how to respond to negative people
The best response to negative people is not what you think.
how to respond to negative people will surprise you
How to respond to negative people will surprise you

How to respond to negative people is not what you think. Let’s face it. Negative people tend to make us feel bad. Do you have a friend or relative who shoots down every idea you have, good or bad? Does that make you feel helpless and useless? Do you just want to rip your face off in despair? We know the feeling, well. In everybody’s life, there are Debbie downers. Debbie Downers don’t have to be toxic. So it’s important to make the distinction. What is a toxic person? What is just unenlightened, like a grandpa who thinks a girl can’t fly a plane? Who is too frightened to move forward in his or her own life, or who has failed? These are reasons people become negative.

And then there are the people in your life who don’t want you to succeed. They certainly exist, too. How many different motives for being a negative person are there? Probably as many negative people there are. Remember, negative people, are often unhappy. Not your circus, not your problem.

How to respond to negative people is easy

Here’s one of our favorite tips from the new book 100 Tips For Growing Up, by Lindsey Glass. When negative people bring you down or put your recovery at risk, Respond with just three words. You may be right. These three words have changed many lives in recovery. Literally. When someone I disagree with tells me something that sets me off, I don’t argue anymore. I don’t think about what the person is saying. I don’t feel hurt. I just say those four little words, “You may be right,” and the negativity ends right there. There is no argument about when the other person has no wind in his sail. You are not jockeying for control of an idea, you’re not competing to win. You’ve been wise and taken yourself out of play without a fight. Even better, you’ve done it in a non-challenging way that hurts no one. It has become a mantra that always gives me peace of mind in the middle of chaos.

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Haley Laferney
Haley Laferney is the Graphic Designer at Reach Out Recovery and a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. She is also a gold and silver ADDY award winner.

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