If you’ve been around an unhappy person before, you probably know that their negativity can often drag you down very, very quickly. They can change the tone of a room and bring down an otherwise happy mood.
So how can you combat these negative nancies? Is there anything you can do to keep your positive thinking up, even when other people’s moods are clawing away at you?
Here are 11 Ways to Remain Happy When Around Unhappy People
Gratitude is a magical thing. It automatically makes situations more loving and positive. As such, you can express your appreciation to these unhappy people regularly, and it may help them to remove themselves from their more negative patterns. Here are some things to thank them for:
- Helping to pass you something
- Speaking their mind even when it may have been difficult
- Providing you with new perspectives
- Taking the time to listen to your ideas
This doesn’t mean you should be a pushover – it just means using positive reinforcement where it applies.
Don’t forget to maintain your gratitude for the world and your life, too. Sometimes, being around negative people can make you forget about the things you’re thankful for. Keeping a gratitude journal and listing three to five things you’re grateful for every day can be helpful in this respect. You can write that you are thankful for:
- Your career
- Your friends, family, and loved ones
- The roof over your head
- Your access to necessities
- Meals you enjoyed
- Your favorite movies, shows, books, and music
- Your good health
2. Don’t Focus On Their Lack Of Happiness
It’s difficult not to dwell too much on someone’s lack of happiness to an extreme level. After all, they’re always in a bad mood, and that can rub off on you. It can also make you focus a lot on their negativity, making you complain about them to others.
That’s how unhappiness can be so contagious. Other people dwell on their feelings, which causes us to dwell on their emotions, which causes you to become unhappy. It’s a perpetual cycle, and it’s one you can’t win unless you’re making sure you aren’t focusing on that negativity.
So don’t give them the power to change your way of thinking! It’s not worth your time, effort, or energy.
3. Understand That They Have Their Journey
It’s easy to judge unhappy people, especially if you’ve come a long way in your battle against negativity. But it’s not your place to demand happiness out of them.
The truth is that you don’t know this person’s life story. You don’t know what they’re going through. And, quite frankly, it’s probably none of your business. They may be going through a difficult time, needing long periods to recover or process the emotions they feel.
This person will likely move on and be happy one day when they are ready, but that’s for them to figure out in their own time. Instead of wishing they would “just be happy,” be supportive and kind to them. They’re on a difficult journey.
4. Don’t Take It Personally
Unhappy people generally aren’t unhappy because of something you’ve said or done. They’re miserable because that’s the mindset they’re in. So don’t take it too personally. You can’t control other people’s thoughts or emotions, after all.
But it’s difficult not to wonder if it’s your fault when an unhappy person does certain negative things. They might:
- Say something a little mean about you
- Leave you out of the loop about something work-related
- Ignore you or leave you alone
- Roll their eyes at something you talk about
- Turn down invites or cancel plans with you
Should you allow yourself to be mistreated? Of course not.
But at the same time, as you stand up for yourself, don’t let it get to your feelings and mess with your head. These people are dealing with fears and insecurities due to a lack of positive coping mechanisms. It’s not you. It’s them.
5. Manage How Much You Engage With Unhappy people
Humans are social creatures by habit. It’s how we engage with each other and find those we can relate to on a deeper level, and social interaction is known to foster positive thinking and health. But what happens when that interaction is mainly negative?
The problem with socializing as an empathic human being is that you tend to mirror those around you naturally. You pick up on the energy of a room and the mood of a gathering, whether it’s good or bad.
So when you spend time with unhappy people, you may wind up getting caught in a whirlwind of sadness, tangled in their webs. That’s why you need to limit the amount of time you spend engaging with unhappy people.
If you notice that you’re beginning to get affected by the things these people say or do, respectfully excuse yourself. It’s okay for you to set healthy boundaries with those who are bringing you down. In fact, you should set healthy boundaries with everyone.
6. Challenge Yourself To Grow From This
Having to be around negative people is rough. Their unhappiness can hurt you and be challenging to deal with. But instead of dwelling on how awful the situation is, tell yourself that this is something you will learn and grow from.
