6 Ways To Deal With Negative People

No matter who we are or what our goals may be, we all have them in our lives: negative people. They tell us what we can’t do, diminish our goals, poke fun at us or even get angry when we share our plans with them. Negative people can put a serious dent in our confidence. And if we don’t take steps, all that negativity could stop us from aiming high and reaching for the stars.

Here Are 6 Ways To Deal With Negative People

1) Who’s who – First things first; you need to weed them out. Sometimes it’s not easy to spot a negative person, especially if it’s someone you are close to and trust. It can also be difficult to tell if, rather than being negative, a person is being realistic and actually making a clear, valid point. Try really listening to what people are saying, and learn to read your own reaction to their words. Do you feel discouraged? Are you doubting yourself and your decisions? Maybe you feel like quitting? Or are you seeing the bigger picture and accepting that there are a few more obstacles between you and achieving your goals than you thought?

There’s a big difference between somebody who is simply being realistic, and a negative person:

A realist will explain why they feel that the path your are taking/about to take is wrong for you – sometimes their advice is worth listening to and taking onboard. For example: “I know you have your heart set on being an astronaut, but have you really given much thought to your fear of heights?” I jest to make a point, but can you see how this isn’t necessarily negative; it’s a valid, realistic point.

A negative person will simply scoff or throw a barrage of negative words your way. For example: “You, an astronaut!? Do you realise how many applications NASA receives every year? You’ll never get in. Anyway, you’d never catch me in a space rocket, I can’t see the point. Each to their own though I suppose.” Can you see how there is no valid point being made here? Also notice the insertion of this person into your dream/goal. They can’t see the point, so to them the path you want to take is not worth taking.

This is why you have to really listen and think about what is being said to you. Is there a valid point?

Are they pointing out a real obstacle that must be overcome? Take a metaphorical step back and think about their words objectively. If there truly is an obstacle, it is rare to encounter one that is totally insurmountable – even our vertigo sufferer who dreams of becoming an astronaut could seek help to overcome her fear. If no valid point is being made, move on to the next tip.

2) Get out your ray gun – Now that you’ve identified the negative people in your life, it’s time to throw weedkiller on the seeds of doubt that they will undoubtably try to plant in your mind. Push these thoughts out, don’t let them take root and crumble the foundation of your dreams. You ARE stronger than their negativity – imagine you have a ray gun and you’re able to zap any negative thoughts. Visualise your doubts melting away with each negative thought that you zap.

3) Laugh it up – Sometimes it can be really hard for the people in our lives to accept that we are evolving. The thought of change makes them uncomfortable. In order to ease their own discomfort they will tease you, or make jokes at your expense. Understanding that this is their way of dealing with change will make it easier for you to simply laugh off their jokes. It may even disarm them enough to stop the teasing in its tracks. Even if the jokes continue, laughing will make the situation much less tense.

4) Be Prepared – Keep a number of comebacks up your sleeve. Try and think about every negative point a person may make and have counterarguments ready. Make sure you’ve thoroughly researched all the pitfalls that may surround your goal and have educated, considered rebuffs for each one. And try not to be flippant; answer each of their comments with a sincere, positive attitude. Who knows, you may turn their negativity on its head and change their mind.

5) It’s only words – it’s highly unlikely that you will go through life without encountering a negative person, or two, or three, or more. They will want to share their thoughts and feelings with you, and it won’t always be possible to avoid hearing what they have to say. Let them talk if they must, but keep this in mind: negative words alone cannot stop you. So brush off their negativity and focus on your goals.

6) Accept and ignore – Sometimes you will encounter people who you can’t win over, you can’t avoid or you can’t laugh with. Just accept that there is nothing to do other than ignore these people. Keep telling yourself that your reward for enduring their negativity and for keeping faith in yourself will be the achievement of your goals.

If goals were easy to achieve then they would not be goals. A goal needs to be worked towards, strived for, dreamed of. The route to reaching your goals may be littered with obstacles and challenges – negative people are simply one more bump in the road. So keep driving foreward, you’ll get there.

Here’s to dreams and goals.


  1. September 11, 2015 / 8:17 pm

    Good advice. Toxic people can only hurt us if we let them. We need to control our reactions and choose to be happy.

    • September 12, 2015 / 5:43 am

      Spot on! My life was filled with negative people: some well-meaning, others not. The moment I realised how to ‘weed them out’ was a breakthrough in my life, and I changed for the better – I hope 🙂
      If this post can set just one person on the path to realising their dreams, then how cool would that be!!!! 🙂

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