10 Tips For Staying Positive Around Negative People

Let’s face it. No matter how positive we intend to be and how focused we are on attracting positive people into our lives, there are times when we will come into contact with negative people. You know the type: They love to talk about all the things that are going wrong in their life. They live for the gossip about the latest tragedy in Paris Hilton’s life or their neighbor’s. They bask in being the first to point out why a project won’t work.

These people may be tangential to your life or they may be firmly embedded in the fabric of your life (can you say “family members?”). But either way, when they come into your presence, they provide a true “test” of your ability to maintain a high, positive vibration.

So how do you deal with these people? How do you maintain a positive vibration when you find yourself surrounded by people with less positive vibrations?

Here are ten tools, techniques and insights to help you maintain a positive vibration. Try them out. Discover what works for you. Improvise, combine them, add your own. As you work within the Law of Attraction you will begin to discover your own tools and techniques for maintaining your highest most positively attractive resonance in every situation.

So here they are.

10 Tips For Staying Positive Around Negative People:

1. Leave.

If possible, remove yourself from the presence of the low/slow vibrations as quickly as you can. This is the easiest and often the best way to deal with the situation. If you find yourself immersed in a water-cooler conversation that takes a negative turn, excuse yourself as soon as you realize what’s happening. Admittedly, this is not always possible (think family gatherings!) so we’ve got 9 more.

2. Try to keep the conversation positive.
If you recognize that the conversation is taking a turn for the worse, see if you can turn it back around. Politicians and marketers call this staying on message. Your “message” is positive. The topic doesn’t matter so much as the tone. So anything you can do to keep the conversation positive is staying on message.

3. Think of something positive in your life.
If, in spite of your efforts to stay on message, the conversation becomes negative, see if you can split your attention and allow a part of your mind to focus on something positive. Think of it like the “picture in a picture” feature on your TV. Insert a little positive thought or memory into the big picture.

4. Find something positive about the person to focus on.
Everyone has redeeming qualities. They may be difficult to notice in the heat of the negative moment. But they are there. See if you can find one. Maybe you like her scarf. Maybe he just got a new hair cut that looks good. Maybe she smells good. Maybe he helped you move last weekend. When you notice and focus on something positive it neutralizes the power of the negative energy.

5. Close your eyes.
This obviously may not be possible when you are engaged in a one-on-one conversation. In this case, deliberately slow down the blinking of your eyes. Closed eyes, even if closed for just a second, immediately begin to bring your brainwaves down towards the alpha state. Try it right now. Take a few slow eye-blinks and watch what happens to you physical and mental state. You are much less susceptible to negative energy when you are in that relaxing, contemplative alpha space.

6. Focus on your breath.
Again, see if you can split your attention and focus part of your awareness on your breath. Become aware of the air moving in and out of your body. Feel your chest and belly expanding against your shirt. Notice the rhythm of your breath and see if you can consciously slow your breath down.

7. Unplug your energy from the other person.
Imagine that you are literally pulling your plug out of the other person. These negative people thrive on their ability to bring others down to their vibrational level. Use visualization, feeling, or intention to pull your plug and maintain your own vibrational level.

8. Remember the prayer of St. Francis.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. Recognize that the person’s negativity is an expression of their inner doubt, despair and sadness. The way that you “sow” love and hope and peace and joy is by remaining positive and allowing yourself to become an instrument of peace in that moment.

9. Stop judging.
If you find yourself being judgmental, stop. We all have moments of negativity. And, in fact, this person’s presence in your life could be a signal that there is some negativity in your space that you are not acknowledging. So stop judging the person and, instead, offer your gratitude for the opportunity to explore your own tendency to drift into low/slow vibrations.

10. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you get pulled down into the low vibrations!
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how strong your intention is to stay positive, you will find yourself pulled down into that negative vibration. Be kind on yourself. As with number 9 above, judging yourself will only add to the downward spiral. If you fall off the horse, the best response is to get right back on and try it again!

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      38 Responses to “10 Tips For Staying Positive Around Negative People”

      1. Jan on August 8th, 2007 10:59 am

        Right on.

        I’ve been a proponent of positive thinking/law of attraction stuff for quite some time now. I’m going through some things now where it’s pretty difficult to keep the good vibes going and flowing. Thank you for this. Cheers.

      2. Justin Ruckman on August 8th, 2007 11:09 am

        Thanks for this. Today a lunch-meeting “job offer” turned into an extremely rehearsed pyramid-scheme pitch with the pitcher barely addressing me as a human being. I didn’t want to say “I see where this is going” and leave, especially because even when I was looking him in the eye and relating to him as a person he seemed to be in a different universe — I felt sorry for him.

        Anyway, perhaps not precisely related but a serendipitous post to read today nonetheless.

      3. Edward Mills on August 8th, 2007 1:22 pm

        Justin. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve been away from Centripital Notion for a while and just took a quick look. You never fail to amaze me at the wonderful, beautiful and sometimes just plain odd stuff you come up with!

        I would think that your lunch meeting could definitely be put into the “negative” category. Anytime you’re being addressed as an object and not as a human being it can “bring you down.”

