Identifying and Dealing with Negative People

Identifying a problem and actually resolving it are two completely different things. Just because you acknowledge something, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to get better. It will not fix itself. That’s like saying ,”Oh, my shirt is on backwards today” and expecting it to turn itself forward. The same can be said for negative people. Not only do you need to identify them, but you must also deal with their negativity, deciding whether you will allow that to be a part of your life. Although, there are two types of negative people that I feel are most important to identify and deal with for your own sanity, they can both be classified as “downers”.

Belief in yourself is important in every aspect of life. Yet it is also very important to find others who believe in you, who will motivate you, and who will encourage and lift you up when you need it the most. Each and every one of us has a dream, and all dreams are attainable. Yes, all of them are attainable. In most cases, a dream cannot be reached without a close-knit support system; whether it be to encourage you to keep striving during the times that you want to give up, or to help you figure out ways to reach your goals. The tiniest bit of support can make a world of a difference. We have all come across at least one person in our lives who believed nothing was possible and would shoot down any dreams we had any hopes of reaching. You need to remove those people from your life to the largest extent that you are able to. If you don’t, you run the risk of becoming as pessimistic as they are and never reaching your own goals. Your goals are yours and yours alone. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Politely tell your nay saying downers that you are not going to let anyone or anything stop you fulfilling your dreams, and if they chose to not be apart of the journey, it’s no sweat off of your back.

Another type of downer, is someone who doesn’t necessarily intend to be a downer, but is by nature. These types of people just cannot find anything positive to say, and even when they begin a sentence on a positive note, there is always the “but.” One minute, you feel like they are complimenting you for your talent, only to feel as if you’ve been slapped across the face in their next breath when they tell you to keep dreaming. One minute you will believe they themselves are motivated, only to hear them scoff and say “forget I said that, it will never happen.” There is almost no changing their minds. They don’t necessarily try to impose their views upon you; nevertheless, the mood rubs off all too easily. All you can do is be a positive influence in their life. However, if they are not willing to take it for what it is worth, you should walk away confident that you did all you could. Ultimately, you cannot save someone, who does not want to be saved. Sometimes, you have to look out for yourself. It is similar to Al-Anon meetings, where they tell you that you need to take care of yourself and make sure your own mind and body is healthy, before you can care for someone else. So while a loved one can be thinking negatively, you need to remain in your positive frame of mind, for yourself and your own health and peace of mind.

Then comes the difficult part. Most people can spot a negative influence from miles away. Once you’ve identified these negative people and influences, what do you do about them? Unfortunately, sometimes there is little you can do. For example, if the person is a family member, it makes it harder to cut them out of your life, especially if you are in some way helping one another out, whether it is financially, putting a roof over your head, or many other scenarios. One thing you should never do is remain silent. There is always some sort of middle ground that can be reached, even if it isn’t the ideal situation you wish to be in. It gives you enough breathing room though, to focus on yourself and those goals you’re striving to reach. Never internalize your feelings. It just makes you feel worse in the end, which truthfully, is what the downers want. As far as the people that aren’t so “close to home”, all you can do is tell them how you feel, encourage them to change their own outlook on things, and tell them that you aren’t trying to force your views on them, but that their attitude towards whatever it is, is not conducive to the environment you wish to be a part of. Give off positivity and surround yourself with positivity!