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


  1. Nicholas says

    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.

  2. Julie says

    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.

    • Callum says

      I’ll be surprised if you see this, but reading your comment actually reminded me of my recent break up.

      I didn’t want to lose the relationship and I actually tried to get it back, but my ex probably did me a favour in shutting me down. She sees me in a very negative light (exaggerated, I would say), but I don’t think she actually recognises her own role in us falling apart.

      I’m able to see the whole thing as an experience to learn and grow from, fortunately. First real break up though, so it has been tough.

      Life goes on though, hey?

  3. Argo says

    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.

  4. CG says

    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!

  5. Nana says

    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.

  6. Aparna says

    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.

  7. says

    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!

  8. Carol says

    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.

  9. says

    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……

  10. says

    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. :)

  11. says

    @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. :)

  12. says

    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.

    • katiebadgirl says

      You CANNOT change another person!!!! You can only change yourself!!! If they are totally trying to turn you into someone else, ask yourself WHY??? Are they willing to change??? I’d be moving on… that’s for sure!!!

  13. says

    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?

  14. says

    @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?

  15. Tamara says

    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.

  16. Leigh says

    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.

  17. Shyla256 says

    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.

  18. Mike says

    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.

  19. says

    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.

  20. Diana says

    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.

  21. Laurie says

    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!

  22. Phd. candidate says

    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. 😉

  23. CT says

    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.

  24. Stephanie_Flowers says

    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.

  25. Kate B says

    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.

  26. Lily says

    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. ^^

  27. says

    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

  28. spindyful says

    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…

  29. Kristian J says

    @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!

  30. April says

    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.

  31. Monica says

    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!

  32. Mark says

    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 :-).

  33. says

    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…

  34. Via says

    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.

  35. MaryAnn says

    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!!!

  36. says

    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.


  37. Dawn says

    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.

  38. J. Logan says

    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.

  39. Tammy says

    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.

  40. KimmyBoy says

    It’s true. My friend only seeks attention. I am always the one to start the conversations. She waited for me to write about 10 text messages while she write only one back. She ignores me while i thought about her. It makes me shiver every time. Thanks for your inspirational message.

    Have a great day, Peace…
    And blessings, and best wishes to you,

  41. says

    I’ve got to remember that bullies are not allowed in my precious life.
    Thanks for the script: “Not so fast, buddy! Your delusion of superiority is your problem, not mine.”
    *leave without fighting

  42. Girl in Texas says

    I just came accross this via a friend on FB who likes your FB page. Funny how God can bring us something we really need to see and/or read at just the right time. I thought #4 was a powerful one to avoid and one that has effected me too many times I fell prey to. However, #7 The inner critic! I can destroy my whole inner self in a matter of minutes by a few negative thoughts about myself that spiral out of control to overwhelming self defeat. I have a problem of feeling not good enough. That comes from rejection I have experienced in my life. It is hared to form new thought patterns when your memory of past hurts, some caused by yourself, will just not leave.

  43. says

    I love all of these! I especially love #7 because we are all imperfectly perfect and as long as we sit with ourselves in the moment practicing mindfulness and then allow ourselves to let it go then all the rest we can deal with. I have become stronger as I have gotten older in expressing my limits, but I do find it hard for me to be around people with anxiety and not take it on myself. Sometimes you can’t walk away. Sometimes those people are your children, or your elder parents, or your business partner. It’s so important to balance toxicity with compassion with tolerance and limit setting. Expect the best, and when you fall or your friends/family fall practice compassion — but keep yourself healthy and know that you aren’t expected to take over others problems, but do what you can to be a friend.


  1. 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 :)

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