post written by: Marc Chernoff

7 Negative People You Need to Ignore

7 Negative People You Need to Ignore

You can’t live a positive life around negative people.

Sadly, some people are so entrenched in seeing the negative side of things that they leave zero room for positive things to grow.  People like this inhabit our families, work environments and social circles.  It can be emotionally draining just being around them, and you must be careful because their negative attitudes and opinions are venomous and contagious.  Negativity perpetuates itself, breeds dissatisfaction and clutters the mind.  And when the mind is cluttered with negativity, happiness is hard to come by.

Ignore these people and move on from them when you must.  Seriously, be strong and know when enough is enough!  Letting go of negative people doesn’t mean you hate them, or that you wish them harm; it just means you care about your own well-being.  Because every time you subtract negative from your life, you make room for more positive.

Here are seven such people you might need to put on your ignore list:

1.  The hopelessly hostile drama queen.

Some people love to stir up controversy and drama for no apparent reason.  Don’t buy in to their propaganda.  Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.

Don’t spew hostile words at someone who spews them at you.  Keep your composure and replace the stink of confrontation with the fragrance of resolution.  The louder the opposition wants to yell, and the more drama they want to stir, the calmer and more confidently you need to think and speak.  Don’t let them get to you.

Be an example of a pure existence; ignore their outlandish antics and focus on kindness.  Communicate and express yourself from a place of peace, from a place of love, with the best intentions.  Use your voice for good – to inspire, to encourage, to educate, and to spread the notions of compassion and understanding.

When someone insists on foisting their hostility and drama on you, ignore them and walk away.

2.  The person you have failed to please a hundred times before.

Some people are impossible to please; you will not be able to break through to them no matter what you do.  Accept this harsh as a fact of life.

Throughout your lifetime some people will discredit you, disrespect you and treat you poorly for no apparent reason at all.  Don’t consume yourself with trying to change them or win their approval.  And don’t make any space in your heart to hate them.  Simply walk away and let karma deal with the things they do, because any bit of time you spend on them will be wasted, and any bit of hate and aggravation in your heart will only hurt you.  (Read Emotional Vampires.)

3.  The naysayer who always dumps on your dreams.

Stop giving credit to those who discredit your dreams.  These people are punishing your potential by slowly extinguishing your inner flame with their watered down vision of what you are capable of achieving.

If you give in and let their negativity convince you of who you are, their madness will wither you away.  You will morph into who they say you are, rather than living honestly as yourself.  In this way, these people will steal your life from you.  You will lose track of where their opinion ends and your reality begins.  Their fiction will become your life’s story.

What you’re capable of is not a function of what others think is possible for you.  So look beyond their presumptions and mental limitations, and connect with your own best vision of what YOU are capable of and how YOUR life can be.  Life, after all, is an open-ended journey, and 99% what you achieve comes directly from what you work to achieve on a daily basis.

4.  The manipulator.

Beware of manipulators, or bullies, who try to use their negativity to intimidate and manipulate your thoughts.  If you observe them from a distance, you will realize that these people are often overly self-referential.  In other words, the people around them (YOU) fit into their plan simply based on how they can be used or manipulated for their own personal gain.

These people routinely prioritize their own feelings and needs over and above everyone else’s.  They will demand that you bend over to help them, but if, heaven forbid, you need help, they will not be able to stand it.

Bottom line:  Some people will say and do anything, thoughtlessly, to get others to do what they want them to do.  Do not accept this behavior as normal.  When someone tries to bully you, stand up for yourself and say, “Not so fast, buddy!  Your delusion of superiority is your problem, not mine.”  And if they refuse to reason with you, walk away without a fight.  (Read Codependent No More.)

5.  The stubborn one who insists you should be someone else.

In the long run, it’s always better to be disrespected for who you are than respected for who you are not.  In fact, the only relationships that work well are the ones that make you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself, and without preventing you from outgrowing the person you used to be.

Unfortunately, families and old friends often fail to recognize how you’ve changed and grown over the years.  They also tend to label you in an unfair way based on who you used to be; and it’s easy to end up conforming to these labels because you remember when they were true.  For example, “Oh, Marc always has his head in the clouds,” or “Angel never could focus on anything for very long.”

What’s important to remember is that you’re the only person in the world who knows what’s happening inside your head right now.  People who don’t know you well may assume you’re someone else entirely.  And people who think they know you well may have pigeonholed you – but you know there’s more to you than what they see.

When you ignore their opinions and decide to be who you are, instead of who they want you to be, you open yourself up to real love, real happiness, and real success.  There is no need to put on a mask.  There is no need to pretend to be someone you’re not.

You don’t have control over what others think about you, but you do have control over how you decide to internalize their opinions.  Leave them to their own judgments.  Don’t feel threatened and don’t conform just to please them.  Let people love you for who you are, and not for who they want you to be.  Or let them walk away if they choose.  They can’t harm you either way; it’s their understanding that is faulty, not yours.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self-Love” and “Relationships” chapters of “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.”)

6.  The unforgiving friend who refuses to forgive you for your mistakes.

The most honorable thing is not to never make mistakes, but to admit to them when you do make them, and then to follow through and do your best to make the wrong things right.

Mistakes are part of growing.  They are a natural part of every worthwhile endeavor.

If someone refuses to support you as you grow beyond your past mistakes, they are now the one that’s making a mistake.  Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy and serves no purpose in creating a better day today.  If someone continuously judges you by your past, holds it against you, and refuses to forgive you, you might have to repair your present and future by leaving them behind.

7.  The inner critic.

Boom!  Wake-up call!  Yes, sadly, the inner critic is inside YOU.

Unrelenting self-criticism often goes hand in hand with unhappiness and anxiety, and it’s completely unjustified.  There is no reason to be your own biggest critic – to harp on yourself for your shortcomings.  All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your real value is rooted in who you are, not who you aren’t.

The flaws you often see in yourself are only the qualities of your own individuality.  There is something unique and special about you.  You are different.  You will never be as good as someone else, and they will never be as good as you.  Just as no two snowflakes are alike, your fingerprints are different from every other being on Earth.  You are meant to be different.  You are here to express who you are and enjoy what you have at this very moment.  When you accept this, there is no reason to compare yourself to someone or something you aren’t.  There is nothing for the inner critic to complain about.

Every morning when you wake up, think of three things that are going well in YOUR life at the moment.  As you fall asleep every night, fill your mind with an appreciation for all the small things that went well during the day.  Examine the goodness that is YOUR life, and let your inner critic overhear the five-star reviews about YOU.


When people undermine your dreams, predict your doom, criticize you, and generally resist the truth about who you are, remember, they’re telling you their own sad story, not yours.  They’re dumping their own doubts into the air.  Ignore them.

If the person doing this is you (your inner critic), try giving up all the thoughts and contemplations that make you feel bad, or even just some of them, for the rest of the day.  See how doing that changes your life.  You don’t need these negative thoughts.  All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.

Your turn…

What kind of negativity do you struggle to defend yourself against?  How do you cope?  Please leave a comment below and share your insights with us.

Photo by: Magic Cyril

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  • Love this! What do you do when it’s your boss that’s treating you poorly? How can you stand up for yourself politely and explain yourself, but still keep your job? A confrontation like this makes me nervous.

