Tips For Staying Positive Around Negative People

Have you ever had to be around a person that, no matter the situation or circumstance, was always just negative? Maybe it was a colleague or sibling - someone you couldn't really avoid. Most of us have people in our lives who, to put it bluntly, intentionally or unintentionally bring us down. You may be a super duper upbeat person with a great perspective every single day, but spend too much time with a negative person, and it can be a real drain and their attitudes and moods can bring down your well-being and sense of peace. It's also been said that we as humans take on the qualities and energy of those we are often around. And while it seems hard to carry on a positive mindset around those negative Nancy's, it is possible, and here are a few ways to do so:

React with positivity
Some people are negative simply because they know it will get under you skin. They want to set you off and get you all riled up. Or, some people are so caught up in a negative situation in their life that they are spewing with negativity. You can especially experience this if you work in job that deals with customers. The best way to deal with it is to just counteract the negativity with positivity. Send them off with a smile and a, "Have a great day!" If someone says, "Those shoes don't suit you very well" reply with "I love your hair today." They may realize their negativity has fallen on deaf ears and give up on the comedowns.

Remember it's not about you
When someone acts negative towards you, it's easy to think right off the bat that it has something to do with you. But the best thing I can say is that unless you have a personal sour history with this person, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. They're like that with everyone. Don't dwell on it and don't make it personal.

Distance yourself
Sometimes you can't help it, but if you can, try keeping some distance between yourself and this person. If it's a person you follow on social media, unfollow or permanently remove them from your feed. If it's a relative you must endure during a family holiday, be pleasant but keep some space between you and them.

Try honesty
For me, personally, confrontation makes me uncomfortable, but sometimes it is necessary. It may be helpful to pull them aside and let them know how their comments are affecting you. Say something along the lines of, "You may not realize it but when you constantly talk about how everything is wrong, it really brings down my mood." Just be honest with them. If it doesn't work, at least you know you tried and at this point all you can do is refer back to the other tips.  

Write a letter
Last stop, if it's someone you must cut out of your life completely because of the negativity, write yourself a letter listing all the reasons you can no longer tolerate this person and why you need to move on. You needn't disclose the reasons to this person - it may be too difficult, plus you do not owe them a justification or explanation. Having the reasons written out in front of you can help make the difficult decision of cutting the person off. When you start to second guess yourself, you can refer back to the letter. Then gradually back away, and occupy yourself with positive things, leaving no room for the negative chats.

In the end, only you are responsible for you mood and how you react to things - don't let anyone else ruin it. 20% of your day is uncontrollable; whether it be your surroundings or occurrences. The other 80% is in your hands - how you react to the surroundings and occurrences. Don't let your day be ruined by letting the negative Nancy's bring you down.


  1. It's like you jumped into my brain and wrote this post for me. I feel like I've been really struggling with work people and their mentality about Special Education. I know I am not from this small town so I do things a lot differently, but sometimes it's hard not to take things so personally!

  2. tips 1, 3 and 4 really resonate with me and are totally things I would do in this situation.

  3. I have been at both sides: been negative, and been surrounded by them, and I think distancing yourself is one of the best ways to guard yourself. Great post--something that needs to be addressed!

  4. These are such great tips to stay positive! Reacting with positivity is so important to achieve all your goals!

  5. You are seriously speaking my language. I have to constantly remind myself that it isn't about myself and that they are just that way. It can be so hard to get that through my own head! Thank you for this during my morning coffee! I needed it.

  6. What a great post! It's all about keeping it real!

  7. I so needed this at my last job, there were sooo many negative people there.You gave some awesome tips. I don't think I will need at my new job. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This was so beautiful... I always like to react to negativity with positivity. It throws the person off guard and even better... it makes you feel like million bucks!


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