Difficult Behavior – Should You Avoid Negative People?

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Difficult Behavior – Should You Avoid Negative People?

June 22, 2009 Dealing with Difficult People 2

siggyonair2-copyI have a number of friends and associates who refer to negative people in some very negative ways.  They call them Energy Vampires that suck the life out of your marrow, and wet blankets who smother your hope in hopelessness.  They accuse them of raining on everyone’s parade and ruining everything. 

Of course, I’ve had my own experiences in dealing with people others deem negative.  There was the lady who attended my ‘Dealing With People You Can’t Stand’ public seminar back in 1990.  I had just finished talking about how to deal strategically with people who say yes and don’t follow through, and the woman in the last row of a 400 person audience stood and spoke for the first time that day and in a voice loud enough that everyone could hear her.

“That won’t work,” she said.  “What won’t work?” I asked.  “None of it,” she declared.  “None of what?” I asked, hoping to get a bead on a noun.  “None of what you’re telling these naive people,” she said, and harrumphed triumphantly.  I decided to change course.  “How do you know?” I asked.  “It’s obvious,” she replied, as if talking to a dummy.  “Um, obvious to whom?” I asked, now a bit hesitant, since I seemed to be going nowhere fast.  “To any thinking person,” she said derisively.  Aha!  I tried contrast.  “Well, ma’am, it’s sure not obvious to me.”  I looked around the room for a little support.  But she got in the way.  “Well, now.  What’s that say about you?”  She shook her head as if pitying me for my thoughtlessness, and sat down. 

During our exchange, I observed the energy in the room go down.  When she first spoke, people were still enjoying the program, there was a charge in the air, excitement over the possibilities being revealed.  But by the time it was over, I saw people slumping in their seats, shaking their heads, and even heard one person a couple rows back say to the guy next to her, “What if she’s right?”  

In my next two posts, I’ll tell you what I think about dealing with negative people, and then tell you what happened with my audience member that day.  Good times. Meanwhile,  for the sake of perspective, remember that this is Earth, and life can be hard here.  Not surprisingly, some people get down about that. 

Your comments are, as always, welcome.  Even negative ones!

Be well,



2 Responses

  1. Guest says:

    i now that life can be hard but i think its mainly do to the negative influences we have experienced, thats why its important to either avoid or ignore negative people. i live in norway and yes its a beauitful country but alot of people her are very cold and ignorant and alot of them
    look so serious it just can crack you in two. thats why i must be better at foucusing on the people here that are more positiv or all become like alot of like how they are,

  2. Dr. K says:

    Thank you for your comment. I respect your desire to avoid or ignore negative people. And while I’m sure that Norway has her share of cold and ignorant people, I’ve found that to be the case in any country where there are….well, people. And I have no problem with anyone who chooses to accentuate the positive. I’m simply saying that when people are negative, if you have a problem with them, it’s your problem not theirs, and that you have other choices besides avoiding them that may be healthier for you in the long run. Some of us don’t have the option of avoiding all negative people, most of us in fact, because it takes all kind and variety is indeed the spice of life.

    Best wishes,

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