  • I struggle with negativity from friends who don’t support me branching out and doing something different (my own small web based business). It’s crazy. Some of their remarks are so negative it’s almost like they’re hoping I fail.

    Anyway, I’m doing my best to ignore it.

    And to Sacha: Be polite, but speak up if you are being abused by your boss. If things don’t change, start looking elsewhere while you cope.

  • I appreciate this article, but I have one question. What happened if I am that 7 Negative People? What should I do?

  • Thoughtful post Marc (y) but how do you ignore or leave the spouse if they treat you negatively? What if the manipulator is your better half? It’s hard to leave or feel bad after such association. #2 is simply about me and it is hard for me to just ignore and move forward…

  • @Sacha: As Dev said, you have to speak up. As long as your boss is a halfway decent human being, he or she will likely appreciate a little constructive criticism from time to time, especially if you deliver it properly. Let them know what, specifically, about their behavior is hurting you. Deliver suggestions that might improve your relationship too - telling them you hate the way they talk to you isn’t helpful. Asking them to pull you aside to talk privately when they have an issue, or asking them, “What can we do to make this work better?” is helpful.

    @za: I recently wrote this article: 4 Ways to Quiet the Negative Voice Inside You. Give it a read. There’s certainly plenty of hope for you to become a more positive person.

    @Clara: Yes, a situation like that is extremely difficult. Like Sacha’s issue above, you must communicate how you feel, cordially. If there’s a specific behavior someone you love has that you’re hoping disappears over time, it probably won’t all by itself. If you really need them to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so this person knows how you feel and what you need them to do. That’s the first step.

  • I loved this post. Sometimes, we continue to please people without them caring an inch. In such relationships, you are continuously being judged by them and they seldom realize it takes two hands to clap; it takes both sides to complete a relationship. This continuous judgement hurts.

    Again, lovely post.

  • I know all too well what you mean. I worked with a woman who is manipulative, critical, arrogant, demanding, & chronically disappointed. She is also an unrepentant tattle-tale - calling our boss for stupid crap like ’someone didn’t close a drawer all the way in the lab or someone moved something on her bench (it was still there just moved over about 6 inches). Three of us allowed this nightmare to torment us for about three years because confronting her led to her screaming at us, berating us, and culminated in her whining to our boss. We finally joined forces and unloaded on our boss, told him of her sabotaging our experiments, impeding our progress, and being forced to clean up her messes and do her work under threats of being tattles on for not cleaning up after ourselves (when it was her dirty dishes etc). She even made our foreign student cry because she wouldn’t ‘allow’ her to go to lunch in peace…she constantly called her cellphone demanding she return immediately. The girl is a senior graduate student, but all of us are graduate students. Our boss asked why we didn’t say something before, and I told him ‘Because this is stupid! We shouldn’t have to tattle on someone. She’s 32 years old and acts like a princess!’

  • On number 5, that poses a lot of concerns. What if the person you wish could change, leads the life of a mindless television consumer, watching over 6 hours of negative gluttonous reality shows, and super campy simple story movies? Also, they eat horrible junk food, have the decaying body eventhough they are very young and also disrespect their parents? Should I just accept that that’s the way the person wants to be happy or smack that persons head?

  • Wonderful and practical advice!! Having dealt with #s 1 and 4, I know it is best to just walk away. Wish I had done that initially. My first response was engaging them in the manipulation and responding to the drama which is what they thrive on and fuels the fire. Ever since I stopped responding, life is so much better :) The BEST response is silence and walking away. Life is too short! ~ Thanks Marc and Angel xo

  • Oh, yes, and #7 too! I am my worst critic, but I am working on that one!

  • How do you handle an elderly mother that is all 6 of the above? I am the care giver and my good mood is totally sucked out of me after just an hour doing anything for her.

  • Hi everyone! I have been browsing for quite sometime now and I must say, this site is lovely. I have been suffering from negativity like peer pressure and the influence brought about by others around me.
    But I realized, the best way to get out of these things is: To not give a crap about what the world thinks about you all the time.

    You are who you are and who you want to be, so make the change of negativity to positivity! Cheers! :D

  • All of the things you listed have happened to me. I have to remember that certain members of my family can’t dictate my life. I’m only 20 years old. It doesn’t matter if I’m one of the younger siblings, a daughter, or not always outspoken. I’ve noticed I’m more positive. Not optimistic, per se. Just more positive on my outlook in life. I don’t want any more drama because of my autism, someone resents someone else, or anything like that. Can you do blog posts about autism please? I would really appreciate that.

  • @Clara.When your partner is the negative one and after putting all the cards on the table, if things don’t change, RUN the other way. Your partner should be encouraging you to grow, not a dead weight to drag through life. Live a year without this person and remark how well you can breath.

  • Me… it’s my inner critic who are strong. How do you stop yourself from doing that to you ?

  • I have learnt through experience that those who are incapable themselves , try to dump on you as well. After my father died and being a younger one in my family, I have been victimized and experienced 1,2,3,4,5,6 and after sometime i stopped believing myself so the 7th came in as well. But now i want to do something for myself.

    I is important to be nice to people, but not at the expense of yourself.

  • Me it’s my inner critic who are my biggest enemy. How do you manage to stop doing that to yourself ?

  • Very true! Sacha’s made me think of my worst boss. He did some good things but I didn’t have a lot of respect for him and thought he wasn’t going to be able to teach me anything. After conversations with him (any) I would always feel worse than before… One of his colleagues reminded me of my (!) ability to develop people, give feedback and coaching. So as hard as it was I said down with him and talked about the fact that I didn’t trust he had my best interest at heart, that I felt we were often “on different wave length” communicating past each other… and a few more things. He almost fell over backwards because of the surprise but was grateful - we’re still not best friends but it became a LOT better…

  • @Sacha. I allowed my last manager to abuse and bully me for over a year. The job I had loved turned into a complete nightmare I became so sick with anxiety and panic attacks that I was unable to function at all. Eventually, I woke up to what she was doing and challenged her. Nothing changed so I made the choice to walk away.

    It has taken almost six months of downtime to recover my self-esteem, my confidence and to forgive; the bully for her behaviour, management for doing nothing and, myself for allowing it to go for so long. It was a very painful lesson but my boundaries are now clearly defined and I will never allow anyone to treat me with such disrespect again.

    Once someone in authority has started to behave so appallingly towards you, the job is actually already lost at that point. Depending on how the abuse is affecting you, I’d say that are two choices: walk away now with your head held high or, stay and challenge the behaviour and get ready for a fight you are very likely to lose. In my experience, bullies don’t accept or change their behaviour when challenged unless they have a profound awakening.

    I pray for you to find the strength and courage to do what is right for you. Sending love and understanding your way as well :-) x

  • Forgiveness has always been tough and possibly even tougher in modern society. We live in a very right now throw-away world. People are quick to say I don’t need him or her, but the reality is strong bonds are hard to find and essential to cultivate. If you have an unforgiving friend, still aim to end contact in a dignified and respectable manner. Because what you had, was still valuable, so don’t make it worse than it has to be.

  • The foundation seems to be that it’s an inside job first. Nothing changes until we do. A change of perspective, a change of our self concept, a decision to only entertain thoughts that are productive in our world - all can make the journey one of more grace and joy.

