Dealing with Negative People

   Posted by: Faith   in Rye Thoughts

If you’ve followed my blog for a little while, you’ll know that I’ve been posting Self-Editing tips that were inspired by agent Kelly Mortimer’s Grammar Guide. Kelly is an extremely giving soul, one of the hardest working people in the business, and an inspiration to me personally.

And I’ve never even met her.

Well, that’s not entirely true—I heard her speak at Write!Canada, and will hopefully post some of the great info she gave once I’m done with the self-editing tips. I also applied for an agent internship position with her a few months ago, and while I didn’t get the internship, I made it to the second last cut (with the final 9 people, out of the 50+ that applied). I was super thrilled to have made it that far, and I wish the woman who was chosen all the best. It’s going to be a tough job, but I bet she’ll exceed all of our expectations!

But anyway, the point I wanted to make today has to do with a trend I’ve seen recently.

It’s the resurgence of the Negative People. These people are a destructive force, convinced they are Right and Just in how they deal with problems and situations, and don’t care that logic has escaped their interactions with others. They don’t care who gets hurt or how they resolve things, as long as they are proved right in the end.

Kelly is going through something like this right now, and you can read about it on her blog right here. The stress and the negativity from certain people has forced her to cut back on her agenting duties and re-focus herself in order to improve her health, relationships, and enjoyment of life. I don’t blame her. It’s exhausting to fight the lies people spread about you. She doesn’t deserve this.

Another situation in my own circle of dance friends involves a few individuals who, for reasons unknown to me, decided to spread hostile rumors about a warm, caring dance instructor who I teach for. I don’t know why they’ve done this, but I imagine there’s a sense of entitlement behind whatever they thought that the instructor owed them… and when they didn’t get it, they became Negative People and started spreading lies. She doesn’t deserve this.

In my own life, one particular individual has done something similar to me, based on an agreement she thought we had, but which wasn’t specified in the document I signed for her. Rather than discuss the situation with me like a rational human being, she’s resorted to more extreme measures.

So what’s with all the negative people?!?!

Note that the people being negative are all creative types: Writers, dancers, business owners.

Hilary Rettig has an excellent guide to beating procrastination (which I’ll talk about sometime in future) where she talks about negativity:

“Negativity is a serious problem for anyone, but particularly for ambitious dreamers… the nature of ambitious dreams is that they are tough to achieve and thus require a lot of perseverance… negativity impairs your objectivity and causes you to misread people and situations… you are bound to make erroneous assumptions.”

(The Little Guide to Beating Procrastination, Hillary Rettig; p.35)

Look: Success puts you in the line of fire from these people. They’re ambitious but passive, and can’t stand to see others succeeding where they’ve failed (or have yet to achieve success). It’s going to happen, and you’re going to be the target of hostility, even when you don’t deserve it. Especially when you don’t deserve it.

But instead of sitting back and taking it, don’t let anyone abuse you.

Get rid of these people in your life and replace them with a supportive community.

I’m tired of seeing people I care about get slandered and hurt by negative people. Fortunately the women I’ve mentioned above are strong enough to fight back, and I hope that if this is going on in your life, that this post will inspired you to stand up and deal with the Negative People in a way that pushes them OUT of your life and brings in a NEW, SUPPORTIVE group of people.

As your success grows, so will the naysayers.

Prove them wrong. Get rid of them.

Surround yourself with positive people who support your dreams and goals.

Don’t allow the Negative People to pull you away from achieving success.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 1:33 pm and is filed under Rye Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

8 comments so far


Some people just need enemies – it’s a state of mind and it’s sad.

Other people need drama – you can see that in what looks like broken relationships where each spouse gets a charge out of picking fights.

What a way to waste your life.


September 21st, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Mean people suck.

September 21st, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I agree on your assessment of Kelly, I found her to be incredibly inspiring at Write!Canada also.

And congrats on making it to the final nine. That’s a pretty cool accomplishment.

I agree with Barbara above me. Mean people suck.

