Negative people walk among us, and you will encounter them in your life and your business. You will have to deal with skeptical customers. You will have to face pessimistic team members. You will encounter negative vendors. Regardless of where you look, you will run into people who will insist that the glass is half empty, that will never work and you are just wasting your time.
We all can’t be positive. We all can’t be encouraging. If you don’t want your positive energy drained and your focus wasted, you need to develop the right skills for avoiding negative people. Keep the following in mind when looking for practical ways to avoid killjoys and spirit killers.
Learn to spot them a mile away
Negative people are not good at putting up a front or even attempting to. Their negativity and pessimistic natures will quickly bubble up to the surface. Be sensitive to negativity so you don’t end up in a situation where you find yourself knee-deep in a project with a negative person. Your time is precious–you can’t get it back. This is why it is crucial for you to spend time with people who will encourage you, strengthen you, and support you. Every second you spend with someone who is negative is a second wasted.
To spot negative people, pay attention to their mannerisms. Pay attention to any sarcasm. Ask questions that you think would normally get positive or neutral answers. Do they always have a complaint? Is everything worse for them than for others?
Select your associates carefully. Screen your potential staff members carefully. Negativity is a business killer as well as a spirit killer. Of course, make sure you know the difference between a truly negative person and a person with solid critical and analytical skills. You need the latter, you don’t need the former. There are times to find fault, but not every day with everything.
Focus on positive topics
One of the most effective ways of avoiding negative people is by engaging them in conversations where you basically agree to focus on positive or neutral topics. A bad attitude is highly infectious. It doesn’t take long for discussions to take a bad turn and everyone ends up feeling drained, frustrated, or upset. That’s how nasty negativity can be.
Set ground rules where all participants in a meeting will focus on positive topics. Does this way of avoiding negative people work when you have a meeting with potential customers or clients? Absolutely! By setting up your presentation in such a way where you anticipate objections while demonstrating the value of your proposal, you keep the presentation on a positive footing.
Make no mistake about it—avoiding negative people takes positive effort. Avoiding negative people takes planning. If you are prepared, you can steer clear of them or you can turn what would be an otherwise depressing, frustrating, or upsetting situation into a positive experience.
Don’t let anyone rain on your parade!