  • Thank you for yet another wonderful article! This one is perfect, for it supports my reasoning for some of the choices I’ve made in the last year. It’s a reassurance to me; it’s a reminder that the choices I’ve made to say goodbye to the negative people in my life have been good ones, even though those decisions were hard. My own being is better off now, though. This article is full of truth, and I hope everyone can grasp onto the advice in here. Thank you!

  • The negativity I’m dealing with is the fallout from discovering the person I loved and committed myself to for more than a decade didn’t really exist. The person who actively wooed me and desperately wanted to share a life with me and my children was a facade. What my children and I have been left with is a man who follows a pattern of leaving, both emotionally and physically, when the mood fits him. Before he leaves he finds another woman to aggressively woo then dumps his old life for the sparkly shiny new life. I know this because it’s how he met me… His way is to move on into the new relationship while staying in the old one to wreak havoc. If I could I would have nothing to do with him ever again but unfortunately there are children, finances and a house to deal with.

    I daily struggle with trying to move forward while still being ensnared within his manipulative and bullying sphere of interest. I’ve forgiven myself for getting involved with him but it’s hard not to get pulled into negativity when there is so much emotional pain experienced by all of us that have been left behind in his wake.

  • Our ‘pastor’ refused to mediate a meeting w/ an openly slanderous, miserable person, whose relentless lying continued until we had to leave church. Bitterness is one choice; perspective is better–old-time members of that ‘flock’ rally ’round iconoclastic mindsets. I’m healthier, away from the muck.

    One person offered this tip: ” Hard apple to swallow, but Jesus only got in trouble when he did the right thing.”

  • This is so true….. My one friends girlfriend is so filled with drama, it’s hard to be around her, I believe they are attention seekers.
    Have a great day! I truly enjoy reading your inspirational weekly messages, they are food for the soul. Thank you,
    Blessings :)

  • This is really on point!

    I’ve experienced this and have also been on the other side of it. I can admit I have been an ‘Emotional Vampire.’ I’m sure while I pretty much sucking the life out of my son who lives at home with my pity parties and life not being fair made it that much more difficult for him to be around me and not being able to escape.

    I had to do alot of sould searching and I mean alot!
    I don’t like to be around negative people and it wasn’t fair for him to have to be submerged in it.

    I had to make a conscious effort to remember things don’t stay the same forever. I started journalling, setting aside a day for myself which I call my ‘Self Care’ day which I go to Starbucks each Sunday morning, journal, catch up on emails, current events while enjoying my own company and my latte :)

    I made a decision many years ago to severe ties with my mother who is fine in her ways, but doesn’t work well with me as an adult. As a child, you had no control of the situation but as an adult you do and I made the choice to forgive her but at a distance. My brother and myself recently reconciled and he started bringing up the past, which I for the most part made peace with and had to let him know that would appreciate him not bringing up the past because as a child life was not kind to me, for him yes, for me no, he apologized and has since respected my wishes.

    It is not ever easy to convey your feelings to another for fear of their reaction but if you keep it inside you will not be remain true to yourself. When you keep it inside you are telling yourself you don’t matter, that your feelings don’t matter and that is detrimental to your well-being.

    State how the person’s behaviour is making you feel and you have done your part. It is no longer in your hands, you’ve released it. If they choose to get upset and blame you, then you will at that time know where you stand.

    Take care :)

  • I’m struggling with number 6. I feel like a bad person for not being able to completely forgive an ex that lied, deceived and manipulated me for 5 years. He’s called or texts me several times since we broke up almost 3 years ago and although I can say that I forgive him for the pain he caused me…I’m not sure that’s true. He thinks that I should be able to just accept his apology and wipe the slate clean so that we can leave the past in the past. How do I do that? After reading this article I feel like a terrible person for continuing to judge this person based on his past behavior. I understand that people make mistakes…

    I’m not perfect. I’ve made more than my share of them. This mans actions and selfishness shattered me to my core. How can I to judge him for that? Better yet… Do I give him another chance to prove he’s changed and open my heart up to him again? I still love him…but I don’t trust anything he says because of the extent of his lies from the past.

    Just so you know…he lied about being married, living with his wife, misled me after I found out by telling me he was working on his divorce when he wasn’t (they are still married), and so many other lies to cover up this mess that I won’t go into.

  • Boom…right between the eyes. I will not lie, I used to be several of these.

  • Each of these describes my mother perfectly. I can’t exactly walk away from her, right? So, what do I do? I’ve tried for years to be her positive voice of reason, but she chooses to be angry and verbally abusive to most everyone she meets. I truly believe she’s made the choice to be unhappy, but she wants everyone else to be that way, as well. And the happier others are, the meaner she is. She is the true definition of negativity.

  • This is the one….out of all your blogs, and trust they are all groundbreaking life changers. But this one was for me. This one tells my story, in 7 points. This one is what my growth has been about, even before I knew it. This one confirms my transition right now. This one validated my prayers. This one is what I am living right now. This one was for me. Through the grace of God. Thank you

  • Another great post. For me it is all #7, and always has been, the inner critic. Others have said they think me a very strong woman, but whenever something happens, I always think it is my fault and take the blame. After many years of self doubt, it is so hard to get out of that. Even when able to get out, just one thing will put me right back there. Each new read really does help. Thank you.

  • All we’re human and we sometimes judge other people. If we ignore all these types of people, we’ll miss a lot of friends to talk with. In one of the previous articles on your blog I read that we have to allow people to be people (with all their disadvantages, criticism, etc). So maybe we just have to stop to be too emotional and to communicate with those who like us and with whom we feel good. In other words, don’t let the negative people take over.

  • I struggle with the naysayer and the inner critic. Fortunately, two of my best friends are forever encouraging me to never give up.

  • My inner critic is the toughest to silence. My goals, passions and desires are so strong that sometimes no matter how “great” I do it still doesn’t seem enough and not having a wife/partner makes the journey not as much fun.

  • Bless you for this great post. Like Jenny above, I’ve found myself on occasions trying to reply to the negativity and unrelenting judgements of the people in my life & in my social circles, even though i knew better.

    Walking away is not easy, Marc, even if it is the best option. What do we do when this negativity becomes the order of the day, and people simply don’t see anything wrong in their lifestyles? Surely, everyone in one’s life can’t just be wrong, but sometimes they are; how is it possible to continue ignoring or walking away? Who then will be your friend!?

  • I appreciate all of the types of negative people you have mentioned…and I have several “of them” in my life. However, the voice that seems to discount me the most is my own voice. There is a critic inside - someone who always tells me I could have done a better job, a more perfect job. After reading this article, I have decided to imagine this voice as a person (on the outside) and choose not to be in her/his company. There will be no disconnection or pushing away of this voice…rather an acknowledgment and then the choice to move on. Ahh - I feel more peaceful already!

  • Wow!! These are some tough comments on a great post. I highly suggest going back and looking at Marc and Angel’s previous posts on quieting the inner critic. Another great resource is Mindfulness for Beginners, its on Amazon.

    For those having difficulty with bullying bosses, you can confront or walk. But you do NOT have to go down quietly. Call HR if you can, and file soemthing in writing before you leave. Even if nothing changes, you can vent.. and its permanent. Many states have tough HR laws, and managers usually count on them knowing more than you do to “support” their position and aid in their manipulation.