September 21st, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Good post on an important topic.
I realised recently that no matter how many
people love my novel ‘Lethal Inheritance,’ there will always be people who don’t like it and some will love to slam it. I’ve seen it with books I love. Heaps of people love them but still someone hates it and likes to tell everyone about it.

The problem is not their opinion, they’re entitled to it. The problem is the way they do it. As you say, they don’t see things straight but write, talk as if they do. I feel sorry for them. What a terrible mind they live in.

I agree we should stay away from them and surround ourselves with supportive people, but I try not to give the negative people any support by not trying to defend myself – just let them rant. The wind usually goes out of their sails sooner or later.

They’re like whiny kids, if you give them attention when they whine, they keep whining.

September 21st, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Great post! What do we need negative people for???? Nothing! That’s what! Thanks for being the positive person you are.

September 22nd, 2010 at 3:30 am

I fully agree with you, Faith, and I myself can’t stand negativity and darkness. The world is currently in some “pre-exploding” stage where there’s just too much negative and dark energy. And nobody respect positive, warm and kind spirits these days. Even in film you will not see caring angels and warm elven souls as the main heroes and role models but vampires, killers, monsters. Even the fairy tales are being turned into some bloody versions in Hollywood and in many popular books.

When it comes to gossips and evil people, it’s usually mediocre people hating the calm and kind ones who have real talent or happiness. Or too many unsolved private issues lurking from within and being focused on wrong targets.

I guess we must stay strong and never yield to forces of darkness :) ) We must believe in love, support, friendship, help, goodness…

I try spreading positivity through my blog with warm colours, humour, lovely pics …

September 23rd, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Great blog post! I stopped by for the experiment of compelling characters, I’ll be sure to stop by again, I know everyone is on different time zones!

Negativity is such a let down. I have my down days but I make sure not to bring it on anyone else as long as I can help it. I just feel sorry for those who waste their lives unhappy, it’s sad.

September 24th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Zohar — It’s so true… I think some people just need to create drama to feel better about themselves. It’s very sad, and I feel sorry for them — their lives must be wanting in some large way.

Barbara — Agreed!!! Well put. :)

Joy — Thank you! Yep, Barbara said it best. Haha.

Tahlia — Yes, people are definitely entitled to their opinion… but when it goes from “this work isn’t for me” to “this person is stupid”, that’s where the line gets drawn. I think you’re right that in many cases, we need to just ignore them and let them blow hot air — but there are times when we need to stand up for ourselves, particularly if it’s a case of public defamation. I think each situation likely needs a careful evaluation of the best way to handle it. None of these Negative Nancies mentioned above better meet me face-to-face and try to spew this crap, is all I’m sayin’… ;)

Susan — Oh, thank you! I’m honestly a pessimist at heart, but I try to stay positive because positive self-talk makes a real difference. Negativity just brings everyone down, and we don’t need it!

Dezmond — You have a great point about darkness in books these days. Where have all the true heroes gone? The ones who stand for goodness, mercy, and making the world a better place? We’re all flawed people, and thus all characters should be flawed, but that doesn’t mean we should glorify darkness or negativity in our “heroes”. In fact, it should be the exact opposite. I do like those books & movies sometimes though, and I wonder where that appeal comes from… You’ve given me something to think about here. (Also, I find your blog very positive — love the bright colors and the humorous tone to the writing!) :)

Jen — Thanks so much for stopping by! I just posted my ‘Compelling Characters’ blog post so hopefully I’ll see you around again. I know what you mean about down days — I struggle with severe anxiety & stress on a daily basis — but I know that making a mental decision to stay positive and not allow those dark moments to affect others is what’s important. There are so many ways to get help & change one’s point of view, that I also feel bad for those who choose to stay stuck in unhappy, negative mindsets. But they’d have to make an active choice to change, and for many of them, they seem to enjoy being unhappy… that’s all they know how to do.

September 24th, 2010 at 1:45 pm