Negativity can be contagious, and it’s important to be aware of the signs so that you can save yourself from emotional turmoil.
It’s not always easy to spot a negative person, but once you do, it can make a big difference in how you feel and how you interact with them.
Negative people can drain your energy and bring you down with their constant complaints and pessimistic attitudes. They impulsively blame others for their problems and they can be cynical and annoying.
However, it’s vital to understand that everyone has negative moments and it’s not about labeling someone as a “negative person”. It’s more about recognizing it as a behavioral pattern in someone.
It’s not easy to deal with negative people, but by being aware of the signs and understanding their behavior, you can take steps to protect yourself and maintain a positive outlook on life. So, let’s dive in and explore these 7 signs together.
1. Incessant complaining
Sure, everyone complains once in a while. And there’s nothing wrong with it. But when it becomes constant and excessive, it can be a sign of a negative person.
A negative person will tend to focus on what’s wrong and what’s missing, rather than what’s going well.
Whether it’s the weather, their job, or even their friends and family, these individuals seem to always find something to complain about. They see the glass as half empty and often focus on the negative aspects of a situation.
Imagine this scenario, you’re having a conversation with a friend and they start off by complaining about how hot it is today.
Then they move on to complaining about how they can’t stand their boss, and before you know it, they’re complaining about how they’re not happy with their partner. It’s a constant stream of negativity and it can be draining to be around.
This type of behavior can be detrimental to personal and professional relationships, as it can create a toxic environment.
[Also read: 10 Negative Personality Traits That Make People Miserable]
This is a sneaky and malicious behavior that can cause a lot of harm to both the person being talked about, and the people listening to the gossip.
A negative person who engages in backbiting is not only spreading rumors and lies about others, but they’re also trying to bring others down to make themselves feel better.
They may be jealous of others’ success or happiness and feel the need to tear them down to feel superior.
But, backbiting isn’t just about spreading rumors, it’s also about tearing down someone’s reputation and trust, and it can be hard for the victim to regain that trust and reputation again.
It’s not just hurtful to the person being talked about, it can also create a tense and uncomfortable environment for others who may be caught in the middle.
If you find yourself around someone who engages in backbiting, you should know that you don’t have to participate in it. You can choose to disengage or change the subject.
You can also stand up for the person being talked about and remind others that it’s not okay to speak ill of others behind their back.
3. Anger issues
It’s normal to feel angry at times, but when someone has anger issues, it’s not just a temporary emotion, it’s a consistent pattern of behavior. They may have a quick temper, lash out easily and struggle to control their emotions.
And this isn’t just about yelling or losing control, it can also manifest in passive-aggressive behavior, sarcasm, or constant criticism. It’s not always obvious, but it can be just as damaging.
When someone has anger issues, they tend to have a short fuse and can easily fly off the handle. They may lash out at others, often over minor things, and can be very aggressive in their behavior.
This kind of behavior can be very draining for others to be around and can cause a lot of tension in personal and professional relationships.
[Related: 10 Signs of Negative Energy In a Person]
4. They suck people into their problems
You know the type, they always seem to have a crisis going on, and they expect everyone around them to drop everything and help them deal with it. They can be very persuasive, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in their drama.
They tend to be very good at getting others involved in their problems and making them feel responsible for finding a solution. They may not even realize they’re doing it, but it’s a behavior that can be draining and exhausting for those around them.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help in your downtime, but it’s about finding a balance. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on sometimes, but it’s better to learn how to stand on your own two feet and take responsibility for your actions.
By not learning how to solve their problems, they are setting themselves up for a lifetime of relying on others, which is not only draining for those around them, but also not sustainable in the long run.
If you find yourself around this type of person, the best way to deal with them is to set boundaries and not let yourself get sucked into their problems.
You can still be a good listener and offer support, but you must understand that it’s not your responsibility to fix their problems.
5. They are pessimists
Pessimism is easy to spot. A pessimistic person tends to focus on the negative aspects of a situation and overlook the positive. They are rarely pleasantly surprised and always anticipate the worst outcome.
