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My People and My ​Peace.

OCT 27, 2020| 3 MINS                                                                         

Written By Brandie Janay Sanders

Protecting your peace in your relationships with others is tough. Especially in a world of so many different kinds of people, personalities, and morals. I have learned it is less about selecting the right people and more about treating the people you select right. Meaning, it's more about you and less about them, even when it comes to the most negative and toxic individuals. My peace is my responsibility, not my friends.  I had to learn how to stay positive around negative people, who were in fact, my people and my friends. How do you stay positive around negative people? Whew, it’s a tough one. Negative people can trigger you in ways that might also make you negative. When you are an over-thinker being around negative people can be toxic. You might start to feel every comment is a personal jab or insult. But the thing about negative people, most of the time their pessimism is unconscious behavior. The last thing you should try and do is change them. The best thing you can do is change how you react to them. Here are three common things a negative person does or says and how you can remain positive in these situations.


They are overly controversial and self-centered.

Yes, the person who always wants to debate. I’m all for a good healthy debate, but the keyword is healthy. Where it becomes unhealthy is in the individual’s inability to see another’s perspective. Sometimes people really think they are always right. When this is the case, they will attempt to over-talk you, cut you off, or disregard what you say. Not only is it hard for you to get a word in, but it is also hard for you to talk to them about anything other than themselves. So how do you respond to these kinds of people? You don’t. I mean that simply, you don’t respond with rational because they are irrational. You limit their ability to belittle you by stopping them while you can. Be brief, be kind and be on your way. 

They are knit-picky.

Knit-picky is an informal way to describe someone who is overly focused on tiny, unimportant details. They tend to point out the very minor flaws or mistakes in something or to criticize it in this way. This trait alone is not always a bad thing and often is a characteristic of some very successful, kind, and positive people. However, the negative knit-picker is very obsessive and compulsive about how they do…. well, everything. It becomes a problem when they start to try and force their ways on you. They tend to point out the very minor flaws or mistakes in everything you do. Ugh, annoying right? They may even always have something negative or very critical to say about your appearance, goals, or relationships. This is the person who says things like, you should do this instead or you can’t do that like that. In everything you do, it is not good enough to them and they rarely have anything positive to say… and that can be very draining. So what’s the response? Because these people care a lot about what others think of them, it is worth attempting to create an understanding between the two of you. Being overly conscious of other's opinions can lead anyone to fall into negative habits and traits, so try and have empathy for them. You can attempt to share with this person how they are making you feel. When they are being negative, call them out on it… in a non-confrontational way. Let them know you would like to feel supported, and some criticism here and it is acceptable but all the time is draining and excessive. If they care enough about you and their relationship with you they will try to be more attentive to this behavior. If they don’t and it continues… well then protect your peace and sever ties with this individual.


They are negative… that’s it. Negativity is them, they are negativity.

This person you might write off their negativity as … oh that’s just the way they are. Well if the way they are is disturbing your peace, it’s worth a call for action. This person always has something sad or negative to say, they suck your energy away and just leave you feeling …drained. They cannot see the optimism in any situation and often just cannot relax and have fun. They are constantly on edge and highly irritable, which means often they may be triggered by … you and your presence simply. They are obsessed with drama and often put themselves in situations that involve drama or confrontation because…. well, it’s their normal. When you are actively working to protect your peace these people can become very jealous of you and your optimistic outlook on life. They start to envy you and this may come out in the form of judgment, criticism, or lies. Now for this one, staying positive can and may make things worse.  Do your best to encourage them to see the effect their negative behavior has had on their own life.

In conclusion, let me be the first to admit I have seen myself in all of these aforementioned types of people. Negative people are not bad people, they just have bad habits. Bad habits, can be broken and changed if the individual is willing to and has the desire to change. Because, we all may have at some point been arrogant or excessively controversial, overly critical of others or ourselves, and/or negative, the first thing to do is see things from the other’s person’s perspective. Give them a chance to change their behavior and show them compassion along the way. Be forgiving and don’t hold grudges. If you cannot see yourself sincerely reconciling a relationship with an individual who you feel has been toxic to you…. Do not try. Yes, there are some people and some points that are beyond reconciliation and that is okay. But, if you have not tried the positive approach to your negative friend and want to see if things can change, go for it. You may be surprised what a little love, understanding, and patience can do for your relationships!

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