    I work with a Master Manipulator, and I was constantly doing more for him, always getting tasked for more because he asks for help in public forums. I never needed his help, but was constantly helping him because he asked for it on open conference calls. It was making me miserable. I sought help from someone outside the company. He said one sentence: David, write down everything, remind him of all his tasks and copy his boss. And boy does it work. He now pulls his weight, and I am free to do my job.

    If you choose confrontation, I think you have 2 routes. Route 1 is to ask for 1:1 time, and go in with your grievances and workable solutions. They may have no idea how this situation feels to you, they just see positive it looks like its “working” to them. That should lead to an open dialogue. If it doesn’t work, do the minimum, and start looking for a job.

    Route 2 is public confrontation, much riskier and scarier. I have only done this twice. When the Bully Boss unloaded on me in front of his boss because I did what he told me to (and it backfired), I completely let him have it. When I was done there was a huge silence, and I told his boss that if I go down in flames I am taking as many people as I could with me. Nothing changed, except word spread like wildfire. Two weeks later I quit with no notice, leaving them in a big lurch with a big customer. And the damage was done. They both were let go within 6 months.

    Family is harder. We have had several horrible episodes. I have one Control Freak Manipulator. Whenever I was in twon, I would go visit. but it was always on his terms. No matter how flexible I was, he constantly changed things. Finally, I went to see his family and 5 miles from his house he called and told me to wait 30 minutes so he had time to relax before I got there. I told him I travelled for four hours, worked a full day, and was now battling rush hour traffic… and I was getting there when I damn well pleased. Then I told him if he did not like it, I was turning around and that would end me coming to visit. When I got there, his wife answered the door with a huge grin and said” you are the first person to put him in his place in years.” Never had a problem since.

  • Great post!

    Unfortunately, if you live with ‘negative’ types, it’s not that easy to ignore or let them go. For example, if your spouse/partner is a drama queen, you can either stay in the relationship, or try to ’shift’ the relationship by focusing on your significant other’s good points, if any.

    If you’re a teenager whose parents are drama queens or filled with negativity, you’re pretty much screwed, unless you can live with your grandparents. Again, you can try to ’shift’ the situation by focusing on your parents’ best qualities, but… This may be easier said than done, especially when your hormones are raging. :)

  • @ Tee

    I read your comment and I must tell you at this point in time in your life, count yourself lucky that you ended the relationship.

    Don’t think twice about returning. As soon as I read that he lied about being married, the red flag went off. Once you found out, the decison was made to leave and never turn back. It is never a good idea to get involved in a marriage regardless if the person is saying they are getting a divorce, the marriage is horrible, for if that’s the case than they and only they have to make the decision to take matters into their hands and leave. Involving yourself as a third wheel will leave you always missing out and feeling the way you have.

    You have every right to have been upset at him, but leave him and don’t look back. He has no respect for the vows he made and doesn’t respect himself.

    Run as fast as you can, work on healing yourself, change your number and know that you are worthy of having someone 100% for you!


  • Hey Marc ^^ I could really relate to this post, but I have one question. Under your header “Afterthoughts”, you had mentioned “generally resist the truth about who you are” What do you mean by that?

  • @Tee- don’t!!!! Run with all of your might. If I am on this site at this very moment for a reason…I hope it is to reach one person and help them…and Tee…you deserve more….a lot more. Run in the other direction. It is not about judging, it is not about anything other than loving yourself and deserving someone who is 100% true to you and can love you and give you what you deserve. Don’t settle for less than you deserve or less than you can give. This is a perfect definition of “the Manipulator”…love yourself and move on. With men like is all about THEM and what they need, not you and you deserve more…much more! You don’t need to judge AND you don’t need to give him any more chances..period.

    Again you deserve more. Think of it this way…he is a blockage in your life for other blessings…with him causing turmoil…the universe is waiting for you to close that door, lock it, bolt it it can open others..many others for you. I just gave this same advice to a friend the other day….my dear you have all these angels sitting outside your house..just waiting to shower you with blessings…but they can’t, if you keep hanging onto ghosts sifting through ashes. The universe works in balance…if you have all this junk clogging up your can you make room for other more amazing things?! Get rid of the junk…sweep out the ashes…and make room for blessings! Now, I KNOW it is painful to say good bye to something that you have held onto for sooo long….but…it’s OK, just remind yourself it is part of the process of moving forward…when we learn to walk as babies..we fall down, we cry we get banged up…but we get up..and keep going. You can do are stronger than you think and you no longer need to “endure” this relationship or this person…you can choose to move on…you don’t want to look back a year from now and be in the same place you are in now..crying the same tears…and nursing the same pain.

    Also, one of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given…is “if you don’t have peace, don’t do it.” That goes for relationships and people too…we all have that small voice and knowing inside of us when something is right and often we “duct tape” it off when our ego or our perceived needs scream louder..then we find ourselves in relationships, situations…regrets that we shouldn’t be in if we would have been still and asked ourselves…”do I have peace with this (decision, relationship, conversation..etc.)?” If you don’t have peace…don’t do it.

    Also, keep in mind these types of relationships are like drugs…and now you are going to get sober…and your life back…and when you get sober…you get the shakes…and it’s no fun to detox, but when you are will feel so good and you will be soo happy you did. Sending you prayers, blessings and strength.

  • Very timely read.

    The manipulator, for sure. There are certain types of people who I try my best to avoid on a daily basis and a manipulating people are top priority.

  • After reading these characteristics, I realize that they are indicative of a borderline personality. I was married to one for 36 years, and finally walked away. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but in the two years I’ve been free, I’m seeing things about the relationship that make me wish I’d left earlier. I was just tired of having to ‘ignore’ him. When you spend all your energy ignoring someone, what’s the point? Life is to be lived, not ignored. Thanks for this post, as it validates my decision to leave…

  • This is a complex problem I will try to condense: my husband’s 61 yr old sister moved out of state to take care of my 100 yr old father-in-law. She was so awful to him (spread rumors in the local drugstore that he was a thief, filed a complaint w/the police dept., emotionally abused him every day), that we finally got him to agree to leave his house and go into assisted living. He’s very happy there, and we thought that all would be well. But no. She comes to see him and does the same emotional abuse that she did before he moved out. He pays for all her expenses (because she’s a woman and can’t take care of herself); the will says that she can live for free for 2 yrs after his death. My husband will be the landlord (he is power of attorney). She is angry, always the victim, and treats Dad horribly. He wants his kids around him, and happy. That’s just not going to happen.

    I read today’s post and found her in many of your descriptions; but it’s so difficult to sit back and watch all of this happen. This is a sweet man who asks for nothing. He is afraid of my sister-in-law and will not stand up to her. According to your post then we are to walk away from her, but we are his only source of love and comfort. What do we do? If we confront her, she takes it out on Dad. Help, please. Anyone?

  • Woah, interesting post…
    Since I’ve cut or limited my time with negative people in my life, I have found:

    -More freedom and confidence in myself
    -The bonds with my truly supportive friends grew stronger because I put more effort into those relationships
    -I now attract more like-minded positive people into my life- the others get cut fast 

    Sometimes, the best thing for you to do for yourself and your bliss is to sever a relationship that brings you down.

