6 min read

Navigating the Negative Naysayers in Your Life

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Do others' negative energy bring you down? Maybe it’s your coworkers, family members, or even friends you’ve grown apart from. If you’re like most humans out there, the answer is a resounding yes, yes I am.

When you’re surrounded by negativity, it’s easy to absorb that energy and start to feel negative yourself. This can mess with your mindset and make you feel drained. And, as someone who is trying to live their best life ever, this (negativity) can be a huge pothole in your life.

In the video, Unbelievable Vulnerability, I talked about how I am a high school dropout. If you haven’t watched that video yet, I’ll link it in the description below. Also, if you get value out of this video, hit the like or share it with a friend.

The interesting thing about that fact, you know the fact that I’m a high school drop out is that "the presuppose of this life choice" for myself is largely due to a teacher's negative words, actions, and in hindsight general life outlook.

One person’s negativity if allowed to impact your life can mean the difference between success or failure and the timeline in which either of those takes place for you.

That’s why it’s so important to be around people with who you easily connect and who uplift your spirits. However, we all know that’s not always possible though, especially since we don’t get to choose our family members or most times our coworkers.

That being said, there are ways we can bring positivity to situations and not let the negativity cloud our minds.

And, because I wish I would have known these things back when I made my decision based on negative words from my Math teacher, I’ve decided to create this video to hopefully help you navigate the naysayers of your life that you are bound to run into.

First off, why are their naysayers in life?

If you boil it down to its simplest form, usually it is because these folks either don’t have dreams of their own or, those dreams have fallen to the wayside never to be picked up again. Many times because of their own historical negative naysayer.

What do you do when you run into a naysayer?

At first, you listen, offering a compassionate ear (I mean, that’s what a good human does.)

While listening, you should be hoping their negativity is just a passing phase. After all, everyone has a bad day now and again.

But be careful, negativity can be contagious, and if you don’t take action to protect your mindset, you may find your mood infected with the same naysayer, negative mentality you are trying to navigate around or away from. After that, follow these tips, stay positive, believe in your dream, and focus on being the best you possible.

Take charge of the conversation. When a person is constantly complaining about certain events, subjects, or their life in general, you can use a technique called appreciative inquiry, which is the process of asking questions to help the person gain a more positive outlook.

If the person is complaining about a past event, a person, or even you, ask questions that focus on the positive aspects of their experience, the situation, or the future. These types of questions might include:

  • “What are some good things that came out of that experience?” or 
  • “What would you like to see happen next time?” Or even,
  • What is the best trait about Suzzy or Jim? 

You can guide the conversation toward neutral topics by gently acknowledging what they’re saying before moving on to something new.

You might say, “Yes, I can see that you are upset with how that experience went or that person acted. By the way, have you had a chance to look at it from this other direction, or have you looked at this other thing related to it?

Reframing from the use of negative language helps them focus on how to achieve a brighter future in a positive way. 

And, it makes their minds pivot in the direction that is better for them and you alike.

Be the light. Strive to personify positivity. Wear your enthusiasm like armor against a negative person’s onslaught of hostility. Affirm your positivity by doing nice things for a negative person on occasion. These don’t have to be huge. Compliment them for something they genuinely did well. Remind them of a moment when they were happy and things were going well for them.

Small gestures will chip away at their negativity.

They might eventually find joy, but if they don’t, so be it. Doing nice things for others will make you feel good about yourself and affirm you’re positive mindset.

And actually, this brings me to number three and something we all might have a hard time with but, need to work on.

Understand, You’re not their problem solver. It’s not your job to make an unhappy person happy. If you set out to change a person overnight, you’ll fall short and may end up feeling mad at yourself. The only person whose happiness you can control is your own.

No, stop! Listen, the only person whose happiness you can control is your own.

You can (and should) remain positive when dealing with negative people, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can cheer them up or change their mindset.

I’ve found, a fast way to annoy someone in a bad mood is by telling him or her to be happy!

Trust me on this, ditch the Pollyanna attitude and stop offering unsolicited advice. Instead, provide a sympathetic and unjudging ear.

If they ask to hear your thoughts, offer them gently and calmly. But remember, that ultimately, the best way to protect yourself emotionally from a negative person is to be secure and confident in you and who you are.

Don't let a negative person cause you to doubt your abilities or undermine your desire to pursue your own dreams.

Set your boundaries in place beforehand. Setting boundaries is how you give yourself a break from any negative person you may be trying to navigate. You need to create space where you can clear your head after dealing with someone who sucks the life out of you emotionally.

Make sure to keep negative people at arm’s length to help avoid being overwhelmed by their toxicity. Remember, even though many of us live with a phone wired to our hand, we aren’t required to return every call or text immediately.

When you’re frustrated or annoyed and find yourself in the middle of navigating a negative person, take some time to collect your thoughts.

Only contact them when you are calm and ready to be the best you and follow the previous tips we’ve talked about in this video.

Give yourself time to recharge your mental batteries so when you do deal with them, you have the endurance and patience to handle them with grace.

Bonus tip: It’s wise to limit your exposure to the negative people in your life when possible. Don’t feel pressured to invite them to lunch or coffee or anything else if it is not going to be best for you and your journey. And, that leads me to another point.

Use their negativity as fuel. I know this sounds a bit crazy but, if someone is feeding you negativity, take that and turn it into the passion to push you forward in life.

You see, while there were many years that I was mad at my math teacher for his negative words, it was those words that lit the fire in me to become something better.

So much, that at a certain point in my life I went from wanting to tell my math teacher off to wanting to thank him. Would I have become the person I’m today without those words?

Maybe, possibly, or, doubtful. So remember, negative words can be the fuel for positive actions but, you have to absorb them transform them, and then move forward,

So as you move forward, and begin to navigate the naysayers of life, remember to leverage this 4 step framework.

  • Stand Strong
  • Avoid Attack
  • Respond Right
  • Plan Positivity

Stand Strong

Stand strong and be firm with your boundaries. When someone does something that crosses a line, make it known. You have to stick up for your beliefs, your time, and your energy because otherwise, people will take advantage of these things.

Avoid Attack

Don’t attack, assume, or blame them. Telling negative people (as mentioned earlier) that they should “stop being so negative” usually doesn’t go well.

Show this person the compassion and empathy you want them to show you. You may know this as the golden rule! But, remember this as well, don’t let them walk all over you stand strong. (Sound familiar?

Respond Right

Respond the way you would want them to talk to you. Avoid getting passive-aggressive because that doesn’t help anybody.

If they’re gossiping or putting others down, either change the conversation or walk away. Another way to put this is to have the same expectations around negativity for yourself as you do for others. Be the positive light if that is what you are looking to get from others.

Plan Positivity

Identify what gives you positive energy vs. negative. This could be certain people, a TV show, a long hike, a good book, some exercise, or self-care. Heck, the list could go on and on.

Seek these things out often, especially when you feel like others are draining your energy. Plan of positivity, if someone else’s negative energy is compromising your happiness, walk away towards the positivity drivers you identified in advance.

So remember.

  • Stand Strong
  • Avoid Attack
  • Respond Right
  • Plan Positivity

Remember that the way people act has nothing to do with you.

Detach yourself from their negativity and don’t internalize their negative words, or act as your fault. They have their own things to work through, and that’s on their shoulders to deal with. By remembering this, these tips, and the framework in this video, you will navigate the negative naysayers in life with ease.

Have questions, ideas, or additional resources you want to share about this topic? Let me know in the comment section below so we all can grow better together. Remember to hit the like button or share this video with a friend. And, while you are navigating the naysayers, be a happy, helpful, humble, human, and I’ll see you, in the next article.

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