normal to be negative, or maybe they had to go through a rough couple of incidents that made them forego the narrative of ‘positivity’.
If you take what they say to heart, or give them more attention than they deserve, then chances are that you might also become like them.
Now, some people may argue that at times they simply can’t avoid such negative people. They may either be in your workplace or even in your families and friends. The thing is that you don’t have to physically avoid them. That’s not in your control. You are not the boss of your workplace who can fire whoever you deem as negative, and neither can you throw your family members out or leave the home yourself.
When it comes to dealing with negative people, the game revolves around the mind. You just have to mentally distance yourself from such people. Your mind is a powerful tool, it can make real things disappear and things that don’t exist come into life. Use that as leverage.
#3 Way to Deal with Negative People: Control
The world will often try to hurt us, keep us down, throw us off our game. And one can’t even control it from happening. There are no guarantees that they will stop coming tomorrow. But hey, it actually doesn’t matter.
Ideally, to be hurt or not, to stay down or not, to be thrown off of our game or not, should be in our hands. No one should have the authority to tame or puppet us according to their whims and fetishes. But, unfortunately, we are in awful need of learning how to deal with negative people. Mostly, we cave in, let the other party win by becoming furious or depressed. That has to stop. Sometimes we feel that since we are so emotionally and psychologically attached to the other party, we can’t help but get hurt in case they do something off.
The thing here to understand is that our feelings and emotions are not actually attached to the other person, they are actually attached to our own thoughts about the other person, and the two are not the same thing.
If we are getting hurt rather frequently, then it kinda implies that our understanding of the particular situation is somewhat patchy and sketchy. A mentally disordered person, if comes and starts bashing you and undermining you for no good reason, then you won’t give a damn because you are well aware of his condition. Similarly, if a person—who’s naturally negative, criticizes whatever comes in his sight, and doesn’t care what that does to people—is affecting you, then that implies that you haven’t been able to grasp the underlying situation adequately.
Having said that, I don’t mean to imply that you become totally impervious to people around you, and neither do you have to let the other person totally steamroll you. All I am trying to say is that there will be situations where you would have to take a stand or even fight for yourself, but getting hurt or not should be under your own purview.
Getting hurt because your own ego is bruised is the problem, but if you are getting hurt out of care for someone then that’s alright. Becoming distressed seeing your loved ones in pain and agony only makes you a compassionate person.
#4 Way to Deal with Negative People: Accept
In a computer program, you get the output according to the inputs. Similarly when it comes to humans, whatever goes in is ultimately what comes out. A bullshittter person is one who feeds himself on bullshit. “Garbage in, garbage out.” As simple as that.
So, whatever a person says about another, it shows who they actually are from within. Someone tells you, “You can’t do it”, “You are gonna fail miserably”—mostly they are talking about themselves and their own capacities and potentials. It’s not what they think about you, but instead, it’s what they think about themselves.
Sometimes, the best way to deal with a negative person is by not dealing with him at all, and just let him be. All you have to do is pretend to listen, smile in your head, and move on.
A wise person, a compassionate person, a successful person, will never try to demean or undermine others because that’s who they are. Ultimately you gotta be smart enough to figure out what kind of person you wanna be rattled with. You must have noticed some of your friends or your relatives, who always cheer you up, try to encourage you, motivate you, and talk very highly of you. They, again, are not necessarily talking about you, but what they truly are from the inside.
In my personal opinion, it doesn’t actually make sense for you to let yourself go through all the shit for a guy who’s shitty and negative. In fact, you should feel sorry for him, because, for someone who’s constantly bullying you in one way or the other, it’s impossible for him to live a happy and peaceful life. You can’t really complain about why the dog is barking! Because he is an effing dog. He was born to bark, and if you are being uncomfortable or uneasy from it, then it’s you who’s at fault. You can’t possibly make him shut. Even if you shut one, there will be others too. That’s simply who they are.
You should simply smile at them. Dogs are meant to unnecessarily chase cars. It’s their basic nature. Why stop them or become furious at them? Just leave them be. Those poor souls don’t even know what they are trying to prove running behind anything that moves. I sometimes feel they themselves are fed up with their in-build mechanism and the way they conduct their business. It’s like they want to stop the madness but can’t because they are so badly entangled with their basic nature.
If they are humiliating and belittling you, then chances are that they conduct themselves the same way with their own children and family. People who live a miserable life themselves see to it that they make everyone’s life around them miserable too. You don’t have to let them succeed in this mission of theirs now, do you?
How to Handle Hurt?
Many times you find yourself in a position where people who are more powerful than you take undue advantage of your weakness. They may try to exploit you or mentally torture you, and you can’t help but feel totally helpless.
Let’s say your boss takes unfair advantage of his powers. He mistreats you and doesn’t let you live a peaceful life. Your boss thinks he can do anything to you because you are financially dependent on him. Now that’s a toxic relationship. It could be any other person, your spouse, your parents, where you simply can’t do anything bold because you don’t have the power.
