There are two kinds of people in this world, those who are positive and those who are negative. Your personal energy is affected by who has the most substantial influence over you. If you want to be happier, you can stop giving your power to negative people.

Sometimes, this task isn’t as easy as it seems. You may have a choice of friends who are in your life, but you can’t choose your family. Your job may also require you to interact with coworkers and customers that you would usually avoid in your personal life.

When you are around people with positive attitudes, they boost your energy and make you feel joyful. Negative people zap your strength and joy as they drain your energy. You can be happier when you deflect their toxic influence, whether they’re family, co-workers, or friends.

How have your energy levels been lately? Are you living each day to the fullest, or are you barely existing? If you have too many negative people surrounding you, their toxic attitude may be bringing you down.

Ways to Keep Negative People from Draining Your Energy

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Are you ready to be happier and enjoy your life again? Like Dorothy’s magical red shoes in the Wizard of Oz, you’ve had the power all along to do it. Here are some tips to nix the energy drain from negative people in your world.

• You Can’t Change Them

Negative people have often wallowed in their misery for so long that it’s a comforting habit. Unless they decide to make a change in their attitude and situations, they will not change. It’s a waste of your precious time and energy to make toxic people change.

Isn’t it strange that those with toxic attitudes don’t seek the same? Since their energy is depleted with negativity and self-pity, they often gravitate to positive people. It’s usually not to change, but they want to latch onto you and drain your energy.

• Set Boundaries

It’s difficult when you have family or co-workers who create a toxic atmosphere. Fortunately, you may only have to deal with that negative relative at family gatherings. When the workday is finished, you can leave the toxic co-worker at the office.

No matter who the negative influence is in your life, setting boundaries can help you be happier and energetic. Toxic people demand attention and are a constant drain on your time and resources. They can only push you as far as you will allow.

You have the right to set boundaries and draw the line regarding what you find acceptable in a personal or professional relationship. See what a difference it makes in your life when you learn how to say “no.” You needn’t be a doormat or the burden-bearer of people who are always negative.

Don’t make yourself available to these people. If they violate one boundary, they will keep doing it. Realize that although you are a caring person, you can’t save people from themselves.

Stop answering the phone when that dreaded family member or friend calls to bellyache. If you are caught in a face-to-face conversation that’s going south, change the subject. People who can’t respect boundaries should be avoided.

• Stay Off the Stage

Negative people thrive on attention, and they are continually re-writing their dramatic stories. They wouldn’t love anything more than to make you a character in their tales of woe. Sometimes they will appeal to your good nature and generosity.

No matter the crisis, real or imagined, these toxic directors want you on stage with them. They desperately need your energy, so they will often create drama to snag you in the picture. While you don’t want to seem heartless, you can’t fix everyone’s problems.

Recognize manipulative people for who they are. As they are drowning in their sorrow, don’t get caught in the negative whirlpool. You’ll be happier if you step away from theater and let them have the center stage of their melodrama.

• Focus on Yourself

When someone has you trapped in their negative sphere, they want all your attention. They are like vampires who drain you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you allow them enough influence, you’ll soon lose sight of yourself.

Decide to be happier and focus on your needs for a change. Just because you love yourself and see to your needs doesn’t make you a narcissist. It makes you a person who is practical and wants to have a more positive energy flow.

Be kind to yourself and engage in things that make you feel joyful. Enjoy some of your favorite hobbies, or spend some time relaxing and pampering yourself. Consider practicing yoga, meditation, and visualization to concentrate on the positive things you love about your life.

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• Avoid Projection from Negative People

One of the many characteristics you’ll notice about negative people is their skewed thinking. When they are confronted with mistakes or shortcomings, they won’t own it. Instead, they will often shift the blame to somebody else.

They are never at fault for any of the mishaps in their lives. Their pessimistic outlook compels them to blame others for their misery and unhappiness. The toxic people in your life may try to project their pain and frustrations onto you.

Rather than to accept that they’ve made mistakes and take any responsibility, they may make you the target of their anger. Refuse to be a target and speak your mind. For your own sake, walk away from this toxic relationship before you end up the same way.

• Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Unlike negative people, those with a positive outlook know how to evaluate themselves honestly. We are all humans who make mistakes and have shortcomings. When you can admit your weaknesses, you’ve already identified an undeniable strength.

Toxic people like to focus on your flaws and past mistakes. By trying to make you look bad, they think it makes themselves look better. Instead, it makes them look like an obnoxious jerk, but they won’t see it.

When you take ownership of your weaknesses, negative people lose their leverage. Not only do you acknowledge your shortcomings, but you are learning from them. Such a positive take will deflate toxic people and allow you to be happier in the long run.

• Refocus Your Thoughts

How do you survive in a whirlwind of negative people? You may not have the ability to change a situation, but you can decide how you think about it. Instead of submitting to a negative attitude, try to look at the situation in a positive light.

• Don’t Back Down

Once you have set boundaries in a personal or professional relationship, don’t back down from them. When negative people don’t get their way, their obnoxious behavior may escalate to manipulate you. They don’t like the word “no,” and they pout and may get belligerent if they don’t get their way.

A key to remember about negative people is that they only have power over you if you let them. When you stop listening to their sob stories and refuse to be manipulated, they will move on. It’s your way of letting them know that their negative tactics won’t work anymore.

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• Save Your Fire for What Matters

Negative people often try to drag others into their drama by starting arguments. A battle of the minds with these people takes a lot of time and energy. Choose your battles wisely, and don’t take the bait.

They will often broach highly personal and controversial subjects, such as politics, religion, and sex. Their negative slant and inflammatory language are usually meant to antagonize you. Do yourself a favor and avoid conversations with them, if possible.

Malicious gossipers and backbiters generate the worst type of negativity. If you can’t get them to change the subject, say that you don’t talk about others like that. They’ll get the picture and will seek someone else for their toxic news.

• Surround Yourself with Positive People

Have you ever noticed how bright a single candle is in a dark room? Positive attitudes repel the dark, gloomy shadows of negativity. If you want to be happier, try to surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good. A positive atmosphere will shut down a negative person quickly.

One way to create a more healthy, positive atmosphere is to eliminate harmful and toxic people from your life. Of course, it won’t be easy if it’s a loved one or a long-time friend. Until they change for the better and stop dragging you down, keep away from their influence.

How do you recognize positive people? These are folks who are genuine, kind, loyal, and can laugh at themselves. Positive people don’t live in a fake Pollyanna world, but they can still see the cloud’s silver lining.

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Final Thoughts on Avoiding Negative People

If you want to be happier and have a fulfilling life, avoid the influence of negative people. Instead, focus your time and energy on the positive. Even in the heaviest of life’s storms, a smile and a positive attitude can be the anchor you need to stay afloat.