Here, I'll share with you 9 tips to deal with negative people in your life:
1) Don't get into an argument
One of the most important things I learned is not to debate with a negative person.
A negative person likely has very staunch views and isn't going to change them because of what you say. Whatever you say, he can find 10 different reasons to back up his viewpoint. The discussion will just swirl into more negativity, and you pull yourself down in the process. You can give constructive comments, and if the person rebuts with no signs of backing down, don't engage further.
2) Empathize with them
Have you ever been annoyed by something before, then have someone tell you to "relax"? How did you feel? Did you relax as the person suggested or did you feel even more worked up?
From my experience, people who are negative (or upset for that matter) benefit more from an empathetic ear than suggestions/solutions on what he should do. By helping them to address their emotions, the solutions will automatically come to them (it's always been inside them anyway).
3) Lend a helping hand
Some people complain as a way of crying for help. They may not be conscious of it, though, so their comments come across as complaints rather than requests. Take the onus to lend a helping hand. Just a simple "Are you okay?" or "Is there anything I can do to help you?" can do wonders.
4) Stick to light topics
Some negative people are triggered by certain topics. Take for example: One of my friends sinks into a self-victimizing mode whenever we talk about his work. No matter what I say (or don't say) he'll keep complaining once we talk about work.
Our first instinct with negative people should be to help bring them to a more positive place (i.e. steps #2 and #3). But if it's apparent the person is stuck in his negativity, the unhappiness may be too deeply rooted to address in a one-off conversation, or for you to help him unravel it.
Bring in a new topic to lighten the mood. Simple things like new movies, daily occurrences, and common friends make for light conversation. Keep it to areas the person feels positive about.
5) Ignore the negative comments
One way to help the negative person "get it" is to ignore the negative comments. If he goes into a negative swirl, ignore or give a simple "I see" or "Ok" reply. On the other hand, when he is being positive, reply in affirmation and enthusiasm. Do this often and soon he will know that positivity pays off.
6) Praise the person for the positive things
Negative people aren't just negative to others; they're also negative to themselves. If you already feel negative around them, imagine how they must feel all the time.
What is the person good at? What do you like about the person? Recognize the positive things and praise him for it. He will be surprised at first and might reject the compliment, but on the inside he will feel positive about it. That's the first seed of positivity you're planting in him and it'll bloom in the long-term.
7) Hang out in 3's or more people
Having someone else in the conversation works wonders in easing the load. In a one-on-one communication, all the negativity will be directed towards you. With someone else in the conversation, you don't have to bear the full brunt of the negativity. This way you can focus more on doing steps #1 (Empathizing) and #2 (Helping the person).
8) Be responsible for your reaction
Whether the person is negative or not, ultimately you're the one
who is perceiving the negativity.
Take responsibility for your perceptions. You can interpret every personality trait of another person in a positive or a negative manner. Learn to see the goodness of the person rather than the negative. It may be tough initially, but once you cultivate the skill,
it becomes second nature.
9) Reduce contact with them / Avoid them
If all else fails, reduce contact with them or avoid them altogether. If it's a good friend, let him know of the severity of the issue and work it out where possible. It's not healthy to spend too much time with people who drain you.
Your time is precious, so spend it with people who have positive effects on you