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Negative People Will Impede Your Progress – Act & Respond Accordingly

The world is full of skeptics and negative people.  Just the other day we met a couple at a friend’s house who was extraordinarily vocal about their negativity, so I thought I’d take a quick break from entrepreneurship, internet marketing, blogging and personal finance to discuss this topic, which can impede your progress toward achieving your goals and objectives in the endeavors you choose to embark on.

See, no matter what you do, some people will always act and behave a certain way. The world needs both the shit and the sugar to function in harmony, and we can’t and should not deny that. What we can do is act and respond accordingly to the negativity around us so that we don’t fall short of achieving our own goals and objectives.

I am not a personal development Guru of any sort, but I feel that I have come a long way in growing as a wiser, more effective and efficient person.  I have been able to solidify my belief system which has allowed me to block out the distractions and clearly focus on the prize.

Developing a solid belief system is important because until you establish a solid foundation to start on, external forces will often attempt to move you off your ground. Once you have developed a solid foundation, you can then work on clarity and focus.  Clarity and focus is important so you can work towards your goal and measure, monitor and tweak your actions along the way.

To reinforce and sustain the positive energy, I feel that one must surround themselves with like minded individuals and build a network that provides the necessary complimentary skills. This helps maintain the positive environment and ensures that you have a network to tap into who can help you progress with your goals and objectives.

These simple steps have been sufficient in my experience and journey from point A to B, but that said, be ready for people, especially ones who are closest to you, who will try to distract you from achieving your goals.  These are usually the very same people who are living a life of compromise and mediocrity who are afraid that you will get ahead of them and leave them behind.

Trust me they are shit scared of your intentions.  People like to be average together. They’d much rather have you as part of their comfort zone. They feel that if you succeed, they will feel shameful and reminded of their inability to achieve their own goals and objectives.

Do you really blame them?  They are looking out and are protecting themselves from that fear.  When you make it, they might say “I am happy for you” but do they really mean it? Deep inside they are not. Some of them will tell you that you got lucky or that you had money to begin with to make more money.

This is just human nature and there is nothing you can do about it. The sooner you realize that the better.   I used to argue with these kinds of people but I have grown wiser and know better not to anymore.  Now I usually just let it go.

Because I’ve had my fair share of experience with these types of people, I have almost perfected a response that I have readily available anytime someone throws such a nasty pitch at me. It goes something like this . . .  “eh, you know not educating myself and staying within the comfort zone of others which often involve following the herd (the masses) do the same old things was just never my cup of coffee”.  Beware – You might ruin some relationships.

I am interested in your thoughts.  How do you deal with negative people? What has helped you keep the eye on the prize and achieve it? Assuming you told them or they found out, how have the negative people reacted after you achieved your goal?

Always Believing

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40 Responses to “Negative People Will Impede Your Progress – Act & Respond Accordingly”

  1. Juan says:

    I find it is best to try and ignore them in part and in part to try and listen to their arguments. Some negative people really have good reasons and some do not. I find that it is so much easier to not get weighed down by their negativity when I can clearly see that I can’t agree with the fundamentals of their argument, and not just the conclusion.

  2. krantcents says:

    I stay away from negative people and particularly the complainers. They never do anything, but complain. You are right they will bring you down and keep you from acheiving success.

  3. Taline says:

    I definitely try to avoid the ones that are negative all the time. I find that they are bad energey, bad vibes and just overall downers. I choose to not disclose the good things that are happening to me in my life because as you stated and I completely agree, they may act like they are happy but truly deep down they wont be. In my culture we even have a name for it “the evil eye” it is sort of like saying people will be envious of what you have and not wish good things for you and then all of sudden your good fortune goes away.

    I know it sounds weird but I totally believe it is true and that’s why I surround myself with positive happy people that have accomplished as much as me or more that way they can never want what I have. Nice post!

    • Sunil says:

      Love the attitude Taline. You have a good point. Surrounding yourself with accomplished individuals increases the chances that they will live and let you live happily ever after.

  4. Paul says:

    Hi Sunil –

    “The world needs both the shit and the sugar to function in harmony” – Ha, so true!

    There seem to be a couple of unhealthy camps on the positive thinking scale.

    Hanging out at one end you have the magical, unicorn folks who are unrealistically positive about everything because that’s what they’ve been told to do by the personal development folks.

    On the other end you have the equally ridiculous “the world is against me” pessimists who just won’t achieve anything, regardless of their intelligence or talent. They know they’re wasting their time when they start a new project, and their inevitable failure is consequently a self-fulfilling prophecy. “See, I was right, wasn’t I?!”

    I’ve noticed that those who are winning in my circle of friends are those that sit in the middle of these two extremes with a steel iron determination and trojan work ethic. They have an “I can do this” attitude but not to the extent that they’re deluded with visions of paradise islands, ferraris and other fancy things.

    • Sunil says:

      Good points Paul. Isn’t it interesting to repeatedly see the same kind of people (same characteristics) succeed time after time, while the same kind of people (again, same characteristics) fail from time to time? Deductive philosophers would therefore recommend changing certain “characteristics”. It’s really that simply yet many just don’t get it.

  5. Hey Sunil,

    Great line of thinking – similarly, I usually just ignore people that I know want to bring me down. And it’s a surprisingly large number of people unfortunately.

