We have all encountered people that complain about work, family, finances, politics, dining, sports, driving, and anything that does not go their way they want it to in their lives. There is never a silver lining. Everything happens to them because of the works of others. They know all the answers and will not stop until their beliefs are accepted. To communicate effectively, you need to think differently. When you have to deal with these type of people, use the following five ways to overcome their negative aura with positive energy.
1) Listen and don’t interrupt.
People of this nature need attention and must be heard. Interrupting them only sparks more fuel to the fire because they need to prove their point of view is right. Once they are interrupted, they tune out everything you have to say and any valid points you have will not be received. Instead of thinking how you can solve their problems, think how you can lead them to a solution.
2) Point out positive ideas in their stories.
Once they have stopped taking over the conversation, politely point out the positive points in their stories. A “look at the bright side”, “it could be worse”, or “you definitely mean well” phrase usually calms them down and makes them believe you are a proponent. After all, they are complaining or pushing the envelope only to gain some allies.
3) Keep discussions and emails succinct.
The less time spent entertaining them, the better for your positive mental energy. When conversations are short, it provides less time and energy for them to attack and hone in on negative remarks. Negative people painstakingly take the time to point out everyone’s flaws but their own. They never take the blame for anything but deflect it on others’ persuasive tactics or incompetence. Keeping interactions short limits the attacks on other people and their opportunities to “throw others under the bus”.
4) Make them feel good about themselves.
Usually negative people have self-esteem issues or are not happy with some aspect of their life. If at all possible, give three small complements and/or words of encouragement or reinforcement to temporarily satisfy the happiness they are yearning. These compliments can be related to anything – fashion, timeliness, weight loss, intelligence, great children, or athleticism.
5) Agree to Disagree
Every conversation or interaction does not have to end in an argument. Your parents were right; you should think before you speak to avoid miscommunication. Yes, you can agree there are many incompetent people with jobs. True, you can agree that another approach may have been better for the circumstance. Indeed, people can make mistakes and take advantage of what matters most to an individual because every one has different priorities in life. Being non-confrontational with a confrontational person calms the spirit, especially when they are caught off-guard with the phrase “Let’s agree to disagree”. Positive, calm-spirited individuals will tell you that it makes no sense to argue with a negative person because they must always have the final say and of course, must be right.
Life definitely deals everyone some challenges but it is not what happens that determines the outcome but the reaction and action put in place to overcome the circumstance. Too often, people dwell in the complaining stage and make themselves victims to some avoidable situations, eventually becoming a negative person. These five methods can help you keep your cool and remain peaceful and positive when dealing with these types of people.