How To Be Positive When Working With Negative People?


There are certain types of people who like having problems and dwell on anything negative.  They are not happy, (which they are not anyway) unless they are facing a problem or complaining about something.  Everyday they have a “terrible” situation going on in their life, that they must share with everyone they meet.

It is really hard if someone with this type of personality or disorder is your coworker.  How can you cope with listening to the drip of negativity all of the time?  I am very fortunate and work with very positive people and always have compassion for those who may not be a fortunate.

I did some research and here some of the tips I found that may help if you work with a negative person.

  • Be kind, but avoid spending too much time with them.
  • When they speak negatively, you say something positive.
  • Ask them where they are coming from to draw such a negative outlook.
  • Smile and remain detached.
  • After they say something negative, ask them to say something positive.  “So can you say something positive now?” (This will drive the point, don’t you think?)
  • Do not give them a reaction to their negative comments or situation, nod your head, say nothing and walk away.
  • You must always remain enthusiastic, do not let them get to you.
  • Do not engage in their negativity and never argue with them.
  • Say, “I see or Wow, that’s interesting” and then change the topic.
  • Try not to interaction with them alone, if possible use the buddy system.  This way you can have positive reinforcement with you.
  • Finally…. if they become such a distraction for you at work contact your HR department for help.

I had a friend who worked with someone who was always negative and had a new problem everyday.  My friend told me that she and her coworkers just decided that they would not allow this woman to take over their time with her negativity.  She was a good worker and got her job done if she was not distracted.  They just tried not to interact with her too much, telling her that they needed to get their job done and so did she.

They basically all went about their tasks and ignored (but were not mean) to her and only interacted when they absolutely had to have encounters with her and then they did just that and went on with their business. This worked well for their situation and it was a team effort which helped.

Have you ever worked with someone who was so negative or had a new problem everyday?  How did you handle it?



2 thoughts on “How To Be Positive When Working With Negative People?

  1. A great reminder – my wife and I have been remembering some of the encouraging promises of God each day. One of the one’s that we frequently recite is: For We know the thoughts and plans that our God has for us, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us hope in our final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)

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