    As you’ve done, I simply put it down to human nature. Although when someone is too blatant about it then I may go off on an entrepreneurial rant. That’s only with the people that I don’t mind damaging a relationship with 🙂

    P.S. I’ve been aware from this blog for a while but I’m back! I used to comment as Sandip @ Web Marketing and we also had a brief chat over email. Good to see you still churning out great content! 🙂

  6. I love the fact you address the issue with these people, despite the possible awkward feelings it may create.

    It’s interesting that some of the other responses use the words “ignore” & “avoid” – because it confirms most people avoid conflict (& this is certainly a form of interpersonal conflict). That’s not a bad thing…it’s just the way we react to difficult and stressful situations.

    Aside from writing about Personal Finance, I’m also a Mediator & Conflict Engagement Specialist. So, I’ve learned many people who are labeled “negative” are really just scared of change (being negative about others’ inspirations helps to maintain homeostasis in their world) or (as a way to save face) are using this rhetoric as a way to mask their own failures/imperfections (or perhaps jealousy, too).

    Great article!

    • Sunil says:

      Excellent perspective from a truly scientific diagnosis and very well said. I totally agree that we may perceive people as such when in fact there are other underlying mechanics going on just as you stated. Another reminder to all of us to take a step back before judging and forming conclusions.

      Welcome to the blog.

  7. Geoff says:

    Hey Sunil, about a year ago I had an ahha moment where I realized I’ve had a few negative people in my life that have really been affecting me in subtle ways that had built up over time. Every new idea or enthusiasm was always met with sarcasm or negativity.

    I made a conscious effort to slowly disengage from these people (not in a big fight type way, more in a passive, don’t make an effort way) and it’s made a big impact.

    I’m now actively reaching out to like minded folks, who are jazzed about their work and hobbies, and it’s powerful! I’ve never really been surrounded by enthusiastic entrepreneurial minded folks before, and man does it make a difference. I’m slowly dumping negative influences and adding positive ones and I’ve noticed the impact it’s made on both my business and my happiness.

    • Sunil says:

      Congratulations for becoming aware of the issues and then successfully acting on it and reversing course. Can’t tell you how many just never realize (step 1), let alone do anything about it. You become who you surround yourself with eventually.

  8. ag says:

    When I discuss my IM ventures with others it is more often met with ignorance than negativity. You made a good point about having that belief system in place. Without that certainty that something will work, it would be hard to get past the initial roadblocks and steep learning curve in IM.

    • Sunil says:

      What makes you discuss your ventures when you know you will likely be met with negativity?

      There is nothing guaranteed in life except death (not even taxes in some countries). That said, many who have and keep faith are doing just fine, and some extraordinarily well.

  9. Similar to some of the other commenters here, I tend to just ignore the negativity. In many cases I’ve cut off all ties with those particular people just to keep the dead weight from dragging me down.

  10. Joe says:

    I think it was Jim Rohn who said you are the average of the five people closest to you. There is so much truth to that. I have found over the years, the hard way, that you just can’t butt heads with the negative influences. You just need to remove them from your sphere. You’ll never change the negative people and it is a waste of your own valuable energy trying to do so.

    • Sunil says:

      Never heard that one before but it does make sense. I think some negative people have the ability to change. What they need is a strong stimulus, such as consistent exposure to positiveness (I know). Albeit exceptions, I have seen it happen.

  11. Spot on Sunil, negativity abounds and while one can play the blame game it is best to focus on our projects and simply continue trekking towards our goals.
    Losing friends is hard especially when money is sometimes responsible for this negativity but life ain’t far and one has to keep going.

  12. I often have to put down negative thoughts in my own head, and I find that surrounding yourself with more optimistic and entrepreneurial people really helps. When it comes to others that are overly negative, eventually you need to keep your distance and not let it drag you down as well.

    • Sunil says:

      keeping distance strategically has worked for me Kevin. we cannot choose our family many times, but we can choose how often and how we interact with them.

  13. Chad Brady says:

    For one people need anything that they can hold on too and brand as their own. Negativity is an ill fated attempt at belonging. My wife and I were playing blackjack in Vegas last week on our anniversary and there was a dude on our table that kept bragging about how he ALWAYS loses at this game. He kept reminding us every time he busted out. He not only proved himself right by giving the casino all of his money, but he ruined the good time everyone else was trying to have.

  14. julie says:

    i avoid negative people like the plague, you soon learn to recognise those who just love to complain and never take any action

  15. Rahul says:

    It is useless to argue with peoples, they don’t want to work, they don’t want to take risk, they want easy solution and they will give arguments like you are lucky or you had money etc.

    Still we are trying to achieve financial freedom and we will be doing that sooner and later.

    • Sunil says:

      very true Rahul. folks of such kind always seem to have some sort of a “reason”. what most of the world calls “luck”, a few call it preparation meeting opportunity…

      let me know how I can help you

  16. I actually grew up around negative and low confidence people and it really affected me. I found I always felt desperate and made bad decisions. Once I started not being around them and changing my perspective my life flourished.

  17. Alexandra says:

    Like Miss T, I, too, was surrounded by negative people early in my life, and it impacted me perhaps in a much worse way; I was lashing out and causing trouble a lot. In recent years though, I realized what I was doing was wrong and changed my ways, stopped hanging around those people and got rid of bad habits, and my life improved.

  18. My dad calls them “fire extinguishers.” I don’t share my dreams with them and generally try to ignore them. Works for me. 🙂

  19. Uwa Lokola says:

    You are absolutely right Sunil, I have come in contact with these set of negative people on several occasions,i was even a victim initially. I was talked out of writing my ebook because they kept telling me of how they did not making success meaning am 80% not sure of succeeding. But i realized that if i do not try i will never get there. Right now, I only share my dreams with business like minds.

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