How To Handle Negativity At Work

The workplace is a petri dish of negativity.  In some companies it runs rampant and you may have to leave your job and find another one in order to maintain your positive attitude.  There are plenty of workplaces out there that strive to create a positive attitude for their employees and those are the ones that are super successful.  There are plenty of jobs that can survive with a terrible boss who rules by threatening to fire rather than trying to build a team of superstars.  Years ago finding a job was somewhat easy to do, but today jobs are few and far between in many areas of the work force, allowing for negative businesses to get by.  Although finding your dream job can be difficult to do, it is crucial for your overall happiness.  

Here are some ways to try and keep a positive attitude at work:

  • Pay attention to the atmosphere the minute you walk into the building. Did the receptionist say good morning to you or did she grunt at you and continue complaining to another coworker?  If you see it isn’t a good day, lock yourself in your office, take a deep breath, get grounded and start thinking positive thoughts.   As you focus on your goals for the day, unlock the door.  You are now prepared.  You can even make it a goal to be able to work from home.  This is what I was able to do, which allowed me to control my environment, which allowed me to design my day according to what works best for me, not what works best for some giant corporation.  It also allowed me to control a huge amount of other aspects in my life, which can really give you the edge if you are serious about trying hard and living a productive and healthy life.  Just being able to wake up when I want, not have to drive to work, exercise when I want, super hydrate myself when I want, work when I want, stretch when I want, eat when I want, socialize when I want and all according to a strategy of goals that I am working on that have been put in order of importance really is a tremendous advantage!   If working for someone else just isn’t your thing, make it a goal to find out what will truly make you happy and successful!
  • Let any negative words bounce off you as if you were wearing a golden suit of magical armor that deflects all negativity.
  • If a coworker comes to you with a bad attitude, listen, be kind and suggest things they can do to make it better.  Don’t dwell on it or let it drag you down.  If they keep doing it, let them know that although you love/like them, they really need to tone it down a bit so that you can continue to move forward.   Life can be hard.  Try not to let it be harder than it has to be by dragging around the weight of other people’s problems in your head.  Another good reason to avoid the daily news!
  • If you start having negative thoughts, keep them to yourself.   Don’t spread the bad vibes all over the office.  If it gets to be overwhelming, take to a good friend or mentor and get some good advice as to how to proceed.
  • Stay neutral in group situations and avoid engaging in the gossip.  You might want to rescue someone who has a severe negative attitude, but think about it first.  Are you going to be able to change their perspective or will they think you are butting in where you don’t belong?  Sometimes it is just better to combat negativity slowly, so don’t stop saying good morning to the receptionist in the morning.  Eventually she might smile and say good morning back to you because of your good influence.   It can take a tremendous amount of time and effort to get someone to finally come around.  Give it your best, but don’t waste too much time and energy on people like this.  Focus on what you need to do!  It’s easy to be negative… it’s hard to be positive, a champion, someone who will do what the other people won’t do in order to succeed!

Be sure to check out this great YouTube video by Barbara Glanz on how handle coworkers in the workplace, Keeping a positive attitude in a negative workplace.


If you can eliminate negative people from your life, go for it.  Sometimes your negative friends aren’t worth keeping.  However, if you can’t bring yourself to end a relationship or if the negative person is a family member, getting rid of them is easier said than done.

Close Friends and Family

Feel free to ask close friends and family members why they are so negative.  You owe it to them to find out the reason.  There may be a very good reason for their negative attitude and you might be able to help.  You can butt in to the lives of close friends and family without having to worry because you are closer to these people than anyone else.  Just remember that this is your life!  Not theirs.  If they don’t believe in you, support you, give you good advice or are just not on the same wavelength as you, then you need to do what you need to do in order to accomplish your dream life!  Close friends and family can be your greatest asset or biggest of nightmares.  At some point, you need to decide what you stand for, what you are going to tolerate and what amount of loyalty and respect you are going to demand from your relationships so that you can fulfill you life’s purpose.  Of course, to be able to get this type of loyalty and respect, you need to be the type of person who deserves it through working hard.  This is summed up nicely by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger in the YouTube video, Six Secrets to Success (New), posted by Travis Fisher.


A relationship break with an acquaintance would be difficult, but not earth shattering.  You need to decide if a relationship with the negative person is worth the trouble.  Try maintaining your positive attitude and it may rub off on them.  If it doesn’t, rethink the relationship and break it off if you have to.  To be best in the world, it isn’t easy.  All the great sports teams have to cut people until they are left with the best they can possibly get.  You need to do the same in your life.


Focus on the good qualities of coworkers and try to ignore the bad.  You have to relate to these people or find another job where there could be a whole new batch of “negative Nancy’s.”  Stay away from office politics, wear you headphones and play music or paste positive quotes around the office.  They will get the idea eventually and leave you alone.  If you are looking for a Leadership position, then take charge, let them know they are acting like losers and that if you want to win, they need to get their act together!


Some people find it easier to deal with all those negative influences when they engage in a little meditation.  You can do a meditation session in the morning, so you are ready for whatever comes, or you can take a moment mid-day to recharge positive feelings, or you can wait until after work and around bedtime so that you have sweet dreams.  You can meditate once a day or several times per day.  It just depends on what you need to keep that positive attitude.  Your session doesn’t have to take a long time.  It can be as short as 5 to 10 minutes to help infuse yourself with positive energy.

Some things you can mediate on are quotes and sayings that exude positivity.  You can find a picture of a person you admire for their positive attitude.  It can be the Dalai Lama all the way to your Uncle Joe.  Pull out that photo and look into the person’s eyes.  Thank them for their example and try to see the troubles of the day through their eyes.  What would they think and what would they do?  Maybe you had a disagreement with a coworker about overstepping boundaries. The Dalai Lama may say, “In the big scheme of things, does this really matter?”  Meditate on what they would tell you to do to prevent the situation from occurring again.

If nothing has happened truly negative throughout the day, you are very lucky.  Thank the universe or your higher power for a great day.  If some negativity did creep into your day, but there was nothing you could have done about it, resolve to move on.  Here is a great YouTube video on meditation by meditationrelaxclub, Healing Spirit: Guided Meditation for Relaxation, Anxiety, Depression and Self Acceptance.


When people around you start complaining, show them kindness.  It is hard to keep whining when you are in the presence of a kind and gracious person.  If you keep up that attitude, you will find that people will stop complaining when they are around you.

Avoid joining in on the negativity.  If a coworker starts bashing the boss about a decision he or she made, regale that person with all the good things the boss has done.

Be constructive and suggest to the negative person things that will make the situation better.  If Aunt Mary is being negative about Uncle Bob because he never does anything around the house, talk to Uncle Bob.  He may not know Aunt Mary is dissatisfied.  He might need a little push in the right directions.

If you find yourself in a negative mood, be sure to check out this YouTube video by Nick Vujicic, The Motivational Speaker with No Arms and No Legs – Nick Vujicic, to put your reality on this planet in perspective.


A clean, neat environment invites positivity.  Get rid of junk and purge your surroundings of all unnecessary things.  Organize your life and you will be much more effective. Take a good look at what you watch on TV or movies, what video games you play, the friends you keep and so on.  Sometimes it is better purge all of these negative sources from your life. Consult with Lee S. Rosen Blog, an SEO and entrepreneur, who can give you tips about business.

Bill Meyer said, “Every thought is like a seed.  If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.”

See what kind of attitudes you can cultivate in your community, family or workplace just by planting the right seed and pulling out those weeds.  Encourage others to accomplish their goals and dreams, and if they are a true friend, they will return the favor.