Dealing With Negativity & Difficult People

Dealing with Negativity & People talking behind your back

Negativity and difficult people are sometimes hard to avoid. You may meet them at work, in your private life or in your family. In some situations, it’s easy to just not deal/talk/be friends with them, while in other situations, they are hard to avoid. Because of recent events in my life, I’d like to share some tips to make things easier.

What are Negativity & Difficult People for me?

  • People who are passive-aggressive, talking behind your back, disrespectful and who won’t let you finish your sentences in conversations. Those, who won’t even listen to your opinions or facts and are stubborn on their own opinion.
  • People who can’t have conversations/discussions without accusing you (or others) in personal ways (that have nothing to do with the topic).
  • People who are constantly trying to bring you down or make you look bad in front of others.
  • People who are turning around your words into something that fits into their world – and spreading these words as if you told them.
  • People who are saying “I feel you are *insert wrong feeling here*” and insist that this is the way YOU feel – no matter how wrong they are.
  • People who are smiling at you while throwing the worst assaults on you – probably packed into some nice sounding words.
  • People who are both – super-sweet and hurting as hell.

I don’t associate bad moods, bad days, depression, sad, pessimistic or anxious individuals with the topic of negativity or difficult people. With these feelings and issues, I feel it’s super-important to be supportive and understanding.

Tips for dealing with Negativity and difficult people

First things first:

Know yourself.

  • You should know what drives you crazy/makes you angry and how it affects your overall mood and mind.
  • Realize your personal warning signs before you get too affected or even mad/sad – and learn ways to work with them. E.g. if you start to clench your fists – let your hands relax; if you start to breathe heavy/short – try to inhale and exhale deeply.
  • Learn ways to let go of a bad/angry/sad mindset.
    • I like to tackle an exhausting workout, do some yoga, meditate, go for a walk (in nature), talk to someone close – whatever helps you (and doesn’t affect/hurt others) is great!
  • Don’t let them change you! Some people are really great in manipulating others – just try your best to stay beyond that!

Don’t spend more time than needed.

  • If they call and you don’t want to talk, you don’t have to answer your phone. It’s totally fine to not be available all the time. If you pick up, don’t let the conversation get problematic – have a good excuse on hand (like just heading out, appointments, work, short on time).
  • If you don’t feel like meeting them – don’t! If you still want to kind of meet them – maybe a party or going out with a bigger group of friends is an option.
  • Don’t spend all your time thinking about them and how they treated you wrong. Do something to distract yourself from those negative thoughts.

It’s really not about you.

  • The negativity has to come from something. It might be insecurity, jealousy, anger, whatever.
  • If you feel strong enough, you could offer help or listen to them – or help them getting help.
  • Stay calm and walk away from them.

Be careful with your words and actions.

  • Take a few deep breaths and count (silently) to ten to clear your thoughts.
  • Never get down to their level – don’t throw around with personal assaults and start gossiping.

Maintain distance and protect yourself.

  • Don’t share intimate information with people you don’t trust a hundred percent.
  • If it’s someone you are working with or can’t avoid (either at your workplace, school, uni, club, family) try to have discussions (that you have a bad feeling about) not alone with them, but in a group. You’ll feel more supported and it might help to guide the conversation. And – as a big advantage – those other people will probably realize the wrong and disrespectful behavior, what could lead to the needed change.
  • In meetings or after something was decided, write it down and let everyone sign it. Especially important when big decisions have to be made!

If you don’t have anything respectful/constructive to say – say nothing at all.

  • Don’t hurt them personally yourself – even if they hurt you. Don’t talk about them behind their back in a rude way – especially not with a lot of people.
  • Ending the conversation might be better than letting it go wrong.

Know who’s trustworthy and who’s not

  • Sometimes, you just have to talk about a problem or a discussion that went wrong with someone. That’s totally fine and can help to get a different view on the problem. It helps to de-stress and get your anger out. But be careful that the person you’re talking to keeps it private. Your partner, a close family member or friend could be a trustworthy person to help you to achieve a different view – or to just listen.

For the long term – if possible, find ways to not having to deal with it (at least not regularly)

  • Surround yourself with like-minded, positive, honest people who make you feel good!
  • If it’s a toxic friend, it might be a good idea to loosen up your relationship – or let go of it completely. No one deserves to be treated badly.
    • I personally had to let go of friends and I know it’s hard and it hurts – especially if you’ve been close – but it will be fine. You’ll meet new people who are genuinely nice and you’ll realize that true friendship should be that way.
  • Give others more than one chance – but also know when to stop giving chances. If someone wants to change because they realize their behavior is hurting – great! But if they just keep apologizing without changing even the tiniest bit – it might be time to let them go.
  • Always remember – if someone realizes how their behavior affected you and how they put you down, they could reach out to you and apologize in a polite and honest way. You don’t have to wait around and make an effort to keep in touch with them.
  • If it’s in your workplace and it affects your mental health too much – consider another job or department. Maybe it’s the last step to take before you’ll land your dream job.
  • Stay positive & see positivity in everything! Maybe life’s giving you a hint about changing something! A new job, a new group a friends, a new favorite bar, a new city – whatever it might be. Don’t see it as running away from problems – see it as going straight for a better life!
    • As for me, having to deal with a difficult person yesterday gave me so much inspiration for this blog post 🙂


I really hope I could give you some positivity, new views, and prospects! If you need to talk to someone, feel free to reach out to me on social media or email me!

If you have more tips or want to share your experience, please leave a comment or message me!

I would love to hear from you 

Inspirations for this post, more tips and further texts on this topic:

Head over to read my advice on dealing with Negativity & difficult people :)

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