14 Positive Ways To Deal With Negative Coworker

Written By Aleena

Having a negative coworker can be frustrating. They may constantly be complaining or disruptive and make it difficult to get work done. There are a few things you can do to deal with a negative coworker.

What will I learn?

Firstly, remember that a negative person can be contagious. Thus, you have to be very careful when dealing with them.

How To Deal With Negative Coworker – 14 Ways

If you have a constantly negative coworker, there are a few things you can do to try to improve the situation.

1. Avoid Them If Possible: 

If you can, try to avoid negative people at work. This means that you don’t engage in small talk with them.

How To Deal With Negative Coworker   

Also, you don’t sit with them at lunch, and you don’t participate in after-work drinks with them.

Moreover, you don’t go to their desk to chat. In other words, you cut off all interactions with them.

It is essential to do this. The more you interact with them, the more their negativity will rub off on you.

2. Don’t Take Their Bait:

When a hostile person tries to engage you in a conversation, don’t take the bait.

For example:

They start complaining about the company, the weather, or their life. Don’t engage in the conversation.

Instead, you can say something like, “I’m sorry to hear that” or “That sounds tough.”

By not engaging in the conversation, you are effectively ending it.

And the more you practice this, the easier it will become.

3. Be Assertive:

If a negative person disrupts your work, you need to be assertive.

For example, if they are constantly coming to your desk to complain or chat. It would help if you told them that you are busy and can’t talk.

You can say something like, “I’m sorry, I’m busy. Can we talk later?”

If they continue to be disruptive, you can report them to your manager.

Whatever the case, don’t let a negative person affect your work.

4. Be Positive:

This one may seem complicated, but it is essential. When you are around a negative person, try to be as positive as possible.

Smile and make an effort to be friendly. The more positive you are, the less power their negativity will have over you.

To be positive, try these techniques:

– Start your day with positive affirmations.

– Make a list of things you are grateful for.

– Focus on the good things that happen during the day.

– End your day by writing down three good things that happened.

5. Lead By Example:

If you are a manager, lead by example. This means that you create a positive work environment.

You do this by being positive yourself and recognizing and rewarding positive employees.

Moreover, it would help if you addressed negative behavior quickly and effectively.

By creating a positive work environment, you will reduce the amount of negativity in the workplace.

6. Set Boundaries:

It is essential to set boundaries with a negative person. This means that you don’t allow them to cross certain lines.

Set boundaries

For example, you don’t allow them to interrupt you while working constantly.

Also, you don’t allow them to make personal comments about you.

If they cross the line, you need to take a stand for yourself and tell them to stop.

7. Have A Sense Of Humor:

One way to deal with a negative person is to have a sense of humor. This doesn’t mean that you laugh at their jokes.

It means that you don’t take everything they say or do too seriously.

Having a sense of humor will diffuse the tension, and you will be less likely to get upset by their negativity.

8. Find A Supportive Friend At Work:

It is essential to have a supportive friend at work. This person can be a sounding board for you when dealing with a difficult situation.

Also, they can provide moral support when you are feeling down. 

Having a supportive friend at work will make it easier to deal with a negative person.

Also, try to find a group of friends who share your positive outlook. This will help you stay positive wh9. n you are around a negative person.

9. Focus On Your Work:

When dealing with a negative person, it is essential to focus on your work.

This means that you don’t let their negativity affect your work.

Also, it would help if you excelled at your job. This will show the negative person that their behavior is not affecting you.

And, it will make it easier to handle them because you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a great job.

10. Avoid Gossip:

Gossiping is one of the things that negative people do. They try to engage you in gossip to make themselves feel better. 

If you are talking to a negative person, avoid gossiping. This will only make the situation worse.

Please don’t fall for it. Gossiping will only fuel their negativity, making them feel justified in their behavior.

Instead, walk away or change the subject.

11. Talk To Them:

If you can, try to talk to the negative person. This may seem like a difficult thing to do.

But, it is essential to try to understand their point of view. 

Also, it would help if you were assertive when you were talking to them.

Tell them how their behavior is affecting you and ask them to stop.

If they don’t listen or continue with their negative behavior, you can take further action.

12. Keep A Journal:

One way to deal with a negative person is to keep a journal. This will help you to vent your frustration healthily.

Also, it will help you to see the situation more clearly.

And it will give you a place to document the negativity so that you can refer to it later if you need to.

13. Take A Break:

If you are feeling overwhelmed by a negative person, take a break.

This means that you step away from the situation for a little while.

Feeling overwhelmed

Go for a walk, take a break from work, or do something that will help you to relax.

This will help you to clear your head so that you can deal with the situation more effectively.

14. Seek Help From A Supervisor:

A supervisor can help you to deal with a negative person. They can talk to the person and try to resolve the situation.

Also, they can take action if the person is not following company policy.

Moreover, a supervisor can provide you with support and guidance.

It can prove helpful to talk to your supervisor about the situation.

So here are some tips on how to deal with a negative person.

Why Does It Seem Like There Are More Negative People Than Positive People?

It may seem like there are more negative people than optimistic people.

But, this is not necessarily true. It just seems that way because negativity is more noticeable than positivity.

Also, we tend to pay more attention to the negative things in our lives.

This is because we are wired to pay more attention to threats. 

In other words, our brains are designed to notice things that could harm us.

So, it stands to reason that we would notice the negative people in our lives more than the positive people.

Negative people can be a drain on our time and energy. But, we can’t avoid them altogether.

We need to learn how to deal with them healthily.

Why Do Coworkers Become Negative?

There are several reasons why coworkers become negative.

1. Natural Pessimism:

Some people are just naturally pessimistic. This means that they tend to see the negative side of things.

For instance:

They may focus on the fact that a project takes longer than expected.

They may dwell on the fact that they made a mistake. But, they may not focus on the fact that they also did many things right. 

2. Personal Problems:

Personal problems can also lead to negativity at work.

For instance, if someone is going through a divorce. They may be more likely to be negative at work.

Or if someone is struggling with their mental health. They might be negative all the time due to it.

Anything going on in someone’s personal life can affect their work life.

3. Miscommunication:

Miscommunication can also lead to negativity.

Workplace environment.

For instance, if a coworker misunderstood something that you said. They may get angry and take it out on you.

Or if there was a miscommunication between you and your boss. It can lead to tension and negativity.

To avoid this, it’s essential to communicate clearly.

4. Workplace Problems:

Several workplace problems can lead to negativity.

For instance, if someone is unhappy with their job. They may be more likely to be negative at work.

Or if the workplace is stressful. It can lead to negative emotions.

5. Burnout:

Burnout can be a fundamental reason why coworkers may become negative.

Burnout is a state of physicalmental, and emotional exhaustion.

It can be caused by several things, such as:

– Working long hours

– Having a high-stress job

– Not having a good work/life balance

Anything that causes stress can lead to burnout.

And when someone is burned out. They may be more likely to be negative at work.

Can You Deal A Negative Person With Negativity?

It’s not recommended to deal with a negative person with negativity.

This is because it can lead to a vicious cycle of negativity.

Also, it’s important to remember that everyone has different coping mechanisms. 

Some people may be able to handle negativity better than others.

But, if you’re struggling to deal with a negative person. It’s essential to find a healthy way to cope.

No matter what, you should never allow a negative person to bring you down.


When dealing with a negative person, it is essential to stay positive.

Also, you need to be assertive and take action if the person is not following company policy.

Moreover, a supervisor can provide you with support and guidance.

Last Updated on 9 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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