        Do you think that any of the tips could have helped you maintain a higher vibration during the meeting?

      4. Edward Mills on August 8th, 2007 1:25 pm

        Jan. Welcome. We all seem to have cycles of ups and downs. If it’s any help, I’m just coming out of one of my down cycles. Having some concrete tools to use during those down times can be very helpful. I’m glad that you found them. And I look forward to seeing you around here more as you start coming back up!

      5. Justin Ruckman on August 8th, 2007 1:53 pm

        Edward, thanks. And yeah — I kept trying to steer the conversation into a personal, positive direction but he refused to deviate from his approach. I picked up the brochure he was explaining to me from and he literally couldn’t continue until I set it back down.

        It’s difficult to stay focused on positive things and not make the other person feel like you’re ignoring or disrespecting them. Unfortunately, today I think I came off as arrogant. I kept “channeling” enjoyable and productive business conversations I’d had in the past to try and steer today’s lunch in that direction, maybe show him how natural (read: abundant) things of that nature can be if you let them. In fact I hit on most of the things you mentioned, I just wasn’t very successful.

      6. Helen on August 8th, 2007 11:50 pm

        These are great tips. When I’m with a negative person, I simply focus on something else or pretend that I listen to them. It’s hard enough to understand their beliefs and might end up arguing about something.

      7. Edward Mills on August 8th, 2007 8:42 pm

        Justin. In situations like this, I don’t think successful is about getting the other person to change. It’s much more about holding onto your own positive vibration. It’s a case of being selfish in a healthy way. If he thought you were arrogant, that has more to do with him than you. It sounds like you held your space quite well. Congratulations!

      8. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker on August 9th, 2007 7:49 am

        Hi. Great tips. I have used some of them and will try all of the others. Thanks.

      9. Barb on August 9th, 2007 9:16 am

        I love this list – there are some wonderful ideas! I tried the slow blinking and automatically felt my body relax. I am setting the intention right now to remember this list when I’m next in such a situation.

        And that unplugging idea is one that I’m going to use with my kids… meaning I’m going to teach them that (besides that I sometimes need to unplug from them, lol).

        I know I’ll be sharing this list with like-minded friends!

      10. Edward Mills on August 9th, 2007 10:09 am

        Helen. You’re right. It can be very difficult to understand someone who is communicating from a negative space. It sometimes seems as if they are speaking a different language.

        Patricia. Let me know how they work for you.

        Barb. The slow blinking one is great! I use that a lot. And kids are really good at getting the idea of unplugging. It can really help them learn to discover their own space, which is especially important in chaotic and negative environments!

      11. Susan on August 9th, 2007 1:41 pm

        OK – I REALLY like the one about closing your eyes, even in slow-motion if necessary. Of course, it might not work out so well in traffic. But most of the time (especially on the phone), this one’s got a ton of potential. A mini-vacation?

      12. Edward Mills on August 9th, 2007 8:28 pm

        Susan. Great point about the phone conversations! That’s a big one for me that I hadn’t even consciously connected. Thanks!

      13. Pamela on August 10th, 2007 5:00 pm

        Very nice tips, especially number 9 which is to stop judging. We certainly can’t see something good about those people if we keep on judging their every move.

      14. Dawud Miracle on August 12th, 2007 8:14 pm

        I love this post, Ed. I think waaaaay to often we get pulled down by other’s negativity. So thanks for offering some great tips.

        Leaving can often be hard, but it’s a great way to both remove yourself from the situation and send a powerful message.

      15. jamie on August 13th, 2007 2:39 pm

        thankyou, mucho gratitude.

      16. Patricia on August 13th, 2007 11:33 pm

        Hi, Ed, great list and wonderful ideas! As some of the others, I loved the slow blinking method, it does instantly change how we feel. πŸ™‚ The equivalent of taking a deep breath, but with your eyes, I think…

      17. Pril on August 19th, 2007 6:32 am

        Thanks for sharring – judging is hard to stop but your soo dead on!!

      18. Jenny on August 19th, 2007 5:23 pm

        Great advice. I’ll have to remember that next time I’m around my husbands family. xD

      19. James - Visualized.Feel.Abundance on August 21st, 2007 11:37 pm

        Hey Edward,

        This is a great post. I have been telling people to stay positive but never actually given them a list like yours. Great Work!

        Tip 1 works great with online community, if you stumble into a forum, discussion, group that is negative beyond help. Leave.

        Tips 2, 4 and 9 are the most practical in helping us stay positive in normal day to day events.

        Keep them coming πŸ™‚


        PS: Gave you a Stumble + Review πŸ™‚

      20. Ken Daniels on August 28th, 2007 11:02 pm

        I appreciate the tips & the whole article of not letting yourself being drawn into the negative.I hate when before I know what’s happening I’m aware of that feeling like all your positive energy is being zapped.I needed to read your article Thank You

      21. mlankton on October 6th, 2007 10:56 am

        I work in Corrections. Most people wash out in this job, and the ones that stay are either extremely negative and affected by it, or deal with it fine. I like to think I’m in the latter category. I think you need to disconnect a little around negativity. Definitely do not meet someone’s negativity with your own. Show people that you aren’t rattled by their bad behavior or negative outlook, and eventually you wear most of them down. I leave the parking lot and I do not think about work at all until I come back into the parking lot. I definitely have a work mind and a home mind, and it needs to be that way.

