Negative people suck — both figuratively and literally. They sap the energy out of a room and bring everyone down. These Negative Nelly’s want to pull the rest of us into their negativity vortex by any means necessary.
Negative people are also like radioactive isotopes. You may not be directly near them but their negativity spreads far beyond the kill zone.
In order to combat these positive energy vampires, it’s essential to have the right frame of mind, attitudes and skills. Consider the following methods your garlic and holy water for negative people.
Method #1: Keep A Positive Attitude
The best way to combat negativity is to remain positive. Sure, that seems obvious but it’s the way you are positive that matters. Most negative people will immediately point out that you are just being way to positive and are not a realist. That’s a common retort from negative people. That’s why you have to keep your positive attitude on the inside and be upbeat, yet practical on the outside (see below for that).
Method #2: Don’t Get Sucked Into The Negativity Vortex
Too often, we feel sorry for negative people. We, as humans, tend to gravitate towards the negative simply because there is usually a downside if we don’t pay attention. This is probably due to our survival instincts.
Nowadays, it’s hardly life or death but we still have it engrained in our DNA. This makes it easy to get sucked into the negativity of the negative person.
Avoid the negativity vortex by limiting your interactions with the negative person as much as you can. Any interaction should be short and to the point. Too much caring about the persons issues will switch the negativity into overdrive. I know, it’s cruel but a single negative person, let loose in the wilds of your organization, will create more havoc than 10 positive people can counter. It’s just a fact.
Method #3: Be Upbeat, Yet Practical
A positive attitude is essential to so many things but particularly important when dealing with negative people. You can be all Little Miss Sunshine but you still need to be practical.
Life has a lot of challenges and negative people make life a little more difficult. If you remain upbeat yet do practical things to solve your problems (and indirectly, theirs), then that will go a long way in combatting negativity.
Method #4: Always Look For A Solution
Even if you have no idea about how to solve a problem, look for one. Most negative people have a doom and gloom attitude about everything. They think that the whole word is against them. If you have to interact with Negative Nelly, then always have a couple of solutions to offer. That way, at least you can give them something to go think about.
Method #5: Be Data Driven
Negative people are usually emotionally driven. They really don’t look at data nor do they look for positive trends. For them, they are always looking for the negative aspects of any deal or situtation.
Strive to be driven by the data, both good and bad, that you have to work with. This is the only way to breakthrough the negative energy and get to a solution.
Remember, they still may be negative about the situation but if the data is positive, then they will look foolish.
Method #6: Above All, Remain Calm
The best technique, by far, is to remain calm when the negativity is flying around the room. Panic and anxiety feed the negative person because it reenforces their point — the world is going to end, we better prepare.
If you find yourself about to go negative, take a deep breath and bring your mind back to one positive aspect of what’s going on. Use that as your anchor. Strive to build from that one positive aspect to bring the interactions back to a calm, positive state.
It’s Tough But Doable
I’m not sure exactly why negativity has so much more amplification than positivity but practice experience has shown that it does. It’s tough to combat the negative people around you but it’s doable. Start with your attitudes and feelings, remain as positive as you can and always stay calm.