How do you deal with negative people?

Today I unfriended someone on Facebook, unfollowed another person on Twitter, and told a good friend I didn’t have the energy to talk to her. I am tired of listening to negative people.

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit I’ve been a negative person myself. I have gone through periods of deep unhappiness, anger, and despair where I ranted and complained and vented, ad nauseum. I looked that up, just to be sure what it meant.

Ad nauseum: something that has been done or repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome.

YES! I have been ad nauseum! 😊

To my friends and family who listened, thank you. I am grateful. You helped me, and gave me hope, and now thanks to you and God’s grace and my stubborn persistence and the passing of time I have quite a bit of tranquility and joy in my life. Still a few hard things, but I’ve learned to pick out the good and think more about them than the other.

It’s so much better to live that way. As a complainer in the past, I don’t have much patience with those who are still that way. Which makes me feel…selfish. Shouldn’t I have endless compassion for people who are distressed and unhappy, just like friends once did for me? I think I should. I try. I don’t always get there.

Perhaps I’m like an alcoholic, long addicted to the drama of injustice and insult. I finally got sober, but I’m not yet strong enough to make it through a pub crawl of endless misery-talk from someone else. Or maybe I’m like an ex-smoker who discovered how much flavor there is in food and how sweet roses smell since he gave up smoking and now recoils at the thought of returning to the foul gray haze of re-told old hurts.

So, that’s where I am. I had a delicious concoction of roasted asparagus and bacon for lunch. One sweet child has a new puppy and another returned safely from a long trip. Last night’s bike ride was great! Tonight’s restorative yoga, divine.

Yes, I face things that are difficult and challenging, but what the heck. If you want me to help you, let me buy your entry to a yoga class, take you on a bike ride, or invite you to sit around a campfire in the country at sunset as lightning bugs come out. There might be adult beverages in a cooler or local free-range organic grass-fed hot dogs to grill. Did I tell you I have chrome Williams Sonoma grill sticks? My farm might be in Kentucky, but I cook out with class.

Let’s share those activities. Then we’ll talk, and I’ll listen. I want you to listen to me too.

© 2018 Deborah Rankin

5 thoughts on “How do you deal with negative people?”

  1. Dear Deb,

    I must confess to same ad nauseum, while agreeing like an addict it is possibly “not safe” to be around others who continue in negativity. You are wise to avoid. Perhaps by said avoidance you also become a light to others struggling to overcome their negative persuasions.

    Your cookouts make any bad day better!


  2. I agree with you, Deb. Negative people can suck the energy out of the room. And, I don’t think it’s hypocritical to discuss this…we all have our negative moments, of course, but we also all know those people who dwell and even revel in negativity. As far as Facebook goes, I haven’t unfriended someone close to me because of that, but Facebook does let you “mute” their dialogue…so, I’ve done that. That way, I can still check on their status (yup…still negative, just checked!) but on my terms and not be bombarded by it as I review updates on my wall.

    Isn’t it amazing how much easier it is to get work done, go about daily life, deal with daily challenges when you tackle them cheerfully?

    Take care!

    1. It is Dan! Thanks so much for your wise comments. I regret being so late in responding, but I took off for a two-week work trip overseas the same day you posted this and missed seeing it at the time. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Deb, sounds awesome. I might bring some burgers to add to your hotdog offer. Sounds quite nice.

    As for being in relation with folks, I ask some rather direct questions of people at times. Especially when people play the ‘victim’ card. Life has challenges, and we are perfectly equipped to overcome them. We’re never alone through difficulty…. unless we choose to be so.

    Have a blessed day.

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