This simple perception shift seems mild, but it’s powerful. Instead of complaining about things, see it as an opportunity to improve yourself. Then, the next time you’re in a similar situation, you’ll be able to shrug it off, no sweat.
Besides, no matter how rough it is for you – it’s nowhere near as painful as whatever the unhappy people are experiencing that is making them so sad all the time. Count your blessings with positive thinking and work to be a better person!
7. Be Happy–Change The Way You View Them
Even the most unhappy people have some redeeming qualities somewhere! Instead of focusing on the negative, look for good things about them. This can be about their:
- Work ethic
- Personal beliefs or values
- Sense of style
- Certain traits they have, like being a good listener
- Talents or skills
Changing the narrative you’ve made of someone in your head is a powerful way to alter your entire viewpoint. Instead of focusing on what you hate, focus on things you can learn to like. Soon, you may not even mind that these people can be downers!
8. Take Time To Be Away From Unhappy People
We’ve already talked about the virtues of not engaging with unhappy people constantly. Now, you have to learn when to step back and take time away on a more serious level. This is especially crucial if you work with or live with these unhappy people.
When you need to step away from these people and recenter your thoughts, do so. Don’t neglect your me-time during this period. You need to stay in touch with yourself and who you indeed are so you don’t get influenced by their negativity.
As a rule, me-time is essential even when you’re living your best life in the most favorable and positive circumstances. It can help you de-stress, process negative emotions, and make smart decisions. Here are some great ways to get me-time:
- Write in a journal
- Perform meditation
- Enjoy a hobby
- Cook a nice meal
- Treat yourself to a spa day, shopping trip, or new activity
9. Use Humor and Cheerfulness
Sometimes, a little bit of humor can diffuse an otherwise tense and awkward situation with unhappy people. You can do this by:
• Cracking Jokes
If you’re good at telling jokes, show off your skills by cracking some whenever things get too tense. You can joke about yourself, the situation, or anything else. Just keep it positive!
• Switch A Tone
Are things getting too serious in a discussion about something that isn’t very important? Switch it up! Change the tone and talk about the event in a positive light. This can help to move to mood from doom and gloom to something more productive.
• Talk About Happy Things
When you get the chance to start a conversation around unhappy people, chat about something positive that makes you happy. This can prevent things from going south when someone inevitably starts complaining.
10. Focus On Yourself
When all the negativity gets to be too much, turn your thoughts inwards and focus on yourself. Some people think this is a vain thing to do, but it isn’t. After all, you’re the only person you’ll be with for the rest of your life. You come first unless you decide otherwise. Here are some tips for self-focus in the face of unhappy individuals:
- Pay attention to the emotions, thoughts, and instincts you’re having
- Value yourself about the unhappy people; put yourself first
- Don’t waste your energy on attempting to change someone’s feelings
- Focus on things you enjoy or on things that interest you and ignore naysayers
- Consider your experiences valid
- Try to emulate those who you do like, and become the best version of you
Compassion is the quickest way to get through to someone. Just a simple kind act can help an unhappy person to be even a little bit more favorable for the day. Think about it – haven’t you had one kind gesture brighten up your entire day before?
As the saying goes, sometimes you have to kill it with kindness. Sometimes, an unhappy person needs a little show of compassion to make them feel better. You can be kind by:
- Giving them a smile
- Saying a warm greeting
- Holding the door open for them
- Helping them carry items
- Doing them a favor
- Buying them a coffee or similar drink
- Complimenting them honestly
The positive vibes that we put out into the world are often contagious. Of course, it won’t always work, but when it does, it’ll be magical – and when it doesn’t, you’ll still feel good from doing something genuinely lovely.
It’s a bummer to be around unhappy people all the time. You may not know why they’re upset, but you can do what you can to keep yourself happy despite their negativity. When you know how to master your positivity, nothing can stand in your way! Be happy!