Keeping a Positive Attitude in the Face of Negativity

by Donna Jefffries -

You eat right, work out and try to do all the right things for yourself and those around you, but it can be extremely difficult to keep your thoughts positive, peaceful, supportive or empowering - when you find yourself surrounded by another person’s negative energy.

If you don’t have the right mental and emotional immunity, that contagious bad energy can infect you too.

THE STRATEGIES for dealing with negative energy may vary; however, the desired result is the same - to maintain an inner state of peace.

If you can remain calm and peaceful, then you can respond in a rational manner rather than unconsciously react based on anger or fear.

Meditation and inspirational reading can help you in developing and sustaining a peaceful and positive attitude.

These powerful tools can help immensely when negative people and situations threaten to snuff out your positive energies.


The fact is – there’s an awful lot that we have no control over – it is a jungle out there. The one thing we do have control over is our attitude.

The way you respond to negative energies directed toward you is your choice. Always try to keep in mind that you are the only one in control of your emotions. Don’t let them “make you” feel badly. 

 Don’t “absorb” the anger they are hurling at you. You are in control, because you are the only one who can decide to react or not to react, to let anger and bitterness seize your heart - or to feel the calm of forgiveness and let it go.


Sometimes taking a moment to look at things from another perspective and trying to understand where the negative person is coming from can help. Most often it is a place of hurt and anger and quite often has nothing to actually do with you at all.

They just happen to be trying to cope with their own emotions the only limited way they know how. But you can rise above that level – you happen to be a little more conscientious!

BE AWARE, that if in fact, the anger or negativity directed at you really is your fault, you would be getting these same reactions from other people in your life as well.

If many people are indeed angry at you or criticizing you about the same things in your life, then it’s possible that you really may be partially to blame. 

You should then take a good look at yourself to see what you can do to remedy the situation and plan to do better in the future.

Don’t go around with a guilt trip weighing you down, you’ll only spread more negativity yourself!


Obviously, it’s best to try and avoid negative people as much as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy, especially if the person dispersing the bad vibes is your spouse or roommate. But in other situations, it may be easier than you think.

 If you’re at a family reunion and you know your uncle is a big criticizing nitpicker, try to keep away from him as much as you can! Don’t agree with him in his nitpicking or try to defend what he’s criticizing. You’ll just be adding fuel to the fire!

THE NEXT TIME someone gets angry at you, criticizes or starts to pick a fight, take a moment to reflect objectively on the situation.

Instead of automatically reacting with your own anger, take a deep breath and attempt to respond calmly.

RESOLVE to not let anyone destroy your positive mood or warp you perspective. Be forewarned though, that if you decline to react to a negative person, responding with calmness instead, they will most likely magnify the intensity of their assault, and try to drag you down to their level.

The best plan for handling this is to tell them that you can discuss things further after you’ve both calmed down, then walk away to diffuse the situation.


Gloom mongers are another story. When somebody attempts to extend their somber mood to you, you might be truly touched by their sadness, but that doesn’t mean you have to wallow in it if you don’t want to.

Resolve not to let it drag you down. It’s perfectly possible for you to respond compassionately and be there for other people in their grief or assist them with their problems without becoming gloomy yourself.

DISAGREEMENTS can be a little tricky. They’re usually surrounded by some degree of negativity, and if you’re not careful, can quickly escalate into full scale arguments and verbal assaults.

Naturally everyone has their differences of opinions. Political/religious disagreements can be some of the most volatile. 

When dealing with disagreements in general, it’s best to keep in mind that arguing will never make anybody agree with you.

What it will do is create negative energy. But if you want to take the heat out of someone’s argument and still maintain peace, this will stop them in their tracks: simply say to them “You may be right. ” You’ve still got your own opinion; you’ve just made the choice not to fight about it!


Now, if you really want to knock the socks off of your negative attacker – “kill them with kindness”. That’s right - make your positive attitude really work for you (and them). Do something completely unexpected and genuinely positive, but just make sure you are sincere in this gesture for full effect. 

Decide to do something classy and noble for this adversary of yours (who has obviously invested in a substantial measure of emotion and effort towards you)... do something nice such as compliment them on their ingenuity or cleverness; offer to do a favor for them (nothing extravagant); or thank them for their time and interest in the situation. 

 You, yourself may end up being the most surprised of all – when you see their negativity start to melt and dissolve before your eyes!


If you spend any kind of significant time with someone who is excessively negative, though maybe not particularly directed toward you, you still need to determine whether it’s best to limit your contact with them or break off the relationship.

You certainly can’t tell anyone what or how to think. You can show them the advantages of a positive outlook by demonstrating it in your life, but there’s not much else you can do if they still insist on being filled with negativity.

On the other hand, if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship with a significant other, friend, relative or co-worker, then you must seriously gage the situation and determine if it’s worth trying to cope with it or if it's time to move on.

Over time, excessive negativity directed toward you can be emotionally and physically poisonous. It’s an unhealthy situation you need to avoid.


Cultivating and maintaining a positive attitude can actually be very empowering. Once you start practicing some of the strategies in this article, you’ll be astonished to discover how much less affected by the impact of negativity you can be and how capable you really are of sustaining a positive attitude – just what you need to stop negative energy in its tracks!