Your happiness can be affected by the quality of the relationships you have. If you have a particularly negative or difficult person in your life, it can make things challenging.

This is especially true if that person is close to you, and you have to maintain a relationship as you’re unable to walk away.

Having someone constantly questioning you, being pessimistic, squashing your dreams and judging you harshly can be draining. It can be like having a Dementor (for any Harry Potter fans), sucking away the happiness from around you.

Why are they negative?

Before you next see the person in question, stop and consider why they’re so negative.  Often the root of the negativity comes from fear.  The fear of failure or that life is dangerous, or you can’t trust anyone.  Try imagining operating from this person’s perspective -it may give you an insight as to why they respond in the way they do.

Fear is a brilliant way to get horribly stuck.  If left to fester can totally freeze someone’s ability to see any good and exciting things in life.  In our experience as practitioners, fear is one of the biggest issues for people who are negative.  Fear makes them feel out of control in their own life, and they then project it onto you too.

Recognise your triggers

If you feel constantly niggled by this person’s negativity, it could alert you to something for you that’s unresolved.  For example, if you were fully confident about your choices, you wouldn’t feel so wound up by this person and let their comments wash over you like water off a duck’s back.  You would probably think something like “here they go again!”.  So if you find yourself feeling upset or annoyed, have a think about whether there is something you need to address here.

Recognise what you get from maintaining your relationship with this person.  This information will help give you another perspective, and you can consider the value of this relationship to you.

Own your happiness

Start by owning responsibility for your own happiness, despite others’ opinions – this will free you from their hold.  This important shift in mindset is crucial when dealing with negative people.

No one can make you feel anything without you allowing them to.  Recognise you have influence over your happiness, and how you respond to this person in the future.

Be compassionate

The best way to respond to someone behaving towards you in a negative way is to find compassion for them.  By understanding some of their reasoning, you’ll realise that their intentions are good and heartfelt and that they really want the best for you.

Having this knowledge, will help you to feel and show them compassion.

Avoid giving a negative person a lecture on their behaviour.  Even constructive feedback can be received as criticism.  If a person is prone to being negative – this will be amplified and make them feel worse.  Ultimately, this person is stuck with themselves day in, day out, which at least you have some escape from.

“Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power” so make sure you don’t fuel the negativity by responding to it in a negative way.” Shirley McLaine

Set boundaries

Decide on your boundaries with this person – this could be as simple as reducing the amount of time you spend with them, or being selective on how much you tell them.  Do what is necessary to preserve your own happiness.

Be a role model

Make sure you’re consistent with your own, happy and positive outlook – it will make you a great role model and being in a happy place is contagious.  Do you remember times when you laughed along with someone just because they were laughing – and you didn’t have a clue why?  Lead by example and this person may even follow your lead, and start seeing the happier side of life too.

If this is something you struggle with, the Lightning Process is a great tool to help you navigate other people. Contact us to find out how we can help you.