Sooner or later, everyone interacts with negative people. Whether at work, home, or social situations, some folks seem to always look on the bleak side, finding fault and complaining. Unfortunately, even if you’re a natural optimist, dealing with negative people can impact your mood, too. That’s why it’s important to set boundaries.
Sure, it’s sometimes necessary to talk to people who are negative, and you don’t want to be rude or unpathetic. But instead of listening while they complain nonstop, try redirecting the conversation with positive input. Avoid overt criticism and ask how they can fix a problem or find appropriate help. Then, get on with your priorities.
Negative people often blame others for their woes, spreading gossip. Avoid this toxic situation with a simple “that’s none of my business” and walk away.
Remind yourself you can’t control negative people — but you can control your responses. Distance yourself from negativity when possible.
If you can’t remove yourself from a situation, such as a constant complainer at work, psychologist and Psychology Today contributor Sherrie Bourg Carter advises taking a “happy break.” Do something to lift your spirits. For example, take a walk or seek a positive friend or colleague.