“How to deal with mean negative people?”

Submitted Request..

This post is an answer to a submitted question. It aims to provide help and solutions to overcome the issue.

Podcast version: HERE

Quote: “People behave in accordance with what they believe is the correct way to act. They do not intentionally act inappropriately. They are simply unaware or lack knowledge about what they are doing. Take a compassionate and empathetic perspective when observing their actions.”

Adding to the quote.

I know it can feel like the words and actions of a person have some sort of meaning behind it, it feels personal, it appears that they cause feelings in you, but that’s simply not true or possible. 

Submitted Question

“People who seem to hate you from the moment they meet you. I've had a handful of these kinds of people throughout my life - people who are just very unfriendly from almost the first conversation you ever have with them. It feels like they've formed a negative opinion about you before they've ever gotten to know you, and there's nothing you can do or say that will change that opinion. Right now, I'm going through this with somebody I know through a hobby organization I belong to. They make lots of really mean/nasty comments that they try to frame as a "joke," but they never seem to be targeted towards anybody but me. I also notice facial expressions or eye rolls out of the corner of my eye when I'm talking, etc. Have you ever dealt with people like this? How do you handle it?

My Response if we were in a coaching setting. Although without being able to ask questions, I may assume or use scenarios to fill in the gaps.

That's so unfortunate that you're being treated this way.

Another quote that I think applies here is, hurt people, hurt people.

You see the people who are suffering in their thoughts, the people who have a poor relationship with themselves, and life are suffering in their own thoughts. 

It is truly disheartening to witness individuals trapped in the relentless cycle of their own negative thinking patterns. They feel very weighed down by their problems, which makes it hard for them to find peace or happiness in their lives, and when your bandwidth is low you can’t offer it to others. It is a painful reality that many individuals grapple with, feeling trapped within the confines of their own negative thinking habit. The constant barrage of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-sabotage takes a toll on their emotional well-being, leaving them feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It's all they know. 

A person can't be kind, compassionate, caring, loving, or supportive when they aren't able to do that for themselves.

Breaking free from the grips of negative thinking requires immense strength, resilience, and a willingness to confront and challenge deeply ingrained beliefs and thought pattern loops. 

You can't fix something you can't see.

If you don’t know you’re doing this you won’t know that there’s an issue, or believe in the possibility of having a life that's free from this way of being. It likely feels normal and they way they connect with people. 

I have worked with many clients that have been told they were negative and a wet blanket and they blow it off for they think, it’s just that person that feels that way, it’s their opinion. They brush it off, or become super defensive and rattle off all the past hurts they have had, justifying and giving proof why they are the way they are, and to accept it.

It is important to recognize that everyone's journey towards healing and self-improvement is unique and personal. What works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Some people never get the help they need. 

I like to use the analogy of being a personal trainer and randomly pointing at someone on the sidewalk and telling them to come in and workout with me. They aren’t looking for a personal trainer, not one bit interested or shopping for a gym or personal trainer, what this often does is more harm then good they remember that aggressive personal trainer forcing them into the gym when there wasn’t permission to do so. 

The narrator in their head is likely very brutal, mean, critical, judgmental and just plain harsh.

The words that a person says out loud is a fraction of what goes on in their "mind".

We humans project outward what we know and experience in our thoughts. 

We experience life via thought.

Think about it, we all have met someone that's charismatic, kind, caring, selfless, compassionate, the definition of unconditional love and you are magnetic, they have this wonderful energy that you want to be around, it's alluring and inviting.. 

These individuals have a deep sense of self-love and self-worth. They wake up every morning with an immense love for life and a profound gratitude for the opportunities that each day brings. They cherish every moment and find beauty in even the smallest things. They are conscious, aware and at the wheel of their life. Their hearts overflow with appreciation for the simple joys that surround them - a warm cup of coffee, a gentle breeze, or a kind word from a loved one. Their positivity radiates from within and touches the lives of those around them. They inspire others to embrace the same mindset of love, gratitude, and appreciation, creating a ripple effect of happiness and positivity in the world. Life is happening for them.

Then there's the bitter, mean, grumpy, negative, sour, frustrated, angry people that have this huge dark cloud above them and rant and complain about the world, blame people for their misfortune all the time and are repelling and they do not understand why no one wants to be around them. They aren’t at the wheel, they are asleep and life is happening to them. 

Of course there's everything in between too. There’s a sliding scale. 

Where do you fit in?

The relationship one has with themself and life is what's projected outward, it's what they know, it's their story, their beliefs, it's the record player playing in their head.

So when I run into people that fit the description you mention, I have deep empathy for them. I am wildly curious about how they think, what it's like to be them. What must it be like to live a life full of doom and gloom. What happened to them, what have they experienced that led them to be so miserable. I look at them with compassion. They are suffering, and likely don't even know that with some small shifts, and changes their life would look completely different.

They likely grew up around equally as bitter and mean people, they probably have been hurt, mentally, emotionally and likely physically. They have had a really awful life, and certainly being a victim is awful, terrible and no one should go through that, AND being in victimhood is a choice. You're not your past.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the best. Please share this with anyone you believe would benefit from the insights. Post a comment, I read and reply to them all. Thank you in advance!

If you want to send a question, please send to hello@katherine-hood.com please include: 

  • A coachable question (something that addresses what's in your control, your thoughts, feelings or actions.)
  • And context, explain a situation in the past, currently going through, or worries/concerns of the future, giving me some details on your thoughts and feelings about it. 

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