5 Tips on Staying Positive When Others Are Negative

Oftentimes we find ourselves in negative relationships or conversations that we simply cannot avoid—this can sometimes be a family member, or a colleague. This may be a passing phase for them, or it may be their personality type: either way, it’s difficult to remain passionate, motivated, and positive when faced with draining and sluggish negative energy. If the relationship or conversation is one that you cannot or should not avoid or cut out of your life, try some of the following five tips to keep yourself motivated or to try to steer the interaction to a more positive outcome.

1. Don’t Take It Personally

Remember that when someone else is spewing negativity, it stems from some personal issue. Perhaps they’ve had an argument with their partner, or suffered bad news from a mechanic. Whatever the case, their negativity has a cause—and it’s not you! Though he or she may be projecting their negative emotions at you, you are not the reason for the negativity. Therefore, you should not mirror his or her fears, angers, or insecurities that are manifesting as negative behavior. Remember that the way this person is treating you is not a reflection of how you have behaved, and keep telling yourself that you are not personally responsible.

2. Don’t Engage With Negative Behavior

Though you may be included in a negative conversation, interaction, or relationship, it does not mean that you need to resort to negativity to engage with the other person. Remember that negative people tend to act irrationally, and that the easiest way to stay positive when faced with such pessimistic energy is to take a step back. Though you may not be able to or may not want to remove yourself entirely, it is possible to remain present while not condoning, employing, or absorbing negativity. Try simply listening to the other person, rather than tagging on to his or her negative ideas, or try offering advice. Replying with non-verbal cues or non-negative remarks will oftentimes help to curb the negativity of an interaction, and will help you to remain positive and energetic.

3. Remember the Positives

When faced with negativity, it is easy to get sucked in and fall into a unconstructive conversation. Remember that adopting a negative attitude yourself will only make the interaction more painful and harmful for both of you. Make sure to remind yourself of what is going right in the interaction, and try to help the other person see some optimistic views of the situation. It is worth remembering that since all negativity does have a root cause, if you can help solve the issue, the pessimistic and destructive behavior may cease! Even if you cannot solve any problems, remembering some positive, constructive ideas will help you to maintain a sunny disposition.

4. Use the Interaction as a Opportunity for Self Growth and Reflection

During any negative interaction it’s worth thinking about where the other person is coming from. Ask yourself to think about why the other person may be behaving in such a negative manner, and think about how you would react in the same situation. Instead of judging or writing off the other person for their negative attitude, try to cultivate thoughts that would help you through a similarly difficult situation without descending to his or her level of negativity. Try to empathize with the other person without resorting to negativity, and you may help yourself grow and succeed in future negative circumstances.

5. Surround Yourself with Other Positive People

If you simply cannot cut negative interactions or relationships out of your life, be sure to surround yourself with lots of other positive people. Similar energies breed, and if you constantly place yourself in a crowd of positivity, you will be well equipped to carry this power with you into any negative interactions you encounter.

  • Casey Fuller
    Casey Fuller
    I can have trouble with my own negativity, but I've been avoiding the negativity of others since the year started and it's been a blessing.
    April 16, 2019
  • William Hargrave
    William Hargrave
    Excellent article thanks for sharing.
    April 16, 2019
  • Arthav Chawla
    Arthav Chawla
    The people in my life help pull me through.
    May 5, 2019