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How to Stand Up to People Who Pull You Down

How to Stand Up to People Who Pull You Down

The energy of a negative person can make July feel like January. You cannot avoid negative people all the time, even though you might want to. Family, friends, coworkers, bosses—sometimes, we simply have to make daily contact with people who give off negative energy.

The first step toward dealing with such a person is to identify them as being negative. Some vital clues:

  • Negative people always see the glass as half empty.
  • They are naysayers and often expect the worst in any situation.
  • They criticize other people most of the time.
  • They are quick to suspect other people of being jealous, ill-meaning, and selfish.
  • They themselves are selfish and cold, warming up only to those from whom they can benefit in some way.
  • They leave you feeling unhappy and exhausted each time you are around them.

If you know someone like that, and have subconsciously or actively been wanting to know how to deal with them, here are some tips that I have tried and found useful.

  • Stop feeling like a martyr or keeping your head firmly buried in the sand. Acknowledge the effect that a negative person is having on you, and resolve to deal with it.
  • The negative person feeds on your reaction. Don’t let on that you have felt hurt, upset or angry by their words or actions.
  • Keep your interactions and conversation limited to as much as is necessary. Sometimes, positive and sensitive people cannot help being nice and open toward the negative person. Mistake! Keep your distance, and stay sunny.
  • Listen to beautiful soothing music whenever you can. Music truly heals and cleanses.
  • Project positivity! Go out and do something good for somebody. Lend a helping hand. Give a smile.
  • Remember, the viciousness and cruel words that come from a negative person are an expression of their own unhappiness and frustration. They do not and should not reflect negativity about you.
  • And finally, learn to brush the cobwebs of negativity aside and move into clear air. “Toxic people will pollute everything around them. Don’t hesitate. Fumigate.”
    ― Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass




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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
4:23PM PDT on Apr 8, 2015

I will not allow negative energy in my personal space. I remember when I was a child the school yard refrain, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." They never can, unless you let them.

5:46AM PDT on Apr 1, 2015

MJJ, my sympathies!!! At times I'm glad to be single!

5:44AM PDT on Apr 1, 2015

Yes indeed, Froudji! If they don't get the reaction they are looking for, they will get worse and worse until anyone with any feelings at all will be screaming inside!

My first motto is - if you don't like something, do something about it! My other motto is - No-one on this planet can humiliate me. They can only humiliate themselves for trying!!!

6:36AM PST on Feb 9, 2015

"Don’t let on that you have felt hurt, upset or angry by their words or actions." Actually, not to react might drive them nuts and get them behaving even worse: what they want IS to hurt and if you don´t show you are hurt, they will be worse... Best thing to do : run & get rid of the poor sad frustrated bastard!

6:22AM PST on Feb 9, 2015

wow. I married one of those.

3:03AM PST on Feb 7, 2015

Occasions to reflect on our own for improvement

3:45AM PST on Feb 2, 2015

Read up on borderline personality disorder. If it is a work situation start an alternative job hunt.

5:39PM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Thank you!

4:26PM PDT on Mar 25, 2014

thank you for sharing!

11:13PM PDT on Oct 31, 2013


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Thanks for sharing.

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