The Ultimate Guide to Handling Negative People
The cosmos is full of negative people. Sometimes it feels like you get more than your fair share of interaction with all the wrong ones. It can drive you mad.
And if you don't have a plan, negative people will derail every dream and ambition that you have. They are the black holes of everything that is positive and hopeful for your future. The soul-sucking vacuums of cosmic destiny.
You may be thinking:
Who are these negative people?
Simple. They are the people around you who emotionally combat you at every turn.
They are not your mentors, your coaches, or concerned friends and advocates.
No. These people are different than that.
When you decide to invest in your own mental and physical betterment, they make it their mission to "bring you back to reality". They are the masters of the "that'll never work" and "we'll see how long that lasts"
They trumpet rules and excellence and achievement, but only in the areas that they think they have an advantage. It's really them needing to feel better than you. And not because they feel the need to pursue excellence, but because them besting you on some esoteric scale somehow assuages their feeling of guilty ineptness.
Here's what you need to know:
Negative people have given up on anything but mediocrity a long time ago.
The problem is they can't admit it. After all, who walks around with a "I Love Mediocrity" t-shirt? That's not even close to being in style. So instead of trying to better themselves and change the world, negative people make it their mission to destroy, ridicule and otherwise marginalize anything (and anyone) who reminds them that they are not the person they pretend to be.
So how do you handle negative people?
There's no one simple formula. Like stepping on a poisonous spider, sometimes you just grab any old shoe that's lying around and whack at it.
Shoes. Books. A log from the fireplace. Whatever it takes to crush the poison of their bite.
So here are 6 (not so easy sometimes) steps to handling negative people.
You can use one of these or all of these. You choose.
1. Qualify their opinions
Just add "in my opinion" to anything that negative people ever say.
Ever notice that those that doubt the most seem to have the loudest voices?
You can disarm their negativity by discounting everything they say with the simple mental qualifier "in my opinion".
Instead of hearing a negative person tell you "that'll never work" you mentally qualify it as "in my opinion, that will never work". And that frankly doesn't hurt that bad. Does it?
The reality is that their opinion doesn't really matter anyway. By you qualifying what they say, you reaffirm that to yourself.
2. Lower your standards
Expect less. It's amazing how tolerant you can be when you don't even anticipate the smallest of kindnesses.
We are programmed to give others the benefit of the doubt. We tend to think that at the end of the day, others will do the right thing by us. That eventually the truth will win out over all that is evil.
Stop thinking that (about negative people). You're setting yourself up for a swift shoe in the pants.
Expect incessant ridicule, distorted emotional misrepresentation, and hyperbolic injustice.
It's powerful for you when you come mentally prepared.
3. Be purposefully kind
Go out of your way to be grateful for the critics that demand perfection from you.
They are not out to be understanding. Or fair. They demand that you are purposeful in every word and action.
If you demand excellence of yourself, they demand a standard far higher. It's accountability on steroids.
And in a weird twisted sort of "I love pain" way, you should be grateful. You get the Olympic coach of "ball-bustery" and don't have to pay a penny. How cool is that?
So act like a champion. Get your head up.
4. Selectively engage them
Avoid controversy. It's that easy.
Whatever you do, do not debate with them. For them, the debate is the goal. They want you flustered, emotional, and confused. That makes them smile on the inside.
So don't let them win. Avoid topics that you know will turn into a pointless debate. Skip the "hot button" talks.
Don't put yourself in the emotionally unstable position of trying to persuade unpersuadable combatants.
You will lose every time.
5. Ignore them completely
Shut them out of your mind. Completely. Act as if they don't exist.
Don't look at them, talk to them, or listen to anything they have to say.
The truth is that they probably have some great things to say. Between the pettiness and general nonsense that they spew at you, there is truth and some quiet brilliance.
Here's why it doesn't matter. You're not going to hear it anyway. The pain from their hate clouds any value that they could actually provide.
So ignore them while you heal.
6. Get physical (finally)
No. Not literally. (Even though a part of you really wants to go there.) Sometimes you need to get violent... strategically. This is rare. And mostly ill advised. But it's usually the final straw. You can't be bullied. It's not safe.
When doubters become dangerous you need to be safe.
Turning a blind eye to skeptics is not the same as being reckless. Sometimes you have to push back.
It's that Old Testament brand of an eye for an eye. Don't start here. But if you go here, be prepared to move from bluff to bold in a single audacious step.
Get back to believing.
Get serious about your future. Negative people aren't magically mending their ways and becoming your biggest cheering section.
They don't care a lick about helping you realize your dreams and ambitions. So just be better prepared.
Handle negative people before they destroy you