Situation

A team member never has anything positive to say. If you comment, “Hey that was great! We landed the new customer,” she says, “Yea well now we’ll have so much work to do we’ll never meet their deadlines.” No matter what anyone says she turns it into a negative. Some people on the team are now avoiding her because they just don’t want to deal with her, while others are mimicking her style and becoming negative themselves. It’s poisoning the team atmosphere.

Should you:

a) Keep avoiding her and just communicate via email?
b) Tell her you and others are tired of her negativity and you don’t even want to deal with her any more because of it?
c) Talk to her one on one and tell her how she’s impacting everyone with her negativity?

What to do

People who are consistently negative get a false sense of “power” from pulling others down. You don’t want to indulge her negativity by focusing on it. Instead:

a) Ignore her comments
b) Be extra cheerful and agree: “Yep we’ll have lots to do but I find that exciting!”
c) Say, “Must be tough for you to always see the down side of things. I feel bad for you.”

Key Thought

People who are negative all the time lack self confidence and get a false sense of power by “downing” everyone around them. If you let them know their negativity bothers you they win. Be detached, be positive and ignore Negative Nancy’s negativity.

“Make your life extraordinary!”

All situations and dynamics referenced in this blog are fictitious. Any resemblance to real situations or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

For more tips on Dealing with Difficult People, watch our online 3 part series: Dealing with Difficult People.