In most cases, people who are in higher positions than us, often consider their birthright to brag and show off their powers by dominating, suppressing, and controlling others. Just a meager 1% of people use their powers to elevate and empower the people around them. Now what to do in such circumstances? Keeping your mouth shut and head down and simply just tolerating whatever is being done to you? Uhh, not really. These are the situations when you have to take a stand to deal with negative people.
If today one of the partners is bad-mouthing and criticizing the other, what’s to stop him from beating and physically torturing the other partner? Likewise, if your boss thinks that today he can verbally abuse you, and he senses your weakness, then what’s stopping him from making you do something illegal for him tomorrow?
#5 Way To Handle Negative People: Take a Stand
The point is that, in toxic relationships like this, showing weakness and vulnerability and succumbing, instead of helping you out, may backfire on you. You gotta take a stand for yourself and redefine the relationship right then and there. The world is ready to tear you apart into a million little pieces if you don’t fight back. And no one else is gonna do it for you. You have to fight for your own right, your own peace, your self goddamn respect, in circumstances like these, otherwise, you will just be a pushover in life.
Now, either of the two things will happen. Either the person will understand the importance of losing you and will mend his behavior, or he will deem you redundant and will keep on behaving the same way, or become even worse eventually.
You need to give an ultimatum to your boss, or the person you are in a relationship with, “I have had enough of your shit, but not anymore. It stops now or I get out of your way, for good.” So, either your boss will understand that you are not horsing around, acknowledges the value you bring in, and ultimately stops behaving like an idiot, or he will continue being a prick because he doesn’t value your presence one bit.
If you look it my way, both of the reactions are positive and helpful. In case he reacts the former way, superb. He probably realized that you are too crucial for the company to be toyed with. This is the ideal situation. But in case he reacts the latter way, it’s even better. Being at a place where you are not valued and appreciated is in no way beneficial to you anyway. The sooner you learn about it, the better it is for you in the long term. It may probably even tell you and help you become aware of the areas you need to work at or make yourself more superior so that the next time they would have to think a bazillion times before cutting you loose.
You can replace the boss-employee relationship with any other toxic relationship you find yourself in, and don’t be afraid to fight in such extreme cases to earn some goddamn respect. If your partner doesn’t show you respect then don’t be afraid to walk out for your self-esteem.
Stop Taking Shit From Others
Why put yourself through all the torture and abuse? It’s literally throwing yourself into the fire and watching yourself burn slowly and crisply. All that for what? Sometimes it’s better to drink all the poison at once and get it on with, rather than sipping a drop every day and whining about how to deal with negative people for the rest of your life.
The first step to detoxification is distancing yourself from all the toxics you are consuming, consciously or unconsciously, physically or mentally. But if you are a sucker and fail to take this first step, then, uhh, well….what left for me to say? There’s no hard and fast rule or a guidebook that I can hand over to you telling you what to do when it comes to dealing with negative people. Sometimes you have to fight for yourself, sometimes you have to ignore; sometimes you have to take a stand, and sometimes you don’t have to react at all.
It all depends on the situation that you are in. And based on your intelligence and understanding you have to act accordingly. The best way to develop your understanding of how and why people do what they do is to observe yourself—look into yourself.
Just like doctors run any new experiments on various types of animals first before going for a human trial to get a better insight because they know the basic structure of other animals and humans kinda overlap, similarly if you can understand your emotions, your feelings, how you react to particular stimuli, you are actually understanding the basic human behavior because in case you forget, you yourself are a human, aren’t ya?
In this world, there are a lot more positive people than negative ones. Always keep this in mind. It’s due to our negative bias, which has been scientifically proven, that we tend to focus more on the negative side. You will talk and think about that one criticism over tens of compliments, you will remember that one “I hate you” over a hundred “I love you”, you will keep in mind that one “I didn’t like it” over a thousand “It’s amazing”, you will keep on pondering over that one failure over thousands of successes, you will recollect that one time you cried over millions of times you smiled. Well, this has got to change.
I get hundreds of emails about my blog. Some are positive and thankful and some are negative and spiteful. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my own choice of whether to let the negativity drown me or let the positivity uplift me. Does it mean that I stop writing just because of some of those nasty and malicious emails? Hell no.
The people who know it in their heart that they are doing something good for themselves or are helping the society, shouldn’t stop themselves because a couple of naysayers are obstructing your path. You would be doing yourself a great injustice if you succumb to a minuscule negative person whose sole purpose is to pull you down from the pedestal you have built.
Besides, there is no one in this world who is purely negative or purely positive. Sometimes we just over-exaggerate the negativities and undermine the positives of such people. If you spend enough time understanding where they are coming from, you will feel empathetic towards them.
It all boils down to your choice. Either you can stay mad at them for being so negative, or you can look at their bright side and learn from them. This is another way of dealing with negative people—eliminate the negative from the equation.
There are no bad people, just people who sometimes think bad and do bad. If for once, we can segregate the two, then we will be able to look at something that no one ever did before. If all we see is the negativity of the other person, then that somehow tells us a lot about our own self too. Your focus should be on making yourself better, and that can’t happen until and unless you keep on ranting about how negative the people around you are. Accept it, learn from them, and move on.
Don’t Let a Few Negative People overwhelm you with their negativity. Always remember, there are a whole lot more Positive People in this world.