How to get your head around negative people you cant avoid?

3 years, 1 month ago

Hey team

Aite in a nut shell its my old boy. He is so negative every time he opens his mouth whether he realizes it or not its negative! Every comment, every suggestion, all advice.. he highlights the negatives, everything! It’s really killing our relationship and to be honest its never been good. I try really hard to not let it get to me but its hard because normally i eliminate or avoid negative people in my life. Can anyone shine some light on this problem..?

Many thanks

Joel :)

January 12, 2012 at 1:10 am

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Profile photo of jetsetplayboy jetsetplayboy (@jetsetplayboy) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

I work with people like that…they’re SO negative, as soon as they walk in the door they’re complaining about something. I’ve just stopped talking to them–I don’t need negativity like that in my life. Plus I’m looking for a new job, so who cares about them?

But your situation is a bit different…have you tried talking about it? Let him know that he spews negativity all the time, and it’s not something you enjoy being around. Or, whenever he does say something negative, try to spin it into a positive right then and there–if you do that enough, he might just come around.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Well for me it is hard to carry out a relation with anyone with low moral. Working in low moral is sometime I got use to, I just cursed at everything and was a dick to new guys. I look forward to others advice on this, good question!

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Profile photo of ELI var namnet ELI var namnet (@manimal) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Don’t get your head around them. Get them out of your head and get your head out of the way. Don’t let them get to you.

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Profile photo of Megan Wilson Megan Wilson (@poefan2490) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Try to let him know that he’s being negative and help him see the positives in life. If after a little while it still isn’t clicking with him, then you really need to just ignore him and his negativity. It’s not worth your happiness to put up with someone like that.

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Profile photo of Ryan Johnsen Ryan Johnsen (@ryanjohnsen) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Dump him. Its natures way of telling you its time to move on to your next relationship. I would even be as bold as to tell him your not happy about his negativity and that your concerned that the relationship might be over. Im sure that will inspire him to change.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Wow…so many people with the tendency to want to avoid.

Personally, while I don’t go out of my way to be around negative people, someone would not only have to be negative but would have to actively try to bring me down before I would just plain out avoid them.

I tend to think of my positive attitude as a shield that buffers me from negativity. Since I don’t generally believe/promote these peoples negative ideals, how could they pierce my shield? I just go about my day confident in what I believe/feel (while still keeping an open mind) and readily discarding/not accepting/not assimilating other peoples negative thoughts or emotions or attitudes. These people are inconsequential in my thinking and in my life, in the grand scheme of things.

Now, a close personal friend is a different matter, and I’m actually in the same boat with my best friend of 15+ years. He is a glass half empty guy who has convinced himself he can’t change. Well, since he is my best friend in life, and since I am confident in my “positivity armor” I go about our time together either patiently listening to his problems and trying to put them in a new perspective for him, or I go about actively challening why he feels the way he feels, and if he has any live evidence/experience to substantiate the way that he feels. Since he is my best friend, and I care about his well being and believe in his potential, I invest time with him in trying to help him be positive that I wouldn’t invest in strangers or coworkers. This also helps me to fortify my own beliefs, as I never preach what I don’t myself practice.

Ultimately, I advocate being strong and simply not letting other peoples realities influence your own. If you find it that straining to be around a negative person or find your own beliefs are tested by them…well…they may not be the problem. You may need to fortify your own beliefs so that other peoples negative attitudes don’t phase you. Don’t avoid anything…confront and accept or change (or help to change, as the case may be).

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Profile photo of Dick Dick (@dick) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Like Nicholas I don’t avoid people who are negative. I try to help them. That usually means taking the piss and countering every negative thing they express. I don’t know if it helps but, regardless, they soon stop sharing their negativity with me.

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Profile photo of Exist Exist (@exist) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

I think a Zen Koan involving Tanzan is relevant:

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling. As they came around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross at an intersection.
“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could no longer restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”

I guess, interpret it as you will.

Negative influences don’t need to have any influence on you at all, it’s simply thinking about/ worrying/ overthinking that leads to this.

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Profile photo of Exist Exist (@exist) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Also I don’t really recommend trying to help anyone until your own inner crap is sorted.

Issues are individual, right? Self-help is exactly that, done by oneself.

Unless he/she is willing to, you know, be more positive etc, there’s not a lot you can really do and you might end up making things worse.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

Tanzan just blew my mind.

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Profile photo of BirdFlyingHigh BirdFlyingHigh (@birdflyinghigh) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Exist I fucking love those little stories. Thank you for sharing this one!

Negative people are usually feeling out of control and pissed off by the world around them. As such, they are usually REALLY thrown for a loop when you approach them with positivity!

Feeling upbeat and positive can be a really vital part of personal health, so letting someone constantly bring you down is actually affecting your health. So before you let them get away with it again, imagine if you would let them constantly punch you in the arm. It’s pretty similar! The very fact that you’re now worrying about how you should handle THEIR negativity means that it has infected you!

Don’t put up with it! Just say something to them. Something like, “I can’t handle this freaking negativity any more! You’re constantly bringing me down! Why are you feeling so negative lately?” Maybe there’s a bigger reason that you don’t know about!

If they get all mad at you and refuse to talk to you, then hey, problem solved.

Eventually they will come around and realize how much of a drag they were being, and then you can be real friends again. Until then, don’t let them hurt you!

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Profile photo of baird baird (@jeanlebon) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@BirdFlyingHigh second on that.

if he bums you out, then negativity propagates. instead, slap him into shape. say something! like, “can’t you ever see the bright side?” start him thinking on his own that he needs to see the bright side. but don’t let it slide. don’t go along with it. and don’t let it make you uncomfortable!

best of luck

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Profile photo of baird baird (@jeanlebon) 3 years, 1 month ago ago

@Exist this is a great koan, thanks. i’m not sure any(body) really has all of their inner shit sorted ever. in my vision it’s more of an oscillation between the roles of helper and helped.

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