Dealing with Debbie Downers

Debbie Downers: How To Deal With Negative People

All of us currently, have had, or will have to deal with negative people. They can suck the happiness out of us like Vampires. Whether it is a co-worker, spouse, friend, or even someone posting on Facebook, we can’t seem to escape their fangs. Never fear! Shane is here to give you some good tips on how you can limit the negative effect these “womp  womp” vampires have on your positivity.

1.) Avoidance

You may not have the luxury of avoiding Debbie Downers but if you can, do it. Stay away from their office or cubicle. Don’t invite them over to your party. Do what you need to do to keep them at a distance. This may sound harsh but your goal is to live each day as positive as you can. That means eliminating negativity when possible.

2.) Change The Subject

Most of the time, negative people are looking for a reaction of acceptance and understanding for their issues. They want to go on and on about whatever is bothering them to try to gain your support and sympathy. Don’t give in. Let them say what they have to say and when they look to you for a response, change the subject. Don’t react or comment on their negativity.

3.) Recommend a Positive Change

Sometimes all the negative person needs is a push in the right direction. Try to make a positive change in their life. They are complaining and being negative for a reason. Try to gently persuade them to find help in whatever area they are struggling with. Maybe you can recommend a book or website that you feel they would benefit from. Suggest rather than demand.

4.) Use Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry seeks to inspire a change in the individual. Ask them questions that will get them to think of a positive outcome for their predicament. If they are complaining about something from the past ask, “What would you like to see happen next time?” If they are complaining about the present ask “What do you think you can do to change things?” Doing so will force them to put a positive spin on their thinking.

5.) Be Honest

Sometimes the best approach is the direct approach. If the person is constantly bringing you down, tell them. “Your negativity is bringing me down.” People who are negative all the time do not realize the impact they have on people around them. Telling them may give them a wake up call and hopefully inspire them to make some changes in their life.

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