Imagine you’re planning a trip with a group of friends, and one of them is a pessimistic person. They might say things like “I bet the weather will be terrible” or “I’m sure we’ll get lost on the way”.
They’ll probably focus on the negative aspects of the trip, and it can be hard to get them excited about it. This kind of attitude can be draining for others and can make the trip less enjoyable for everyone.
And pessimism can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, if a person expects bad things to happen, they might act in a way that makes them happen.
Of course, no one can be — or should be — positive all the time. But learn to be aware of our thoughts and how they affect our behavior and the people around us.
[Also read: 6 Traits of Subtly Toxic Friends]
We’ve all come across people at some point who can’t stand to see others happy or successful.
They’ll often try to bring others down to make themselves feel better. They’ll make snarky comments or spread rumors about the person they’re jealous of. It’s a toxic behavior that can be damaging to both personal and professional relationships.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not uncommon to feel a twinge of jealousy when someone else achieves something you’ve been working towards. But for negative people, it’s a constant state of mind.
They may begrudge others for their achievements, and may even try to sabotage them. This can make it difficult for them to form genuine connections with others. Why?
Jealousy is often rooted in feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. A negative person may feel that they are not good enough or that they don’t deserve to have the things they want. They may also feel that others are trying to take what is rightfully theirs.
When you see the signs of jealousy, recognize it for what it is, and don’t let it make you feel you’re doing something wrong for outgrowing someone.
Jealous people can be draining and can make you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them. It’s important to set boundaries and not let their jealousy affect you.
Cynics have a skeptical attitude toward everything. They tend to distrust others and question their intentions.
They often see the world through a lens of suspicion and believe that people are out to take advantage of them. They don’t take things at face value and are always looking for hidden motives.
Being around a cynical person can be draining because they can bring a cloud of negativity to any conversation.
They can be quick to point out flaws and potential problems, and can make it hard for others to have a positive outlook. They can also be hard to please, as they tend to be hard to impress and often find faults in any situation.
However, cynicism isn’t always a bad thing. Being skeptical can be healthy, and it can help you question things and make better decisions. But when it becomes a constant attitude, it can be detrimental to personal and professional relationships.
On the other hand, cynicism can also be a sign of deeper issues such as depression or past traumas, and it’s important to be understanding and empathetic in those cases.
[Related: 5 Defining Traits of Highly Toxic People]
7 Practical Ways to Deal With a Negative Person
We’ve talked about the signs of a negative person. But how can you properly deal with them? Here are 7 ways to help you out.
1. Set boundaries
Negative people can drain your energy and bring you down with their constant complaints and pessimistic attitudes. It’s okay to distance yourself from them and limit the amount of time you spend with them.
This can be difficult if the person is a colleague or a family member, but it’s important to prioritize your well-being. You don’t have to cut them out of your life completely, but you can limit the amount of time you spend with them.
This can help protect your energy and keep your mood positive.
2. Don’t take it personally
Negative people tend to blame others for their problems and are quick to criticize. It’s important not to take it personally and understand that their negativity is not about you, it’s about them.
3. Practice empathy
Try to understand where the negative person is coming from and what may be causing their behavior. This can help you respond in a more understanding and compassionate way.
4. Keep things in perspective
When dealing with negative people, try to keep things in perspective. Remember that their negativity is not a reflection of you and that their attitude is not a permanent state.
5. Try to change the subject
When someone is being negative in a conversation, bring up a positive topic or steer the conversation toward a solution. Try not to do it in a rude or interrupting way. Maybe that person can get a hint of their negativity.
6. Avoid them
Sometimes it’s best to avoid negative people altogether. If someone is constantly negative and their behavior is harming you, it might be best to limit your interactions with them. This can be hard, especially if it’s a colleague or someone you can’t avoid, but it’s important to take care of yourself.
7. Stay positive
Finally, be an example of positivity. It might be hard to change the other person’s behavior, but you can change your own. By being positive and upbeat, you can help counteract their negativity and be a positive influence in their life.
[Also read: 5 Signs Someone is Secretly Manipulative]