This article is about 7 ways to deal with negative people at work.
In this article, we’re going to talk about seven ways to manage negative people at work. And, as always guys, as you’re reading if you read something that resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments below. Put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well. And when you write it down, it’s much more likely to stick with yourself too.
So one of the most difficult things about being in a work environment is being around negative people. I think even just at home and in general, being around negative people sucks, and being able to navigate around and with those people can sometimes be important on your journey. And so I’m going to share with you seven different ways to do it that I hope will inspire you and help you on your path.
Certainly! Here are 7 effective ways to deal with negative people at work:
1. Dont manage them
My number one way to manage negative people is to not be around negative people. Eliminate them from your life. This is what I try to do as much as possible in my own life. This may not be the answer that you’re looking for and there’s more that are coming but it’s my best answer because if you are surrounded by negative people constantly you’re going to get more negative, you’re going to be unhappy, you’re not going to reach your potential. And so if I was in a work environment and this person was negative and around me all the time, I might try to transfer, I might look for other opportunities, I might even look at a different company, or maybe even leave and start my own business and being an entrepreneur.
If you are an entrepreneur and you have negative people on your team, then that’s an easier decision. If somebody is skilled and does a great job but they’re negative, they have to go. You cannot be surrounded by negative people because they don’t only bring you down, they’ll bring everybody else around you down. And so you need to have people who are positive and who are excited about the project that you’re trying to build.
2. Limit Your Exposure
My number two technique for managing negative people is to limit your exposure. So if you are forced to deal with negative people, I would try to limit how much exposure I have to them. How much time I have to spend with them would be at the bare minimum, just to get whatever project I’m trying to do and get it done. And so the first two points are pretty negative, right? It’s avoid them and have zero exposure.
The second one is to limit your exposure and why. You know, if I’m thinking, well, I want to be a positive influence, I want to help them, I want to build them up. Yes, that’s a possibility. The reason why I start with the negative is because the opportunity cost is so great. For you to spend your time managing somebody negative, they will eat up so much of your time and emotional capital and drain you, because they’re so different from you, and getting them to the place where they can be happy is such a big journey that you could spend that time helping 10 other people.
And so I’ve always experienced that the negative people take the most work to turn around and usually it’s not worth your time compared to the other people who you could be helping. So that’s why my first two are negative about not being around them at all
or limiting your exposure.
3. Be an Inspiration
Alright, now let’s jump to the positive side. Number three is to be an inspiration. So, we have to be around these negative people, we have no other option, They’re super important and we want to be the force for good. You can be an inspiration to build people up. And so I think of when women first get together in an office setting and eventually their periods align. That happens with everything. If you are around toxic people, you’re more likely to be toxic on an ongoing basis.
If you’re around people who are working out all the time, you’re more likely to want to work out and take care of yourself. If you’re around complainers, you’re going to start complaining more. And so you become your environment. So if you have that awareness, you can be an inspiration for that person. By them just being around you, you are going to pull them up.
I used to volunteer at a hospital, Sunnybrook Hospital here in Toronto, and one of my shifts was with this woman who was in charge of the phones on her floor. And she would also pick up the phone in a kind very angry way. It was C2 Laura, C2 Laura. It was kind of very angry and it was kind of against how I would do things and just the vibe I wanted to put out. And by spending more and more time with her, eventually, she got more positive. She said, C2 Laura, C2 this is Laura speaking positively.
And it slowly got more and more and more and more positive. Now, as I left Sunnybrook, as my volunteer shift ended, I don’t know if that continued or if she fell back to her usual path, but expect that to happen. You know, the more they are around you, I want you to be a force for good, right? When you find your one word, whatever that is, that exudes out of you in every situation that you go to.
So if you are around me for any consistent period, even from reading this article, you’re going to believe harder, you’re going to believe stronger in yourself, in your ideas, in the people around you because that’s what I’m all about. You can’t be in my circle and not gain a little bit more belief. It’s just going to happen. So that should be you with your one word getting out there and being an inspiration for people. The danger is that, as I said, two people tend to come together, the danger is that you become more toxic and you become more negative so you need to have enough other stuff in your environment that keeps you at a high level that pulls them you instead of you going to them.
