Staying Positive Around Negative People at Work

Staying Positive Around Negative People

Staying positive around negative people can be a challenge whether that’s at work, at school or at home. It isn’t easy to keep a positive attitude even during the least stressful times of our lives. When you add stress or difficulties to the mix, it becomes even more of a challenge to keep a positive attitude.

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Staying Positive Around Negative People at Work

Staying Positive Around Negative People

I’m the first one to admit that my first thoughts aren’t always positive. I tend to see the challenges first so that I can work to overcome them or to minimize the impact they have on my life. Sometimes, that looks like being negative. But, for me, it’s all about being prepared. I’m still working on having a positive attitude and it’s becoming easier each day.

But, staying positive around negative people is still very hard for me. Have you ever been in a great, positive mood when someone made an unkind, sarcastic, passive aggressive comment that ruined it? How can you offset that potentially damaging comment? Here are a few tips.

Minimize your exposure

Some people just tend to make negative or unkind comments for whatever reason. If there is one person that consistently does that to you, consider minimizing the number of times you’re exposed to them. If you see them in the break room every day, try finding a different spot to find your break. And, if you’re encountering these people on social media, stay off of it unless necessary. People are often negative on social media because they feel fewer inhibitions to be hurtful behind a computer screen. This can be a big problem for women who work at home.

Staying Positive Around Negative People at Work

Understand their motivation

Not everyone who makes unkind comments does so to hurt you. In many cases, it’s a reflection of their own unhappiness with their life. Or, it can be jealousy, feelings of inferiority, or a number of other issues that really don’t have anything to do with you specifically. Try not to take comments like this personally because they aren’t often about you. I’m a firm believer in the idea that being a good person results in having good things happen to you. The reverse is often true even when it doesn’t seem that way at first.

Evaluate the comment

Sometimes you may take a comment negatively when that’s not how it’s intended. Perhaps they intend it to be constructive criticism and just haven’t phrased it as tactfully as they could have. If the comment is intended to be helpful rather than hurtful, look inside and see if it’s something you need to work on. Use this as a way to grow. If you’re wondering what to say to a negative person, sometimes it’s best not to say anything at all.

Staying Positive Around Negative People at Work

Stay thankful

We all have difficult times to go through and less than pleasant people to interact with. Living in a negative environment isn’t easy. Remember to be thankful for the blessings in your life. Redirect your reaction to their comment to a more thankful thought. Making a list of things that you’re thankful for can be helpful in times like this. Display the list somewhere in your office so you’re reminded of it each day.

Staying positive around negative people can be a real challenge. Try finding a focus point to remind you of how important this is. I find that an inspirational bracelet or figurine is an easy reminder to focus on at work. Origami Owl (founded by Crissy Weems) carries a line of inspirational jewelry that would work well in this situation.

How do you stay positive during challenging times?


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Professional blogger and social media addict. Sharing what’s worked for me in my seven years of blogging. Tips and tricks for the non-technical blogger. If you’d like to work together, email info@ellenblogs.com to chat