We work our best when we work in a harmonious workplace and have professional relationships with our colleagues. 

A friendly environment inspires one to stay loyal to a company and grow within it. But more often than not, we’re faced with the challenge of dealing with negative attitudes at work. 

How other people think and act affects our mood and efficiency. Here’s a quote that encapsulates the issue: “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” 

Sounds good but the truth is that we can’t always stay avoid interpersonal communication with people we don’t get along with. It’s up to us to find proactive steps to stay positive while working with people who feel the opposite way. Here are some practical and effective tips to deal with negative people, both at the workplace and in general.

1. Leverage email and chat communication

We’ve all pretended to be busy on the phone to avoid a conversation. And in this way, our mobile phones and computers serve as useful excuses. 

A good idea is to send emails in place of direct communication as far as possible. Another useful technique is to make use of your workplace’s chat messaging system. Conveying information via text helps you focus on the job. And it’s also useful to maintain a record of your conversations with others. 

2. Steer conversations towards the main topic

When you do have to have face-to-face interactions, you can make it a habit to circle the conversation around the subject of your meeting. Keep personal topics and workplace gossip off the table and gently redirect the conversation to the purpose of your meeting. 

It helps to approach a meeting with a clear agenda that you created ahead of time.  When you know why you’re having a meeting and what to expect, it becomes easier to keep the conversation focused on work topics.

You may also need to come up with an excuse if the conversation steers towards conversations that aren’t related to work. You can gently set boundaries and establish a cordial relationship with the people you work with.

3. Focus on facts 

A handy way to deal with negative attitudes is to be aware of negativity bias. And dealing with this is possible when you practice objectivity and rational thinking. 

A major challenge with negative attitudes is that conversations become emotional and spiral into people expressing strong opinions and biases. 

If you’re attending a meeting, be prepared with research and facts to support your points. And focus on being objective, rational, and balanced in how you present information. It’s difficult to contradict well-researched information and data-backed claims. And being objective can reduce negative thinking and create a more pleasant work environment.

4. Don’t argue

As tempting as it may become at times, make a commitment that you won’t argue when dealing with people at work. 

Instead, use the other tips mentioned in this post and refraining from engaging in a negative conversation. Very often, just refusing to engage can change the tone of a meeting or discussion. Many people don’t realize that silence and not reacting are good ways to ‘deal’ with issues at work and at one’s personal life. 

5. Focus on yourself

Marcus Aurelius said, “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Keeping this in mind, work on yourself rather than trying to control your environment and the people around you.

Focus on self-care and doing positive things that bring you joy. Deep breathing can help you stay calm during a stressful situation. Maintaining a gratitude journal is another way to appreciate the good things in life. You can write your thoughts on a blog or a protected membership site too, to create more positivity. 

Positive actions and thoughts evoke positive feelings. So, focus on yourself to create a better work environment overall. 

Stay focused on the positive even in a negative environment

In life, we can’t eliminate grey, storm-bearing clouds but we can prepare ourselves for the rain. Meaning that it’s not possible to completely cut negativity from our lives but we can always get better at dealing with it. 

The techniques discussed above will help you become mindful when dealing with negativity in your environment. Learn to balance staying away from negativity and focusing on positivity. If you can do this, you’ll have peace of mind and achieve your goals