Dealing with negative people might leave you feeling drained, but there are ways to help yourself repulse the negativity.
Many of us grapple with that friend, relative, boss or co-worker who only rants about how unfair life is to them and suck you into their black hole of negative energy. Interacting with them often leaves you bitter and drained out.
While many of us are tempted to play the role of a counselor (especially if you are a highly empathetic person), here are some ideas for dealing with negative people or situations that may help you navigate such interactions in a better way:
Often negative people don’t realize that they are moving around with a lot of emotional baggage and dumping that on others is actually not working in their favor. Also, they may not be even aware of the source of this negativity. Help them understand what’s driving this? Is it a stressful job, spouse, unpleasant situation, health etc.? Also, make them aware that this repeated behavior is actually harming or impacting their life the most instead of others. You can also help them draw out a self initiated solution or plan that may help mitigate the problem.
Being a highly compassionate person may make you listen – however negative people are always on the lookout for an audience, often involving animated and drama queen like behavior. Many will never ask about your well being but rant only about the unfairness of their life.
To protect yourself, you need to set boundaries and evaluate how much is not too much. What’s your threshold of taking negativity that doesn’t affect your well being or relationships? Is listening to this person also making you depressed or negative? Are you feeling low on energy or drained out? Set your limits of interacting with this person if it makes you feel any of the above – in the end you do need to protect yourself in order to effectively help others.
Sometimes walking away is the best solution. Some people are habitual offenders and knowing that you are their fall back option makes them take you for granted. If it’s a close relationship then breaking ties completely is not a way out but letting go temporarily may actually work. Suggesting professional counseling could be more beneficial for this person rather than trying to help them yourself.
Often we tend to attract situations or people who are reflecting our own internal state of mind. Maybe you are feeling the blues yourself hence you are seeking similar kind of people or experiences? Or being a good listener is surrounding you with folks who are keen to dump their negativity on you? Becoming self aware of your own internal energies and mindset may help you deal with such people/situations better.
Last but not the least, rejuvenate your own energies after a stressful interaction by diverting your mind with positive activities, friends or thoughts. Even a quick outing to the mall may pep-up your mind and help you recover faster!
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