Have you ever wondered that when you are around some people you are full of life and energy and laughter, while around
some other people, you seem to have a feeling of dullness and heaviness? Have you tried to find that it is because of those
people or those places or simply because you were exhausted? It is probably all three. Yes, places and people also can be
tiring and draining or can inject a new lease of life in you. Take, for instance, a place of worship, where you feel connected
to everyone and with yourself and are full of hope and positivity. And on the other hand, take a cemetery or a hospital
have negative vibes, where most people start to question the meaning of their own lives.
Just like places and circumstances, certain people can be very stressful, draining, and have a great negative influence on
your life and work. Human beings are social animals and thrive in and strive for social connections and social
confirmations for their happiness and well-being. Therefore, our happiness depends largely on the nature of the relationships
we have with our family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and other people we come into contact with regularly.
People with negativity and pessimistic attitude do not just slide down a rabbit hole themselves, they pull the people down
the people around them as well. And it is not always their fault! Neuro-physicians and psychiatrists have identified the
roles of certain hormonal and molecular imbalances in parts of human brains on which they have no control. Many times,
that is not the case and a matter of attitude towards life. It is the latter type of people we need to look out for and shield
ourselves from as “you cannot wake up a person pretending to sleep”. As for the former, medical help must be arranged
with sympathy and care that they deserve.
How to handle negative people?
How to handle negative people?
What is it that you can or should do when faced with such a person who drains your energy and life out of you? Are there
any ways and means to help you how to handle negative people? There are a few things, actually, that anyone with
reasonable practice and firmness can do to bring an end to all this. A reputed and well-known Life Coach Ritu Singal says
that “most toxic people are like vectors of contagious diseases and in this case the disease being the negative vibes.”
Pessimism and negativity can be contagious you may find yourself infected with stress, anger, and burden. Life Coach Ritu
Singal stresses that when you are surrounded by toxic people and not deal with them quickly, you may fall victim to
them and start feeling fidgety and restless yourself. She says that it affects your sleep and balance of mind causing
tiredness and irritation. Anxiety and depression may become your permanent partners that is not what you wanted in the
Life Coach Ritu Singal once had a reputed physician as a client. He attended a few sessions as part of a personality
development workshop organized for doctors by his hospital. When he learned about the effects of negativity and its presence in hidden forms, he contacted Ms. Singal for personal sessions. Once he was assured of a safe space and
confidentiality, he narrated his grief of not being able to manage his practice, research, career goals, and even family
On probing further, she found that his wife was a very toxic person and has curtailed his mind-space beyond any point of
return. She used to call him at all times in the office, even when he was in consultation, and would not let him put down his
phone. At home, she would continuously harass him in front of his own family and would make him come to tears. The
physician was broken and could not gather any self-esteem or strength to face his fears and the reason for it. Despite
being a doctor himself, he was afraid of seeking help from fellow doctors for it.
Life Coach Ritu Singal made the said doctor do some self-realization exercises, suing tools developed by neuroscientists
and psychologists to face our true fears, challenges, and emotions that give rise to them. She helped him gather courage,
and self-esteem and stand up to his wife in a toxic situation and tell her firmly what he is willing to compromise if she
doesn’t put her act together. These tools are self-paced and exercises best done in the supervision of a certified Life Coach as
she is trained to handle the emotional fall out from such situations.
Dealing With Negativity
Ritu says, does not require you to be armed with anger or ferocity, but with a smile, a positive attitude, and an armor of
an alert mind. She has a checklist called “how to handle negative people”, she often shares in her workshops, with steps
that you can take to rid your life of negativity and toxicity.
Life Coach Ritu Singal gives many pointers to identify negativity and toxicity in people as the first step in dealing with
- Such persons always complain that the whole world is being unfair to them and people being biased or unfair
- They hold a negative perspective of the world and its state
- Ritu suggests “Hope for the best and prepares for the worst”, instead they “hope and never prepare for the worst!”.
