Lets face it – there are negative people (also known as the chronic complainer) all over the place.
These are the people that will always tell you “you can’t do this”, “that’s not easy to do”, “that’s a stupid idea”. How about these:
- It’s not my fault
- I shouldn’t have to do this
- It won’t work.
- It can’t be done.
- I don’t like change.
- They won’t like it.
- He didn’t ask me first.
As I manage a group of almost 30 people, I run into these comments all the time. I also run into issues brought forward by my boss from merchants. What would happen if I used these lines on them? I’d get my pink slip pretty-damn-quick. I’m responsible for the outcomes for my group of people. It is up to me to hire the best, train them and ensure that they deliver quality results all the time. If something breaks, it’s up to me to analyze it and fix it. I can’t complain, I don’t have the option of being negative.
There are other ways you can spot the negative person – usually by asking them simple questions like “Hey, how did your weekend go?”, or “how were your holidays?”, how about “did you do anything interesting this weekend?” or even “what’s new?”.
I will admit, from time-to-time when someone asks me how my weekend went I may reply with a negative — but almost immediately I stop myself and focus on the POSITIVE things that happened. After all, being alive and enjoying life is a positive — isn’t it?
Steve Pavlina mentions in a blog post – http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/06/how-to-help-negative-people/:
One of the most important considerations when helping someone in a negative state is that you must avoid falling into negativity yourself. Negative people are energy vampires. They have an almost endless capacity to dwell on what they don’t want, whining and complaining about their lives while denying responsibility for their results. Their fear blocks the natural flow of energy from within, so they must get it from other people instead. After spending a few hours with them, you’ll usually feel drained, tired, worried, or stressed. Positive people, on the other hand, have overcome their fears to such a degree that their energy flows outward. Consequently, they give energy instead of taking it. After spending time with very positive people, you’ll tend to feel energized, uplifted, and inspired. Most people are somewhere in the middle though, so the energy exchange tends to be close to neutral.
I like the term he uses – energy vampires. These people are so busy feeling sorry for themselves that they want to prey on your time and energy. They do whatever they can to make themselves feel like the victim.
I have friends like that. Whenever I talk with them, they always complain about this or that. One even tried to convince me to sell my place and move into a rental because the housing crisis in the US will hit Canada! Never mind the fact that I pointed him to strong facts and figures that the housing market in Canada is strong and that the issues that homeowners faced in the US were due to different lending circumstances.
He’s dead-set on his views.
I just turn him off. When he’s not complaining, he is actually a pretty good guy to talk to.
I face negativity every day at work; I do my best to twist the thinking into showing the individual the positive side of the equation. That usually just pisses them off more and they mumble and leave my office. I feel sad for these people, but I don’t let them get me down.
- I’m posting daily — why am I not getting visitors?
- Why can’t I get more subscribers?
- How come my product isn’t selling?
- Why can’t I sell advertising on my site?
These are all negative thoughts — which might be fine to have for a short period of time; but if you dwell on it you’ll find yourself being your own. You see, these thoughts should help you put a positive spin and look for a way out of the situation you might be in.
Negative Thought: I’m posting daily — why am I not getting visitors?
Postivie Thought: What can I do to attract more visitors to my site?
This should in turn lead you to doing some basic research on the Internet or even just putting your thinking cap on. You want visitors. Where are they? Out “there”. They are on other blogs and forums. Find out where “they” are hanging out and go there. Be sociable. Contribute where you can, and they will come. Contribute regularly and your name will become familiar to those individuals, and before you know it you’ll get unexpected sources of traffic without even asking!
My Story: A few days ago, while looking through my stats I saw quite a few people coming from one site in particular (http://cranendonk.com/). Raymond never mentioned it to me, not even a simple e-mail. Instead he let me figure it out for myself. Once I saw where the traffic was coming from, I felt obligated to reciprocate the goodwill. He could have easily asked me for a link back, but he did not. Rather than wallow, I’m sure he let it alone and let “nature” take its course.
Negative Thought: Why can’t I get more subscribers?
Positive Thought: What else can I do to attract subscribers?
See how simple it is to turn a negative into a positive? There is nothing hard about it. Once you stop wallowing in self-pity and take the blinders off you will be open to a whole world of opportunities!
The best way to stay positive it to read about positive people, and surround yourself with positive influences.
TV for the most part is negative.
Some people are negative. But I realize you can’t always distance yourself from them, so you need to learn to deal with these types of people.
One site that I can recommend is http://www.retireat21.com/ -I actually learned about this site from a review that Tyler Cruz wrote at his site – http://www.tylercruz.com/retire-at-21-be-inspired/.
The stories are inspiring.
I stay positive about myself, my work and my opportunities because it is healthy. Besides, why would anyone want to wallow in self-pity?
As promised here are my personal 8 Strategies to Handle Negative People In Your Life Or On Your Blog:
- Counteract the negative with a positive – treat the negative as a positive, as I’ve shown in the two examples above. In fact you should be treating each failure as feedback and making it part of the learning process. You can even use this when someone comments with a a negative response to a post.
- Ignore them.
- Delete their comments. This could make things worse, and they will bad-mouth you on other blogs. Is that what you really want?
- Moderate their comments. Not quite the same as deleting the comments — you just don’t expose their negativity to everyone else. If your blog is reasonably well read and you already have a loyal group of followers — they will keep others in check, especially when it comes to negative comments. Note that this is not the same as editing their comments – I do not recommend that you edit anyones comments!
- Don’t engage them. Most negative people want you to engage them, why give them the opportunity?
- Tune them out. This actually goes hand-in-hand with #2 – in some cases you just have to learn to tune them out.
- Engage them! Yes, I know I just contradicted myself. But if the person who is spreading the negativity isn’t like that — ask them what’s going on in their life. If you don’t mind being the shoulder they can cry on, let them get it out. Maybe that’s all they needed! If they are a good friend, then isn’t that what friends are for? If you decide to engage them, especially in a blog post – BE NICE! Others are watching how you will react — feel free to ignore them also. Check out this post – http://www.johnchow.com/how-to-handle-negative-comments-in-a-blog/
- Don’t argue with them. You’re feeding them if you argue!
Do you have other strategies that you use to deal with negative people? I would love to hear them!