How To Deal With Negative People in Your Workplace

Much like bacteria and viruses, there may be someone at work whose negativity can infect your otherwise upbeat outlook on life and bring you down.

Be aware that their influence will be highly detrimental to your ability to reach your personal and professional goals.

These people can masquerade as informed (amateur) social commentators with a pool of opinions larger than the Hoover Dam.

Initially the effect may seem subtle but over time, as you politely listen to their litany of “everything in my life is awful”, “businesses are rolling downhill faster than a group of scouts on a camping trip with food poisoning” and “my gout just gets worse every Thanksgiving”, you subconsciously start to buy into their brand of what is wrong instead of focusing on what is right in your world.

As they saying goes, “misery loves company”, so here are some strategies you can use to prevent becoming suckered in and losing your energy to them.

1. Avoid them like the plague (they literally are the plague). Spend minimal time sitting next to them during coffee breaks if you have to. When it gets beyond your tolerance threshold, politely excuse yourself (with a knowing smile). It’ll kill them to want to know what you know.

2. When they stop by your desk to talk about their awful weekend, spring one on them and say, “Gee, didn’t you enjoy a single minute of your time off work?” Get up from your desk as if to head off to an appointment and don’t get into a conversation with them on this topic.

3. This one takes a bit of chutzpah. Firmly and with empathy say that you feel really flat after social conversations with them, and that in future could we just stick to work related topics (and not how horrible their job is).

4. Imagine a bubble of white light around you that keeps the nasties out. If possible, have some upbeat music on your iPod that you can listen to when you are at your desk, even if it is only for 5 minutes.

5. We attract certain types of people into our lives for a reason. Spend some quiet down time considering what it is they are here to teach you. Learn the lesson, bless and release them and move on.

Yours in health, wealth and happiness

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