- They are always victims in their stories and always at the receiving end
- They are overly sensitive to criticism and can turn acclaim into an affront
- They are never cheerful, happy, or positive and resent others being so
- Everyone else is wrong and dishonest, and only they are always right and upright
- They can never be supportive as they can’t see any positivity and potential in others
- They compliment, with a “but”!
- Negativity results in them being low achievers
- Like sponges, they suck the life energy and optimism out of you
1. Set Your Boundaries, With Positive People
You may not always be able to ignore negative people but you can certainly ignore negativity in them. That’s always up to
you and they must realize what is your limit of tolerance of negativity. Mostly, you can walk away or move your focus to a
positive aspect. You have to make it clear that you know how to deal with negative people.
Surrounding yourself with constructive and affirmative persons makes undesirables shy away. Keeping yourself busy with
meaningful work not only gives you a sense of purpose but keeps them at bay.
2. Don’t Make it Personal
Sometimes it is impossible to avoid them you have to hear them out. Remain alert in these situations and remember how
to deal with negative people – practice mindful meditation, breathe deep and long, monitor your thoughts. Don’t take
things they say personally and remember where they are coming from and whatever they say to you has little impact on
your life if you don’t allow it. Tell them you are not equipped to handle the situations, and simply say NO.
3. Help When Possible
There are important people in your lives who are unfortunately negative in their approach and attitude. It is therefore a
big problem figuring out how to handle negative people who are close and near to you. At this time, it is hard to ignore
negativity and you may need to step up to pull them out. Show them kindness, love, and affection. Do something nice for
them and smile at them without reason. Give them compliments and help them see the brighter side. Help them find a solution and work on an achievable plan with them. Share some sport or gardening with them requiring their full focus
and attention. If nothing helps, take professional help from counselors, psychologists, or certified Life Coach like Ritu
4. Smile and Laugh
Emotional Contagion applies to both positive and negative emotions. As Life Coach, Ritu often says “Sunlight is the best
disinfectant, and a Smile has the brightness of a thousand suns!” Laughter is contagious and the best shield against any ill
wills and negativity. It takes only one person with genuine laughter to set the tone of the room and ward off the
negativity. In learning how to deal with negative people, this may be your simplest and best tool ever.
5. Don’t Lose Yourself
“Never turn into what you were fighting.” This is what Life Coach Ritu Singal says in her sessions. Always remember you
must not become a negative, bitter, and unpleasant person while fighting the negativity in others. Shouting at a person to
shut her/him off is convenient, but by doing so you are becoming one of them. They note your touchpoints and can set
you off instantly by raising the topics you are most sensitive about at the time of their liking. Don’t give them this key to
your emotional well-being.
Ritu says to her mentees, “You cannot fight negativity with more of it”. It has to be with positivity and understanding. Be
alert, realize who you are at your core, leave that room, or count backward from 100. If you must, keep your responses
objective, unemotional, and simple.
6. Create a Personal Positive Space
Create a personal space with cheerful, happy, and positive influences to brighten up the mood. Creating a positive space is
simple – keep the table uncluttered, organize your articles and files, have a pot with flower, keep a memorable picture,
stick a positive quote you believe in. Try helping people with their work, after you have finished your own. Show and feel
gratitude towards yourself and others. Spend time with family and friends, go on outings, and buy them gifts without any
7. Change the Conversation
When someone complaints all the time, it becomes difficult to ignore them or focus somewhere else. As an effective step
for how to handle negative people, you have to take charge and change the conversation. Avoid any references to anything
that may give them an opening. Use “appreciative inquiry” and help them gain a more positive perspective on the same
topic. “Rephrase” and “reframe” their negative ideas with a positive twist to make the conversation more practical and
optimistic. Try to guide the conversation towards neutral topics gently.
Reducing the amount of negativity by any amount is a positive sign. Life Coach Ritu Singal always quotes the famous
Anand movie dialog, “Don’t look at the moments in life but look out for life in each moment.” You can and must control how
do you want to spend your day, with whom, and how. The article discusses some useful ideas that Ritu shared with us to
deal with negative people and ways to minimize the amount of negativity you may be exposed to. The challenge is to be
alert, on the guard, and practice these nine steps to a way to freedom and optimism.