  • Ever put some thought in as to why people act negatively? Also, some of those points above could be part of personality disorders and perhaps they need help. Avoiding them doesn’t help them necessarily on to the path of enlightenment. I understand the intent here, just remember to see both sides of a story when applicable.

  • @Za - I’m so impressed you have the courage to admit you have a negativity issue. It inspires me to take a closer look at my own negative behavior towards others. Thank you.

  • Thank you so much. Seriously, this blog post gives me inspiration. I’m not good with English, but I struggle with negative people in my life. I hope you can understand my comments. Keep writing Marc. =)

  • Tee: Forgiving is ‘for you’.. you forgive so you don’t continue to nurse the pain. Forgiveness does NOT mean that you give the person another chance. This man, no matter what he says, does not deserve any more time, space or thought in your life. As others said, do Run. Love yourself enough to cut him off, take time to heal and gain perspective. If there are any co-dependency / Boundaries classes in your area, I highly recommend them.

    Anyone who is #7 - write down the negative thoughts, or say them out loud and really listen to them. Hear how you are tearing yourself down, then decide ‘no more’. As one commenter stated, they are going to think of their own negative thinking as a person, hear it, and stop. You may be surprised to hear that you say to yourself that which you would never allow another to…be your own best friend and cheerleader.

  • I agree with anonymous. We don’t really know what is going on in those people’s life. They may not know how to handle their issues in a better way.

  • There are ‘negative people’ and then there are ‘negative people’. There are ‘eeyores’ and then their are ‘bulldozers’. As friends, I believe we may all have seasons that are difficult for us to see beyond, and our friends are those who uplift us and help us through. We need to be there for them too, when they need uplifting. As for ‘bulldozers’, the ones who chronically tear us down, criticize us for being who we are, can never give grace for mistakes, give us the silent treatment for days or weeks or months, and make life so miserable that are energy is completed depleted, we need to take a stand. Leaving is a last option after all else has been tried and found wanting. Some people will learn to make adjustments and changes once confronted, manipulators and narcissists will never. When all else fails to change a toxic relationship / marriage ie counselling, setting boundaries, letting the other person know what behaviour will no longer be tolerated and nothing changes, it truly can be time to leave.

  • Thank you for this post. I guess the biggest negativity in my life comes from myself. I realise over the years I have engrained over and over in my mind many self-defeating ideas, which sometimes seem so firmly embedded that I believe they are who I am. Unfortunately I have also come into contact with hard-to-please people along the way, which has reinforced my anxiety & negativity. I have found two things particularly useful when I feel myself slipping away. The first is practising gratitude when I first wake up & just before hitting the haystack at night. The second is to focus on myself for a while - to think about just letting go of trying to control life, do my own thing that pleases me & makes me proud, & forget about whatever anyone else may think. The gratitude makes me happy & appreciative of the life I have, and letting go is a breath of fresh air as it frees my inner spirit so I can be who I was truly meant to be.

  • I just ended a relationship because it was far too negative. It made me sad that I could not help him see how opinionated, critical, judgmental and unhappy he acted on a day to day basis. The way he started to treat me became intolerable especially since he took no responsibility for his actions when I tried to point out the behavior and help him in a positive way. It was very hard to walk away from him because there was happiness in the relationship but the negativity was far greater. I wanted to stay but on a daily basis he was putting me down and everything around him and I did not see this changing if he did not even see he was doing it in the first place. Everything was a constant complaint and I realized this was no way to live. I did not have time to stick around and have him make me miserable too.

    I choose to be the top of my priority list and feel much more free now that the negative energy is gone. I have to tell myself in the end it was for the best even if it hurt to let him go.

  • What a great article! Clearly it touched a nerve with so many people besides me, and I feel I have gained so much by all the input and insight. Thanks for being there, all of you, and for helping me to become a stronger, happier individual.

  • Great post to make us all think.

    For those asking about what to do when the negative person in their life is family, I have a suggestion taken from bitter experience - it’s a cognitive behavioral exercise. First, a little background:

    My mother is a classic case of a destructive narcississtic parent. Of course, as a child there was nothing I could do to change her or the way she treated me, and since she treated my sister completely differently, no one in my family would believe me when I said anything. After years of her emotional abuse, I had internalized it all, was my own worst critic, and I believed I “deserved” everything she said.

    The wonderful, supportive man in my life finally convinced me to get counseling, and I fortunately chose someone trained in cognitive behavioral therapy; I already knew where the issues came from, I needed to learn to work with the situation. One exercise in particular that I still do is this: When you hear yourself saying something negative to yourself, ask yourself “why is what you are saying is true?” and list it out - either in your head or write it down. Then ask yourself “why is what you are saying is not 100% true?” and list out the reasons the negative thought is not completely true. This exercise makes you really think about what you are telling yourself, and also shows you that everything is not either/or, black or white, and forces you to see how much negativity you are creating for yourself. After a few weeks I noticed that my negativity was reduced and that I was able to short-circuit some of it with those reasons why it wasn’t completely true. Over about a year and a half, with the help of my therapist and other exercises, I was able to change how I looked at myself, but this exercise was the foundation of it all.

    While we can’t always avoid our family members (I love my father dearly and since he and my mother are still married I can’t avoid her if I want to see him), we can work through what they instilled in us and push past it - it’s not easy, but not getting physically ill from stress each time I see my parents is worth the work! Seeing my mother for what she is and being able to not take her negativity with me when I leave is a huge relief.

    I hope this helps one or more of you climb out of the negativity pit!

  • One of my favorite post of yours. :) Keep them coming.

  • My parents and some best friends of mine always give me negative thoughts and opinions, sometimes being who I wanna be is so hard because they never try to understand me or support me. Lately, I’ve been getting more support from people I don’t know as well.

  • I really really needed this read today. Only this morning I was upset with some of these negative people in my life, and after reading this I feel so much better. I have decided to let go of some people and some comments they’ve made to me. I am going to follow my dream no matter what others says.

  • Fabulously well written. Great piece.

    Best Wishes

  • Great post, Marc!

    I’ve certainly encountered a few naysayers in my life. At first, I would try to argue and reason with them as to why I think my dreams would actually work.

    But the more I try, the more I realize I was just spinning my wheels. The negativity from these people would ruin whatever motivation I had to run towards my dreams. In the end, even if I win the argument, I would still feel like I’ve lost.

    But now I know better. And thanks to your post, I have an even stronger will now to ignore these people once and for all!

  • Some people complain incessantly, every time you speak to them they’re spewing negativity about someone or something. These people probably also complain about you behind your back too, because nobody is immune to their complaints. It’s as if you are their unpaid therapist, always listening to their troubles and trying to give advice. But god forbid you should need their shoulder, they will turn their back quicker than you could believe.

  • Very informative article on avoiding negative people. I saw that our associations and the group of people we meet have a large influence on our thinking and thereby life. It is always better to be with positive people to be healthy, happy and have a better growth in life. thanks……

  • I was married to 2,3,4 & 5. The operative word is WAS. Cost me my health. I have enough trouble with #7 and I’m armed with duct tape for that one. Yes, I know it’s me. Shutting her the hell up anyway. #1 & 6 I avoid at all cost so as you have probably guessed, I’m spending lots of time alone. Eventually, I’ll be ready to bring in the more positive people after # 7 is controlled. :)

  • @Jason: Ultimately, all you can do is lead by example. You can make suggestions to someone you care about – you can show them why a change is appropriate – but then it’s up to them.