      22. Why You Should Not Avoid Negative People at Planet Saedel | PlanetSaedel | PlanetSaedel.com | Saedel Pensoy on November 2nd, 2007 5:07 pm

        […] stumbled upon Edward Mills‘ detailed article about tips on staying positive around negative people. It was an excellent read. I can relate to some of his tips because I’ve been using them […]

      23. Dallas Bienes Raices on November 15th, 2007 7:11 am

        Wow thank you for those tips, I am just going to to print them out keep repeating that to myself.

      24. Edward Mills on November 16th, 2007 4:15 pm

        Dallas. I’m glad these are helpful for you. Let me know how they work.

        Mlankton. Your ability to leave work behind you is a great skill or gift to have. While it may seem easy for you, most people have a hard time doing so. Congratulations! I would imagine in your line of work it’s particularly important.

      25. Albert | UrbanMonk.Net on December 8th, 2007 4:34 pm

        Very nice again! Can I add something if I may – reacting to negative people probably means that you have something inside you – some insecurity or some wound – that is reacting to it.

        As a silly example, what if you had black hair and someone comes up and says “I hate you, your hair is so green!” It wouldn’t mean anything. But if you had some insecurity about your hair (maybe it was secretly green under the black), then you would be affected.

        Fantastic post, thanks!

        Albert – UrbanMonk.net
        Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

      26. Gene on December 30th, 2007 12:00 am

        grea post. i really like to read your tips πŸ™‚

      27. Edward Mills on December 30th, 2007 3:12 pm

        Albert. Great point. It’s very true that we tend to get triggered by people when we have some wound or sensitivity around a subject. And it’s also true that we tend to be more likely to meet and match a negative person when their negativity can “hook us.” And that usually means that we have some of our own negativity that we can look at.

        Gene. Thanks!

      28. Sho on January 17th, 2008 8:50 am

        Thank YOU!! I’m all about the positive! As I read your 10 steps, and comments, I realized that not everyone wants to be happy, and eventually we all run into those people. I have been asking myself how to best deal with this. Your steps gave me GREAT material for me to remain true to me, and watch myself for the hooks (re: Urbanmonk). I’m grateful that I stumbled into this site on my search today THANK YOU!!

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      30. Alex Liu on January 30th, 2008 11:24 pm

        These are all great tips. I found out the moment I start to think positive, I have to struggle to mix with other people. Thanks for the tips and all of them are very useful!

      31. Barbara on February 22nd, 2008 8:04 pm

        Great list! I find that the more I practice being positive, with regular meditation and a greater awareness of when I am slipping into the negative, the less I internalize the negativity of the people around me (and therefore don’t need to do much because it just doesn’t affect me like it used to). Family are the biggest challenges, though, because we can push each others’ buttons and we cannot escape them! πŸ™‚

      32. Chicago Casas on March 24th, 2008 9:33 am

        Fantastic tips! Certainly something that can be used almost daily….

        Thanks for sharing!

      33. wen on August 30th, 2008 5:02 am

        i try a way, which i believe is a buddhist’s way, by thinking that
        every one has some lessons to learn (to practice) in this life. if he/she is Negative, that means he/she hasn’t finished the learning. so it’s his/her problem or lesson to go on. i don’t need to feel negative about it. (i got my own lessons to take in my life. that’s what i really need to care about.)

      34. Austin on September 2nd, 2008 12:55 am

        My favorite is the first one. I usually will just politely say I need to get back to some other things.

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      36. Mike in Indianapolis on June 21st, 2009 7:38 am

        Thanks for the tips. This is something that is so difficult some times. It can be really easy to let the negativity take over and get sucked into it.

      37. Seem on May 25th, 2013 3:38 am

        I needed this today! A big believer in the law of attraction and being positive, I’m always put to the test when my mother in law visits, I’ve never had to deal with such a negative downforce till I got married! 14 years and she is getting worse each time she visits. I’ve always been a dreamer so I “leave” and check out most of the time she is visiting. Helps a great deal but her negative energy is so powerful my whole house feels like a dark place. This may sound crazy, but I light incenses and clap in every corner of my house after she leaves, it must work because the house feels light, airy and happy after that.

      38. Beth on July 17th, 2013 6:04 am

        I realize that I’m coming in just a LITTLE bit late on this one (it’s mid 2013), but I just wanted to thank you sincerely for this post. I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. In considering myself a fairly positive person, I’ve been struggling quite a bit at work (new-ish job) and it’s taking its toll. This is all due to negative coworkers (one in particular) whom I’m forced to interact with at least 40 hours of the week. It’s wearing me down! This has some great pointers and I must say #7 is a great suggestion. I’m visualizing actually unplugging myself from these people and I can physically feel a difference. Anyway, don’t know if you’ll ever read this Edward, but thank you πŸ™‚

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