Mind & Heart Development

What To Do When You Are Around Negative People Who Happen To Be Family

twin sister yelling at the other

It’s inevitable; we all have to deal with negative people at some point in our lives.

Encounters with such people are stressful and emotionally draining, and most of the times, lives you feeling very unhappy.

But, what if those people who constantly bring you down are your closest family members? It can be really tough.

Tough because you may not find it easy to remain loving and compassionate towards them, without being dragged into their negativity.

Here are some tips to help you cope with your negative family members…

Don’t Fan The Flames

Never argue with negative people because it only fuels the fire more.

Sure, you can listen to what they’re saying, but be very careful not to agree or participate in the conversation.

Why? Because such people feed off negative energy. Confirming or supporting their negative views, only entrenches them deeper into their negative perceptions.

As if that’s not bad enough, the more you participate in such conversations, the more you’ll become accustomed to expecting the worst in your life.

Therefore, the wisest thing you can do is to remain quiet when they speak, and let their negative comments or complaints pass.

Ask Them To Elaborate

It’s only natural to try to stay as far away as possible from your negative loved ones; after all, being around them all the time can adversely affect your physical and mental health.

But, what if you decided to take a different approach by trying to find the source of their problem?

You never know, may be their behavior is due to depression, defense mechanism or personal crisis.

By taking the time to understand the reason behind their negativity.

You’ll understand them better, and be in a better position to help them.

Love Them More

If you come from a family of negative people, you certainly understand how hard it can be to love them.

But, love is what they need, unfortunately. Deep inside that brother who is always mean and critical of you, is a person who is afraid that he is unlovable.

It’s your challenge therefore, to rise above their attitude and mood, and love them wholeheartedly.

Show them love by listening to them when they talk, acknowledging their feelings and asking them if they need your help.

This shows your legitimate interest in their happiness, and can go along way in making them see life in a more positive way. In addition, hug them even if they reject you.

Remember that such people often find it hard to receive love from others, so don’t take their rejection personal.

Know When To Walk Away

Sadly, there comes a time when you have to detach from your negative family.

This is especially true when you feel emotionally drained and all your efforts to change them have backfired. It may seem selfish at first, but remember that you’re responsible for your own happiness.

If it’s your parents, spouse, siblings or in-laws who are negative, find a job in another city, if possible, to enable you detach from them for while.

Be sure to keep in contact with them, just in case they choose to turn their life around. However, your children (especially when they’re young and still dependent on you) can be difficult to stay away from, so seek professional counseling.

Use these tips to help you deal with your negative family members. And don’t forget to set boundaries when interacting with them to protect your health and well-being.

Photo credit: Probably Okay

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