    @M. Nicky and Janie: Practice presence. Be kind because you can. If your mother chooses to be rude, ignore her rudeness. Smile when she frowns. Do not let her negativity become yours. It’s tough, but it’s totally possible to take care of her without taking her crap.

    @Aiyana: That’s not really my expertise, but I will look into it.

    @Sasha and Sephi972: Read the post I suggested to za above.

    @Catherine: Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    Aleks George@: Well stated. Forgiveness, after all, is for you.

    @Elle: You got it! =) Our world changes because we change. Ignore the wrong people and negative influences is about respecting ourselves – a healthy change.

    @Sandra Hamlett: Thank you for continuing to share pieces of your story with us. Negative relationships like your previous one are heart breaking. Angel and I have both experienced this on different levels. It sounds like your head is in the right place. Looking forward isn’t always easy, but it’s always the right direction.

    @Connie: I agree. The key is to speak your mind cordially and move forward. The other person involved will meet you halfway or they won’t. Either way, you are moving on.

    @Tee: I am so sorry to hear about your painful situation. Honestly, this is in your hands. You have to do what you feel in your heart is right. Do you trust him going forward? Do you love him, sincerely? Is this what you want? I wish you the very best.

    @Dan: You don’t have to physically walk away from everyone to not participate in their negativity. The key is to practice being present in the moment, doing what can be done, enjoying what can be enjoyed, and not participating in someone else’s perceptions of the past or future. Read The Power of Now. =)

    @Lorrie Jones: Sounds like a wise way of handling your inner critic.

    @David Rapp: All I can say to your comment this time is: “Thank you.” Honestly, your insights continue to inspire me. Thank you for adding such depth to the conversations we have here. Every one of your points here is spot on in my book.

    @Amandah: Indeed, getting a negative person to be positive is never easy, but you still don’t have to participate in their behavior. Good points, as always.

    @Connie and TheresaS: Such enthralling responses to Tee’s issue. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    @Pam: At this point, you simply need to help your father in-law understand that his daughter’s behavior is not right and not his fault. Period. Waste no more time on her. Help him see the truth.

    @Lisa: Lovely insights. Thanks. =)

    @CG: As always, beautiful. I’m sure many have found value in what you share. Angel and I surely have.

    @All: Thank you for keeping the conversation alive. Each of you added immense value to this article by sharing your stories and insights with each other. Angel and I feel honored to be a part of YOUR community here. :)

  • The one I really don’t understand is 5. The stubborn one who insists you should be someone else.

    I’m not sure if my response is the right one but I tend to just shrug it off and say “That’s not me you’re talking about” before walking away.

  • I always have a hard time to find positive people to encourage me. I am always the motivator but when I need motivation it is hard to find. How do I attract more positive people to support me?

  • @carol I have the same problem. Most of my work is about encouraging and promoting other people’s creative endeavors and dreams, and supporting their efforts in a public forum to give them that little push they need; but having someone who supports me and encourages me and my work and gives me that little push in a completely non-self serving way is pretty much non-existent. For the most part, if it’s not all about them and how wonderful they are, I get the silent treatment. I’m struggling with burnout and lack of motivation and focus because of it; and going it alone with no support system is getting harder every day.

    It didn’t help that the passive-aggressive person I’ve been dealing with for the last six months and just finally ended the business partnership with a couple of weeks ago just publicly humiliated me, in a completely backhanded way of course. Plausible deniability is a key personality trait with a passive aggressive person. But that’s how this article was brought to my attention and her negative, cruel gossip, I mean comment, about me above. So, on top of not having a support system, I’m dealing with the grief of ending a relationship with a manipulative person who takes no responsibility for herself or her actions and treatment of others, and is convinced it’s all my fault. Her silent treatment and ignoring the issues is so extensive, her self-centered, self-involved narcissism so complete, that she actually ignored the business communication I sent her telling her I was ending the partnership and going in a different direction. Being extremely direct with my thoughts and feelings, there’s no way she could have mistaken or misunderstood my intent, yet she’s publicly acting like she was the one who ended the partnership and walked away because I was the complete and total problem. Since the silent treatment and ignoring and dismissing what I have to say has been part of the problem from the beginning, it may be she really does believe she ended it. So I don’t know if she’s delusional or just pretending. All I know is it’s just one more slap in the face while I’m trying to get over it and move on.

    So now I’m dealing with the grief of ending a relationship that mattered to me, on top of public humiliation and taking a hit to my professional reputation. It feels like I’m starting all over again after painstakingly building what little I have for three years. I didn’t benefit or thrive in any way from this partnership, and in fact was dragged backwards and professionally held down, yet she’s convinced herself and God knows who else publicly that I was the problem and was using and manipulating her. I’m still trying to figure out the logic of that one. How does one use and manipulate someone if the only person benefiting and thriving in the partnership is the one claiming to be used and manipulated?

    It makes my heart hurt. So yeah, finding positive people who actually support me and aren’t only in it for themselves and what I can do for them is really hard to come by. How does someone find it?

  • I LOVE this! Another to add to the list is the “one-upper”. This person always has to one-up everybody else. If you have a funny story, their’s is funnier. If you got a nice gift for Christmas, their’s was even nicer and so on and so forth.

  • Toxic friendships are the worst. Negativity brings you down the way kryptonite destroys Superman. The best thing to do is to stay as far away as possible from negative people - even if it means cutting ties. Sticking around positive, successful people will rub off on you and have lasting effects. Stay away from kryptonite!!! Run if you have to.

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I have two negative people in my life, my friend since 3rd grade and my biological sister. It’s hard when the negative people are family members. But this year I’m going to learn to let go without regret and live for me.

  • Nice comment Shyla, I’ve got two parents one who fits into just about all 7 of these categories- a real jerk. And a mother who blatantly tries to discourage and undermine dreams. It’s a lot harder to take when it’s your own family who want to see you fail… for sure.

  • The damaging effects from these people can haunt you long after they are gone from your life. Don’t delay, RUN from this abusive negativity. Get away from them now so you can begin the journey toward healing. The longer you stay and tolerate it, the longer and more difficult your healing will be.

  • Some wonderful angles there, thanks for taking the time to put this in post together.

  • What about those who criticize your physical appearance? Like, they think they are so perfect to judge you…

  • Keep in mind that not only actively negative people around you do you harm. So do passive people, who do not want anything out of themselves can do just as much damage to you, especially if they’re close.

    Surround yourselves with active, engaged, interesting people, who have goals and wish to accomplish something with their lives and themselves, who are oriented on their own growth. You’ll see that your personal development will come along much smoother with these kinds of friends around.

  • I have had a volatile friendship for 32 years. Finally, the other day I hit my threshold of pain. I told this friend that the relationship needed to change or we couldn’t be friends anymore. Clearly, they blamed me for ” everything” and as of now we aren’t speaking and I’m holding my ground. Out with the old, in with the new! I can’t stand negative people!

