You might be on a quest to improve your life and maintain your happiness. But what if the people around you are less interested in personal growth and don’t support you? Worse still, they could be unhappy, and you may fear their sullen moods will rub off on you and ruin your plan. While your frame of mind stems from yourself, the people you spend the most time with can affect you. Here’s how to handle being around negative people and maintain your positive attitude.

Recognize you control your happiness

Uncontrollable events will sometimes upset you, and your reactions are natural. It’s part of life to encounter happy and sad times. You handle the minor day-to-day events that bring you down, though, and this puts you in the driver’s seat for your emotional wellness.

Realize no one has the power to steal your good mood from under your feet unless you let them. Your innate reactions kick in when you are with someone who has a negative mindset, making you defensive or miserable, but you can learn to respond differently using mindfulness.

Ramp up awareness

When mindful, you stay aware of your desire to shut out people’s negative moods, and you can take steps to help you achieve your aims. When you forget you control your outlook, you become vulnerable to negativity in your environment. Stay aware of wanting to keep a positive attitude, especially if you recognize you must be with someone who’s negative or is entering a toxic environment.


You encounter at least two types of negative scenarios. The first stems from strangers, for example rude shoppers or the disgruntled drivers you meet. The other involves people you are close to, like your spouse or colleagues at work.

Encounters with unhappy strangers are short. You may not take their negativity to heart because you don’t know them and understand your circumstances will soon change. You need not spend long with the unfriendly individual in the queue or the miserable shopkeeper. Still, their negative mood will affect you unless you remember not to let it.

Negative people will spoil your happiness if you invest your emotions in what they do. Sometimes, remembering your intention to stay upbeat, and knowing they will soon be out of your life, will be enough to stop your mood from dipping. When the unhappy people are familiar, though, self-protection becomes more significant.

Maintain boundaries

Your spouse’s unhappiness matters to you. They could need support, so aiming to avoid them or brush off their joylessness isn’t helpful. Your mood will stay stable if you recall you are separate from them. Also, remember becoming negative isn’t helpful. So be compassionate, but develop enough detachment not to get sucked into a bad mood.

Then again, if your spouse or someone else is glum for no apparent reason, keep your distance when possible. You need not hang around if your neighbor wants to gossip and complain. Likewise, change the subject or don’t join in when your boss moans. Silence helps too. If someone’s in a bad mood, let them run out of steam. By not joining in, you allow them to expel energy. They will soon realize you won’t collaborate when they are negative. This way, you show them you won’t communicate with them unless they change their attitude.

Use your mind for protection as well. Picture a cone of positive energy around you, through which negativity can’t penetrate. See it as a white light and breathe in calmness. If negativity seeps in, exhale it.

You can retain your well-being when in the company of unhappy people, with a mental cleansing routine. If your boss is miserable, listen to birdsong to help you feel calm before you go home. After seeing a cantankerous family member, belt out an upbeat song to cast out negativity.

You can avoid some negative people but must share your surroundings with others, and it helps to stay positive. Don’t take part in negative conversations, and send the message you won’t join forces. Remember, you are in charge of your emotional wellness and have the option of taking the reins rather than handing them to anyone else.