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How To Deal With Negative People -- Part 1

Aug 17, 2007
You probably have a general idea of what a "negative" person is... but, in my experience, there are broadly two types:

The first type is the OBVIOUSLY negative person - they're constantly whining and complaining about everything. They're actually fairly easy to cope with because if you can't avoid them altogether you can at least "switch off" when they start one of their rants!

The second type is the INSIDIOUSLY negative person. They don't SEEM to be negative... but somehow, you always feel a little flat, a little down, a little more uptight... a little more negative... after spending time with them.

This second type is much more dangerous. While you can clearly see the Obviously Negative person coming - and can take steps to "protect" yourself - the Insidiously Negative person pulls you into their negative vortex before you have a chance to scream!

(Okay, I'm being dramatic... but being surrounded by negative people is NOT good for your health!)

You can, however, recognize the Insidiously Negative person once you know what to look for:

-- Their general demeanor (Do they lack enthusiasm? Are they tense or moody? Do they seem as if everything is a big inconvenience?)...

-- What they tend to talk about (Is it always about something bad? Is it always about them?)...

-- What they tend to do (Do they change things they don't like? Do they take action? Or do they "talk" more than they "do"?)...

-- How they see the world (Do they instinctively criticize things, question good news stories, and put down people - especially "successful" people?)

-- How they treat you (Are they critical or patronizing? Do you feel like you have to apologize for something whenever you're with them?)

"Insidious Negatives" may have just one or two of the above qualities (if they had them all they'd be Obvious Negatives) but it's just enough to bring you down.

Of course, instead of trying to psychoanalyze anyone... you can simply go with your gut feel:

Do you FEEL WORSE after you spend time with them?

Whether you're dealing with Obvious Negatives or Insidious Negatives, it's probably no surprise that my number one recommendation for dealing with them is to... AVOID THEM!

And please don't tell me you can't because they're "close friends" - people who constantly make you feel bad are NOT your friends.

But... what if you can't physically avoid these people... What if they're neighbors... or family... or work colleagues...?

Well, I do have some suggestions. I'll share them with you in How To Deal With Negative People Part 2...
About the Author
Anna Johnson is the author of the How To Manage People System, including her book, How To Manage People (Even If You're A Control Freak!). Get Anna's FREE 12-page report How To Be An Outstanding Manager - The 8 Vital Keys To Managing People Effectively
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