  • Laurie;
    I too have had a very similar situation; a friend of (27)yrs., whereby, I was the one making the compensations because I “understood” him [very well]. But, it was a one-way friendship; he took; I gave! Eventually, it came to an abrupt halt b/c of an incident that had to be addressed as adults and not children. It created an intractable situation that left both of us resolute in our positions; his through selfishness and carelessness and mine because of opportunity to make a long coming stand! In the end, we must evaluate the nature of our friendships and then choose the value that it represents. Maybe we communicate less and see each other less, but it doesn’t have to mean that we hate or dislike the person; we simply have become enlightened to the true nature of the relationship and treat it accordingly. ;)

  • Hello, I’d like to see if anyone here can help me out. I have never been anxious about myself and my actions until recently. Which is causing me a great deal of problems. I met a girl, who is very nice, very polite. I fell in love with this girl, like really fell in love. I’m 27, shes 23. I was honest as I can with my feelings. Anyway, things didn’t work out. I became insecure and have said things I now regret. But at the same time, I assumed the relationship was progressing and then she wanted to stop. I tried to explain myself and the situation but I don’t feel she acknowledged it. I know its probably not going to work now. I’m trying to communicate with her to get her to talk to me about the situation that happened to hopefully clarify things and get closure. But she seems to be avoiding it and not being clear but saying it in a nice way.

    If she doesn’t seem to be understanding of my feelings but responding to my efforts of reaching out, that is a bad sign right? I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Should it matter that she is discrediting me for the things I did for her before. I mean I basically gave my heart to her, which is the most valuable thing to me. This might have been my first love and its making me so anxious that its so tragic. Should closure be us mutually understanding that we did our best and it was good while it lasted? Or Should I just walk away from all of it.

  • I have always struggled with my feelings of insecurity, my parents were rather neglectful of me. My parents have always been absorbed in their own problems, but yet there I was in my bedroom all day long, waiting for someone to talk to me and share their experiences with me. Yet they seemed absorbed into their own world. My dad is a very manipulating and menacing character, but I’ve always struggled to see through his negativity and accept him. Time is passing by, and pretty soon I will be moving away but I have a feeling the damage is already done for me. The years of neglect and put-downs for any achievements I did are in my past, but it will be very hard to re conciliate with my parents. I plan on putting distance between us, probably a whole ocean but I will never get near them once I move away and do my adult life thing.

  • The negative person in my life is my husband’s twin brother. He is constantly passing judgement on me and my children, which I think might stem from him constantly comparing us with his wife and children. My husband wants me to have a good relationship with his brother since he is so close to him, but I have difficulties with this based on how he makes me feel. My husband then blames me for the poor relationship. He thinks I should just “suck it up” and not withdraw from his brother. What do I do? I feel this tension is coming between my husband and I as he can’t help but support his brother.

  • Number 3 and 5! When people start labeling me I tend to look down and hate my self even more, always trying to be what they said is good for me, but in the end I don’t know who I am and feel tired. Although I’m still trying, the best way is to ignore them. ^^

  • This is one of your best Marc and Angel!

    A few years ago when I was going through a job and life transition I ‘cleaned house’ and cut lose all the negative people from my life. I spoke to them, told them why and moved on. I also stopped watching the news and reading the New York Times because it had a bad effect on my life and I figured if something important was happening in the world someone would call me and say, “You need to get out of town right now.”

    I don’t sit with negative people or allow gossip. my purpose is to lead a positive, healthy life…mind, body and spirit. Sure life gives me challenges but my reserve of gratitude and positive, good thoughts gives me strength to live through the fire and darkness.

    As for my Inner Voice — He is pretty much my best friend now and I just posted an article about that on my website. Take a look and enjoy!

    Thanks for your courage and light in this writing.

    My very best - Michael

  • I learn from my mistakes. I try not to get involved in the BS.

  • Great article! Made me realize a lot.

  • My struggle at work is with a bully. Initially I tried to befriend him and listen him talk about his struggles with alcohol and AA. One day he threatened to kill me when we seemed to be having a normal conversation. He apologized the next day and asked me not to tell our supervisor. Not reporting it was a huge mistake by me and it didn’t help him either. He seems more arrogant than ever. He has never crossed that line again but he has no respect for me and I’ve come to really hate this relationship and its effecting my overall feelings about this company.

    So, I’ve decided to move on. Going forward I have to set a standard in my job and stop allowing these negative incidents to go unaddressed.
    I’m coping by immersing myself in activities I love (photography, exercise, the outdoors) and through meditation / awareness. A quote from Victor Frankel (I believe) has really helped. “Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space lies all your power and all your freedom”. I haven’t told anyone but I plan to leave in a little over a month, go on a dream trip for several weeks and move back to the west coast where I’m from. Hopefully clean start. I’m single with no obligations. I can not imagine what I would do if I were raising children or had a lot of financial obligations.

    Thank you so much for your post and all the comments. This column really helped me. I’ve reread it several times…

  • This has helped me in many ways…

  • @Sacha: hold the course and be resourceful, infallible and keep on truckin’ I experienced this, my naysayer was the AGM and true boss of my workplace. He tried to destroy my life this past Advent. (Had me down to one four hour shift every Saturday night, this continued for about four to six weeks.)

    I am an upright person who thrives on positive energy. I got a second job, by January this man was fired by the GM I am now off the second job and working near FT hours where such a paradigm is rare in the 2010’s food and beverage industry. PTL!

  • I would like to also mention the hopeless defeatist who thinks you are great and is always supportive of you, but they hate themselves and nothing will ever work for them, so they sap your strength and positivity by constantly leaning on you. It’s great to be needed and be able to support friends, but when they won’t actually take any advice or action and you go from supporting to carrying it becomes a difficult situation. If you try to make space than it simply makes them worse. They aren’t doing anything hurtful or vindictive so they can’t see how they take. For those of is that have a desire to nurture or be needed (a whole different issue) it can be a trap that must be avoided.

  • Hi, I have a problem with my life at the moment. You see, I have friends in the grade above me, and next year, they go off to another part of the high school. And the college has rules with the seniors with other people, being together and talking. I have this girl in my class, she has everything against me, she’s been saying “Who cares” whenever I say something, she’s stealing my property, she’s also been saying to my real friend whose she’s stealing away from me as well, that she “wants to speak to _____ in private” No names. The whole class hates me, which means every class that doesn’t have seating arrangements, are the loneliest times of the day. No one is willing to sit with me, I don’t know what they have against me. Please help!

  • Many of these negative traits, or negative people, to which you have referred could easily be suffering from passive aggressive behavior problems. This doesn’t condone any of their actions of course, but sometimes dealing with a passive aggressive individual is a lot more difficult than something you can simply “ignore”.

    I lived with my brother for about 6 years before discovering that he is probably the worst passive aggressive case I have ever seen. He learned this from our mother, and I consider us all to have been raised in a very abusive environment because of it.

    All of those negative traits you have included above are employed continuously by a passive aggressive person. In fact, there are a few more lovely traits that passive aggressive people try to use that are not included above (all employed in surreptitiously and underhanded ways). The passive aggressive’s goal is to eliminate any competition that they feel can make them look inferior to you, or simply to prevent you from succeeding especially in areas where they may have previously failed (which can be anything as simple as being able to walk up to a stranger and have a nice conversation).

