How to Neutralize Negative People

If you have worked in business long enough then you have encountered your fair share of negative people. I sure have – one too many times. Heck, there have even been times when I have been guilty of being one of those people.

Negative people. They are exhausting. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can neutralize them.

Negative people can generally be broken out into 1 of 2 categories: Naysayers and Toxics.


  • They like to say “No”
  • They reject before analyzing
  • They don’t like change

Sometimes this can be a good thing especially if budgets are tight or the company is already doing the right things. However, this resistance is usually what holds innovation back and hinders growth. Long story short, it’s more evil than good.


  • They only care about themselves and not the company
  • They are always updating their resumes
  • They are extremely political

Toxics are toxic. Period. When dealing with them the only solution is to terminate them. They aren’t good for your team or your business.

The Sad Reality
You are always going to have to deal with negative people. Since this is the reality of business, you need to first determine if the individual is a Naysayer or a Toxic and then act accordingly. If they are a Toxic, fire them. If they are Naysayer, you then need to neutralize their negativity.

The Solution
Ask your Naysayers to write down their objections when they are tempted to shelve new ideas or reject positive change. It’s amazing how such a simple task can neutralize their stance on a certain topic. It forces them to really think rather than just default to saying “No” or being negative for the sake of being negative.

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