6 Ways to Deal With the Gloomy Pessimist in Your Life

They’re Always So Negative

We all know someone like this: the bold and bossy person who always has a negative comment to share about someone or something. And their snide remarks aren’t always about a stranger. Sometimes, they’re directed at a close friend or family member—even you. If you’ve ever dealt with a negative, critical friend or family member, you know how draining these energy vampires can be. How do you deal with it? Why do you deal with the pessimist in your life?

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But before you judge them, snub them or just totally scratch them of your list of friends or relations, there’s something you may want to know. It’s something that may make you view them a little differently. According to Psychology Today, “Negative people don’t feel respected and loved enough, and don’t feel sufficiently in control of their own life.” Giving love and respect to someone who’s always so negative is not an easy feat, and even if you feel compelled to try, they probably won’t make it easy. But if you find yourself in this position, take my advice and try these six tips to deal with them.

1. Don’t Engage in Arguments
Don’t argue with them unless you want to add fuel to the fire. If they’re already in a complaining, cynical mood, they won’t be able to process your point of view. They’ll just talk over you or ignore you altogether.

2. Be a Good Listener
Negative people usually feel powerless or unimportant. The next time they’re crying out for attention, try giving it to them. Offer them a chance to talk about what’s bugging them and maybe if they feel heard, they’ll be less likely to act out again.

3. Limit Your Exposure
Superman knew the negative effects of getting too close to kryptonite. He felt drained and powerless, so he avoided it whenever possible. As humans, being in the presence of a constant pessimist can have similar effects or worse. Be willing to admit when you’ve had enough and limit your exposure so you won’t feel so weighed down by their constant jabs.

4. Enlist the Troops
If you really can’t stand the negativity, try not to face it alone. Make sure you only deal with the gloomy pessimist in a group setting. Like adding water to an alcoholic drink that’s way too strong, adding others to the mix will dilute the negativity.

5. Learn From Experience
Many psychologists and philosophers have been quoted on the subject of dealing with people whose behavior bothers us. For instance, Carl Jung once said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Think about why this pessimist bothers you so much. Then ask yourself if you can inject a little empathy and positivity into the situation, rather than reacting negatively yourself.

6. Cut Ties
If you’ve tried everything in your power but you don’t seem to be getting through, it just might be time to cut ties with the pessimist in your life. Cutting someone out of your life is never easy, and it may come with a bit of sadness, but sometimes when all else fails it’s the only alternative. Save yourself.

Having someone in your life who is always so negative can be a challenge, and everyone will handle it differently. And while we should always try to help a friend overcome their obstacles, it should never be at the expense of our own well-being. Just do what you can until you can do no more.

4 thoughts on “6 Ways to Deal With the Gloomy Pessimist in Your Life

  1. jennifer

    Very informative and will try to follow the steps.
    It is harder when it is your partner’s family that is full of negativity!

    Reply

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