Narcissists are notoriously negative and decidedly difficult people. And whether you’re working with one or you are in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, you’re bound to be dealing with all sorts of negativity, manipulation (including gaslighting) and even emotional abuse.
The Naysayer, the Narcissist and Other Negative Nancies
Sometimes, they mean well, these naysayers. And, truth be told, many of them are truly are just trying to be helpful, but it doesn’t feel that way.
But listen up, my friend. If you allow naysayers to discourage you, your life will be much less than you deserve. Learn how to deal with these negative people once and for all.
Follow these strategies to overcome the standard Negative Nancies and naysayers in your life.
Some of these coping skills will also work on narcissists, but make sure you check out the links at the end of this post for additional information.
1. Own the term “Need-t0-Know Basis” and keep your narcissist and any other negative people on the outside of your inside circle. Keep your aspirations to yourself and a few trusted friends or colleagues. It’s commonly suggested that you make your goals public. The fear of embarrassing yourself is supposed to be motivating. But several studies have shown that announcing your goals isn’t always a good strategy.
- The bigger your goals, the more likely you are to receive negative comments. If you’re sensitive to the criticism of others, this type of feedback can derail your efforts.
- Of course, you can inform everyone when you’ve accomplished your goal!
2. Fall in love with yourself a little. Remind yourself of your positive qualities. If you’re starting to doubt yourself, remind yourself of your best qualities. Make a long list and focus on it until you’re feeling capable again. If you need help, get help from a supportive friend.
3. Don’t take it personally. When others are unnecessarily negative, it reveals more about them than it does about you. No one knows enough about your personal business to have an accurate opinion anyway.
4. Keep your eye on the prize! And always keep your vision in mind. It’s easy to become discouraged when you’re on the receiving end of discouraging comments. Go back to the big picture and remind yourself of your goals. See in your mind how great the results will be. Imagine how satisfying it will be when you’re proven correct. Nothing is quite as sweet.
5. You can’t expect a fish to ride a bike. So be sure to consider the source of the feedback. Are you trying to launch your own company? Criticism from someone that’s always had a corporate job isn’t valid. Unless the other person has accomplished your goal, consider their advice worthless. You wouldn’t take stock tips from a man living on a park bench. Most of the advice we receive is similar in value.
- However, a mentor can be a valuable addition to your life. The right mentor will have accomplished your goal. Perhaps they even started from a similar point as you. Ideally, they’ll also be supportive and encouraging.
6. Review your “greatest hits!” Make a list of your greatest achievements. Write down every experience you’ve had that makes you feel successful. You’ve already done some amazing things. The naysayers in your life don’t know about most of those things. That’s just another reason why their opinions are irrelevant.
7. Develop selective hearing. Learn to ignore the noise. Have faith in yourself and avoid allowing others to control your thoughts or emotions.
8. Smile, and mean it. When you show others that you won’t be affected by their unkind words, they’ll eventually stop. Smiling will also improve your mood and lower your blood pressure. Smiling is also free.
9. Find a network of support. Rely on supportive people. We all have that friend that seems to think we can do anything. Instead of dealing with the naysayers, surround yourself with people that support your efforts and believe in you. The difference is staggering.
10. Never stop believing you can. I know it sounds sort of cliche, but let’s be honest – we all know someone who, despite all odds, made something amazing happen. Why can’t you be one of those people? You can, if you believe that you can. It’s a basic of the universal law of attraction, my friend. You’ve got this.
If your naysayer is also a narcissist, check out these posts for additional information on how to handle the situation.
- Take Back Your Life: How to Control a Narcissist
- How to Stop Letting Your Toxic Narcissist Parents Control You
- This is the ONLY Way to Communicate Effectively With a Narcissist
Narcissists or not, the Negative Nancies, jerks, rude people and naysayers will always be there.
Every great achievement was preceded by numerous naysayers giving their two cents. You can’t allow others – even narcissists – to derail your plans. Be confident that you can accomplish anything. Project your success into the future and remind yourself of your past successes.
Need more help? Check Out My Books & eBooks on Narcissism and Relationships
- Take Back Your Power: How to End People Pleasing, Stop Letting Life Happen to You and Start Getting What You Want
How do you deal with negative people? What are your best tips for staying positive even in the face of a narcissist or other negative person? Share them in the comments.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.