4. Come From a Place of Understanding
Tip number four is to come from a place of understanding. I think a lot of people’s negativity is deeply rooted in something else beyond what they’re complaining about. So I had a situation with a negative person on my team. They were constantly putting others down. They were constantly paranoid about what the company’s situation was going to be like. And they were also gossiping a lot and spreading rumors. And every single day he would complain. I would ask him how his day’s going and he would just say it was terrible. And it got to a point that it was starting to make me feel negative about my situation at work.
And then finally I had to have a sit-down conversation with him. I wanted to find out why he was being so negative. Then he revealed to me that he was paranoid about losing his job. He would wake up every morning with a fear that he wouldn’t be able to feed his family, he would not be able to go on that vacation that he promised his wife.
Although I wasn’t able to promise him the job security that he wanted, I was able to provide him with the security and safety that he had someone at work that he could confide in. Little by little, I started to see more positivity come out of him, especially toward me, which made my life at work a lot easier. So the next time you come across someone negative before you write them off, try to come from a place of understanding.
5. Figure Out their Dream
Number five is to figure out their dream. I like to say that one of the most dangerous things that you can do is tell me what your dream is. If I know your dream, then I am always thinking about how I help this person with this thing that they want to do and push you to get past those limited beliefs and negative mindsets to help you go off and accomplish your big thing. And so even the most negative person has some kind of dream. They may not feel it’s possible, they may feel like the world’s against them and that people are conspiring to keep them down but somewhere deep down inside they have a dream of something that they want to accomplish.
And so if you can figure out what their dream is, and then find ways to help them accomplish it, be their friend, be their accountability partner, give them some resources, give them some motivational boosts, share things with them to help them lift and get towards that goal, then it’s really hard to be making progress towards your dream and being negative and unhappy at the same time. And so guiding them along that path and encouraging them will help turn that tide and turn them from being super negative to more positive.
6. Recognize their Good Behavior
Number six is to recognize their good behavior. This is basic parenting skills or if you are trying to train a dog, it’s kind of the same thing. You have two options. You either punish their bad behavior or you recognize their good behavior. And you may not be in a position to punish them for their bad behaviors and it may be actually what they want because they seek the attention and they love going to a negative place.
And so if I was dealing with that kind of person, I had to deal with them, then I’d be looking at the negative stuff I’m just going to ignore and anytime there is something positive that they do for me or the mindset that they have or something that they shared that was happy, or funny, or positive, I would go all in on encouraging that and thank them and appreciate them.
Not in a fake way. Not in a way that they see, obviously, right through but in the genuine way of you connecting to that thing that they did for you and thanking them, maybe buying them a little cupcake or something as a show of appreciation. Because negative people aren’t surrounded by a lot of positivity in general. It’s how they become so negative. And so by you recognizing the good deeds that they did, giving them some appreciation, giving them some rewards, they’re going to want to do it again and again and again and lift out of that negativity.
7. Help them Find a Happier Place
And my number seven way to deal with negative people is to help them find a happier place. Quite often, negative people are so bummed out by their position, by their work, they’re not passionate about it anymore, they don’t, you know, have the desire to be there anymore and everybody would be happier if they moved on. It kind of ties a little bit into understanding what their dream is because often if they have a dream and they’re doing something different, then they’re going to be negative and unhappy.
They’re going to see other people who are off accomplishing these great things in the field that they want to be in and they’re stuck in this job that they hate. And so helping push them to follow that dream, find a happier place, pursue that passion, is great for them because they’re happier, they’re off doing the thing they need and sometimes need a little bit of a push. And it’s great for you because now you don’t have to deal with this negative person in your work environment anymore.
Also, read… 7 Important Benefits of Knowing Yourself
So those are my top seven ways to manage negative people at work. I’d love to know what you guys think.
What was your favorite one?
Which one hit home?
What can you apply to your business or maybe your life immediately?
Leave it down in the comments below.
Did I miss an eight, nine, 10 that you guys want to add to the list? I’m really curious to find out.