    As you can imagine, being raised by a passive aggressive mother can be devastating to someone growing up…especially when all of the kids are more intelligent than the abuser as this makes them an instant (and easy) target. The abuser in this case has failed at school or at applying their own intelligence for their own benefit; hence, they cannot tolerate seeing others, particularly young ones, who will succeed here.

    Suffice it to say that a person suffering from major passive aggressive behavioral problems and issues is in many ways simply jealous of anyone who is either living a life that the passive aggressive feels they should be living, or simply succeeding at something (in fact anything) where the passive aggressive may have previously failed.

    The passive aggressive person is typically one of the most negative people you will ever meet, and they will continually try to undermine every effort you make to succeed; hence, you do not want them for a business partner, and you do not want to share with them any of your life’s dreams or plans.

    But beware…ignoring them will not work…you will undoubtedly have to sever all ties, move as far away from them as humanly possible…and then employ any method of evasion :-).

  • It’s true that sometimes you may feel that there’s no choice but to ignore someone. That can’t be easy.

    But if you’re sure you need to take that drastic measure then at least offer them a final word which is kind, understanding and humane. Do it with responsibility.

    Tell them that you feel sorry about what they’ve been through, explain that you’ve only decided to ignore them because you can’t deal with their behaviour and that it’s making you unhappy.

    You might even add something like “Even though I don’t feel I can be part of your life anymore I really want the best for you and I hope you will be happy in spite of everything that’s happened here”.

    Just remember a lot of these people are like this because they’ve been through a really hard time too. If you just ignore them without explaining anything they might not learn much from the experience and it may even add to their trauma.

    This way, at least they might remember your final words to them whenever they look back at what took place. A little kindness and humanity can go a very long way…

  • I felt relieved reading this article because all the while I thought I am what they say I am. Its a relief to know there are these kind of people out there. Worst realization is that the one I am with is one of them. He is killing all the positive energy in me with all his negative words and comments about me everyday of my life. Thankfully, God left me with courage and my little child who is a constant reminder that I should stand up and be happy. I know that I have to save myself from this situation.

  • I’m being let go of a job based on reasoning that is not at all true from a new CMO at our company who not only makes assumptions but also is hard core business and bottom liner. I’m an art director and don’t fit into her scheme of things with the new restructuring.

    At first what was said about me and my ability to do my job were really hurtful but after thinking about it, I realized it was just something to say. She had to have a reason to let me go. Maybe she’s doing me a favor in all this but I couldn’t see it at the time.

    I could have let what was said make me feel bad but I am instead grateful; grateful that i was given 2.5 months notice, grateful for the experience my job has given me - the good AND the bad and also grateful that I’ll be moving on to much better things.

    I could hold onto the negative words and believe them but it’s simply not true. Instead I’m working on a portfolio and looking it saying ‘damn, I’m a great designer’. I forgot about so much work I’ve done over the years - and NO ONE can take that away from me. NO ONE!

    Don’t let anyone steal your thunder. EVER!!!

  • Wonderful posts. I am going through alot right now with neighbors who moved in about a year ago. I have been at my building for 22 years. I have had to fight to live here various neighbors who have come and gone. This newest young couple in their early twenties call themselves Christians, they even told me that they “love me”. Of course their actions are totally the anthesis of their words and they constantly slam their front door which is less than 6 feet from my door in paper thin walled apartment units. Luckily I have not tried to retaliate but it is very unnerving to have to endure this sort of abusive slamming of a door, it borders on the the sounds of earthquakes whenever they do this. Your posts are nurturing and encouraging. Thank you for them so much. Now I am beginning to see that it is not me who is doing the hurting and harassing but them. It gives me a bit of courage and I cling to my Bose earphones all the more.


  • God, I needed this post. Thank you Marc and Angel. I have read your blogs for the past few years and found it quite by luck as I was Googling things like “positivity” and “coping” and “depression.” My mother was dying and I had lost my dog who was like my son the year before. Watching my mother die and suffer towards the end was the worst thing I ever encountered. SACHA - talk about a negative boss - he STILL is! I’m trying so hard to ignore him and move on but he’s a total NARCISSIST! You should read up on that mental disorder. NPD - Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    The whole time I was watching mother die, crying my eyes out and feeling lost and helpless - I STILL came in to work even though I was protected Family Medical Leave. Nothing I said or did satisfied him. He just didn’t care I was losing my mother who was the world to me and my best friend. He tried to push me into keeping a regular schedule DESPITE the fact it was touch and go with my mom’s life and never once thanked me for working late into the night. Rather, he responded to my late night efforts after I spent long days in the hospital only to come in and put a few hours in after 10 pm positively - he told me I needed to be working during REGULAR work hours! Mind you I didn’t have to be there.

    Marc and Angel - I’m STILL being punished for taking time off when my mom was dying. He insinuates I should not think about taking any vacation even though I’m entitled to it and whenever I’m out (sick or family issues) it’s affecting other co-workers morale. I checked with them and it’s NOT! They feel bad for me. I’m on the cusp of a breakdown. Yes, I read your blogs, read a lot of things, I’m holding down the fort financially since my fiance is out of work and it’s hard to find a job and I just want to give up.

    How do I be more positive. I try, I really do, but I can’t keep the thoughts and worry from permeating deep into my mind. I pray, I suffer in silence and I just don’t know what else to do. I HAVE to work, I HAVE to put in another year so I make 10 years here since the benefits are worth the bullshit I suffer.

    Any tips? I cry daily, I’m tired, I need a break and to make matters worse I’m in physical pain 24/7 from nerve issues from a surgery. I can’t walk like I used to and I am faking it til I make it. Make what? I don’t know - but need something to hang on to so i don’t give up on life. I know I should not let my asshole boss steal joy - but it’s hard. He’s unrelenting and has no heart.

    Help! I’m sorry, I just never felt this downtrodden in my life. I miss my dog and my mother terribly and sometimes I dream of them which makes me happy, but those dreams are few and far between. Any thoughts?

    Thank you I appreciate this post and all of you. I cling to your posts and daily emails.

  • First of all, please don’t blame Yourself remember to ask them why they are dissatisfied so much with their life & situation & won’t do anything about it including speak to you about what they can do to rectify the situation & therefore project a more positive outlook on life-I enjoy & thank you for your encouragement of finding positives in life to dwell on & encourage yourself to reject negativity & not thrusting negativity back in their direction-due to obvious reasons, it can be returned in not only verbal but physical abuse! Thank you again & for allowing me to post.

  • I grew up with a hostile, negative father. Now that he has aged, dementia adds fuel to this horrible fire that is in him always ready to go off. I am the only child in the area who has tried to be there for him…but I told him I could not take his false accusations of my brother (as he did me) and his hateful things that he says. I work for a horrible boss who has a social/personality disorder…and his extreme negativity, darting looks…like a troll who waits under the bridge ready to pounce…and now my son appears not to have or only have challenges on the PDD spectrum, but may also be manic and abuses drugs. Add a fatal attraction old neighbor to the pool and I was the one who ended up in a stress clinic. My father concerns me the most as he is so old and alone, but he hangs up on me after I told him I wanted loving times, not poisonous ones.

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