“What To Do With Negative People”

“What To Do With Negative People”

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I tend to be positive, consciously looking for the good in most situations. Years ago, I had a friend who appreciated that about me, until things took a tumble in her life. Then, she got upset when I didn’t participate with her when she griped and complained  about her situation.

Over a period of months, she began to put me down, stating that I wasn’t “being real.” Eventually, she eliminated me from her life. It took me a long time to figure out why that happened, and how I manifested her change in attitude towards me.

“Like attracts like” means that people with similar characteristics are attracted to each other. But there’s also a saying, “Opposites attract,” which states that people with different temperments are drawn together. Which is true? In regards to positive people, both. Positive individuals appeal to both positive and negative people.

In general, people tend to gravitate towards those who are more positive and optimistic. They’re more expansive, warm and accepting of others. When optimists get together, they reinforce their upbeat outlook, while the more negative folk enjoy the warmth for awhile. But soon the more pessimistic disposition begins to sour on all that light. It pulls them out of their comfort zone.

Soon, they may start trying to drag you down, focusing on what’s wrong, rather than what’s right. They might play the “ain’t it awful” game, bringing up everything that bothers them. If you try to suggest solutions, they’ll find fault with every one. They want you to take part in their complaining to justify their position. Resist the impulse. It won’t do either of you any good.

If you refuse to join in, and continue to express your brighter perspective, they might turn on you and attack you. They might start to resent you, and begin to pick on you. It may be small derogatory statements, or it could be full blown attacks. They may accuse you of being shallow or not taking things seriously. At this point, realize that their comments are trying to put you on the defensive and don’t let them succeed.

It can be even worse when something goes wrong in their lives. If you don’t sympathize and wallow in their misfortune with them, they get offended. Remember another old saying, “Misery Loves Company.” When you don’t keep them company in their gloom, they get upset.

They don’t understand how you can look for the silver lining or maintain a positive attitude in the face of difficulties. Since they’re in the habit of riding the waves of their emotions, being tossed this way and that, they expect you to act the same. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is not try to help. Simply be neutral and noncommittal, letting them vent until you can disengage.

When you remain positive, you’re showing them a different way of responding and they don’t appreciate it. They want to react the same way they always have and don’t want to make the effort to search for a solution, to seek change, or improve their sense of well-being. Without realizing it, they choose to feel helpless.

With my friend, her rejection wasn’t a result of anything I’d done. It was her inability to change her perspective. I consciously chose to be positive. Pessimism, as well as optimism, is a learned behavior. You cultivate one or the other, either deliberately or subconsciously. Eventually, one becomes a habit, and is the automatic way you respond to your world. When you find negative people in your life, realize that it’s probably due to the fact that you are a more positive person.


I cultivate the habit of being positive. Whenever something challenging happens, I consciously seek the good that can emerge from the situation. Looking on the bright side of conditions is a conscious choice that I make. By doing so, I instruct my subconscious mind to bring me a blessing from the experience. If a negative person objects to my perspective, I just let it go, knowing that they’re making a choice, too.

Copyright 2009 Linda-Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved

A nationally known coach, hypnotherapist, writer, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart empowers people to discover new possibilities and realize their full potential. Visit “Secrets To The Law Of Attraction” to download your copy of this free ebook.

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