7 Ways to Avoid Negative People, Now!

If I was charged with the task of ranking my pet peeves, negative people would definitely be first on the list.  Although individuals in this category run the spectrum, for the sake of time, let me outline a few!

The first type are who I like to call, “The Everyone Sucks but Me” kind of folks: though easy to spot, they’re definitely a challenge to take.  These individuals love social media– it’s where they bash the opposite sex and consistently cut people off.  And why wouldn’t they, when according to them, everyone cheats, no one is loyal, and they’re “perfectly fine” by themselves.  And that’s just online………   In person ESBM’s are not really much different—spark a conversation with them and you’ll be ready to run within the first ten minutes.  Why?  Because everyone, from their mama to their dog, is clueless– everyone except them !

Now from there you have the WIM’s, or the Woe-is Me’s.  They live at pity party central and they’re constantly down:  Tell a WIM something good in your life, they’ll tell you how they can’t catch a break.   Inform them of a great opportunity, they’ll remind you that their last venture failed.  Have a great idea for a vacation, WIM’s have a million reasons they can’t go.  WIM’s are generally nice people, but their defeatism makes them draining as hell.

Last on this list are the Dream-Killers, they’re basically haters on the low.   To your, “I think I want to go back to college”, comes their, “Girl, why would you want to do that?”  For your excitement about starting a new job, they have a “I don’t know why you would want to work there?”  No matter what you tell a DK, they’re incapable of being happy for you because they are usually miserable themselves.

Now,  being that this is my number one category of annoying people, I have studied this conundrum a lot—that said, I’m not only adept at spotting them in true form, I’ve  learned a few tricks that keep the negatives at bay.

  1. Don’t Engage. Whoever coined the phrase  “Silence is Golden”, could have very well had negative people in mind.  Negative people tend to exhaust listening ears rather quickly, thus their rants, complaints and snide comments are typically just a way of sending out bait—Do yourself a favor and refuse to bite!
  2. Shift and Switch. Negative people HATE when you do this, but it’s a tactic that definitely works.  In the midst of negative conversation simply change the subject or keep accentuating the positive.  This will drive the offender bananas, or send them to another victim to drain.
  3. Unfriend.  In most cases we can’t choose our neighbors, our co-workers, and we certainly don’t choose our kin.  We can, however, control our cyber-world and who enter in.  You have no obligation to stay virtually connected with negative people; Cut them off to free up more positive space.
  4. Limit Contact. Its absolutely smart to avoid negative people, same as you would the bully down the street.  Stop or limit phone calls, decline invitations, eat at your cubicle for lunch—eventually they’ll get the message and you’ll get your much-needed peace.
  5. Communicate. Sometimes a person may not be aware of how they’re presenting, and if told, will make an effort not to offend.  In these instances a simple conversation can do wonders, especially if the relationship is meaningful on both ends.
  6. Establish Boundaries. There are always exceptions to every rule, and people whom we just can’t escape.  In those instances, it’s okay to set clear boundaries of what you will and won’t accept.  Maybe you allow a few moments of venting occasionally, but refuse to hear more after that.  Maybe you agree to engage in only certain topics, while others you completely avoid.  Setting clear boundaries can often salvage a relationship that negativity would otherwise destroy.
  7. Call it Quits. When all else fails, or, if you simply don’t have the energy, it’s healthy to disconnect.  No one is entitled to your friendship, or your love, energy, or time!


4 Replies to “7 Ways to Avoid Negative People, Now!”

  1. I have a friend who has ZERO tolerance for negativity. She will disengage by removing herself or hang up the phone on you in a heartbeat. This is definitely a good read for those Debbie downers.


    1. Yes! I admire people like your friend. I am way to tolerant of negative people because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I find that most negative people don’t change sadly.


  2. I really like your descriptions of negative people. It’s hard dealing with coworkers who can’t/won’t be happy for you improving your position or role. I’ll be using some of your suggestions. Thanks!


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