How to Deal with Negative People

A Revolutionary New Way to Deal with Negative People

how to deal with negative peopleA very common question I get from my clients and customers who are seeking to change their lives is this: “How do we deal with negative people who seem to want to drag us down?” There is a cliche in the self-development world that your best bet is simply to walk away. This is “problem solving by avoidance.” It doesn’t work. It may appear to work for a while, but all you’ve done is shove your real problem under the carpet. And sooner or later that dirt you tried to hide is going to start seeping out again onto your floor. In this article, we explore a revolutionary new approach for how to deal with negative people that will actually solve the problem forever. Not only that, when practiced faithfully, this revolutionary approach will also mean that fewer and fewer “negative people” show up in your life.

The traditional “avoidance” approach to negative people is based on the (false) idea that the people we are attempting to delete from our lives are outside of us. Under this view of the world, it makes perfect logical sense that by “walking away and moving on,” we have solved our problem. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, this is not the way the world actually works at all. The world we see is merely a phantasm, a projection of our subconscious mind. So if we see a negative person in our life, it is because we have the template for that negative person in our subconscious mind. And removing that person physically does not remove the template. So that person is either going to keep showing up over and over again, or if they do seem to disappear, that negative person will show up again in a new form (i.e., a new person). This is because the negative person does not exist. You made him or her up. And you will continue making him or her up until you solve the problem where it is: in your own subconscious mind.

Haven’t you ever noticed that the super annoying people in your life tend to remind you of someone else? Maybe your mother or father or someone from childhood … or even a character from a movie or a book. Bingo. That is because you are literally making up the super annoying person over and over again. This I call a “karmic loop” (we teach about this in my 15-Week Miracle coaching program). Literally, the subconscious mind is like a computer executing code. We have the “computer code” for particular negative patterns in the subconscious mind, and until we reprogram that code, we project these patterns onto the world repetitively and endlessly.

Tried to Mark Manson Dishonesty in Dating and Attracting Women? Good luck with that. Wherever you go, there you are. That’s why the negative people will “follow you” wherever you go. Either literally pursue you even though you moved, or show up in a new form in the new place. It is not possible to escape from ourselves. We must face ourselves instead.

I hear lots of self-development “gurus” recommending “boundaries” and “get rid of negative people.” Heck, I’ve probably recommended this myself at some point in the past. Yet all this is … is cowardice. We are afraid to face ourselves. We would not have to avoid ANYTHING if we felt truly empowered in our lives.

Many of us recognize this truth in theory:

“The greatest demonstration of power and security is to actually make oneself defenseless.” – Mark Manson

A Course in Miracles teaches “If I defend myself, I am attacked.” And yet who among us is actually practicing defenselessness? Mr. Manson surely is not practicing what he teaches at all. He is using monogamy, avoidance, blacklisting, running away, cutting off communication, and lots of other defenses to “avoid negative people.” And it’s not working. It’s not working because he’s being a hypocrite. I’m not putting myself above him here … we will get to my own avoidance in a moment. I’m just saying even the best of us self-development gurus have a lot of work to do when it comes to facing the issues in our lives instead of burying them under a shroud of denial, excuses, so-called “boundaries,” and defenses. If we are avoiding anything, we are bullshitting ourselves. Pure and simple. There are no exceptions.

Let’s go a step farther now. These “negative people” that we want so badly to “delete” from our lives are also messengers. They are mirrors. They are giving us valuable information about exactly the issues in our own self-development that we have not yet addressed. So when we ignore them, all we are doing is keeping our own blind spots and limitations. It’s pure self-sabotage to avoid or ignore negative people.

“What we hate in others is what we’re ashamed of in ourselves” – Mark Manson

Right, exactly. So when we want to avoid a so-called “negative person,” all we are really saying is “I hate myself and I’m not willing to do what is needed to shift this to self-love.” If we loved all aspects of ourselves, which we would if we healed everything, we would avoid nobody and nothing. Some self-development gurus might try to weasel their way out of this obvious truth by making “exceptions.” “Oh but that person *really* deserves my avoidance and loathing.” Translation: “I really hate that part of myself and I’m not willing to be honest with myself about this so I’m going to make bullshit and excuses for a little while longer.” Intellectual honesty requires that we make no exceptions and face all issues in our life with equal care. Any person showing up in our life that we want to avoid is our most valuable teacher, to be honored and respected not avoided.

So now as promised, let’s get to one of many examples in my own life where I have not practiced what I preach. There is a fellow who kept posting on my Facebook page (you can join here) and private messaging me endlessly. Right now I have 38 private messages from him that I have not read. I believe all 38 were sent in one day. Yes, I resorted to putting him in the spam filter. Yes, I said nasty things to him and blocked him on Facebook. I was being a coward. I was being dishonest with myself. I was not practicing what I preach. Like Mr. Mark Manson, I was being a hypocrite.

Then a few days ago, I saw the mirror. I saw the part of myself that I hated. The person who feels powerless to communicate in a powerful way and has resorted to patterns that are similar to this gentleman in a certain situation in my life. Such as sending repetitive messages and not always having a clear focus or intention for many of those messages. Suddenly it was so clear why this gentleman kept showing up over and over again, creating new profiles and circumventing every attempt I have made to shut him out of my life as an “annoyance.”

Suddenly I woke up. By blocking and avoiding him, by judging him as unworthy of my time and attention … all I was doing was hating myself even more. And the more I hated myself, the more persistent and annoying he became. Why? Because he’s a messenger from God. And the message is “Wake the F up, Erika. You will never solve this problem through avoidance. The problem is not him. The problem is your own self-hatred and avoidance.”

Upon realizing this, I did an immediate about-face. The key to solving this problem became absolutely obvious. I needed to do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I had been doing. Instead of pushing him away, I had to embrace him.

And as I did this, I realized something else. Nothing he was doing was really that bad. The annoyance I felt was my issue. His messages were harmless. He is harmless. Only my self-hatred is the problem.

As I began to embrace this formerly “annoying” man, I saw that I had only been lying to myself. I had been seeing him as unworthy of love and beneath me. Here, let me polish my halo for a while as I view you with devil horns. What a crock. And all I could do with that unloving intention is demean myself. Now that I saw what I had been doing to him and to myself … I could suddenly see him in the light. Yes, he is a child of God just like me. Equally deserving of love and respect as all beings.

Yes, maybe he has shutting down emotionallymore self-development work to do so his communication can be more effective. Don’t we all? His communication patterns are a call for help, just like mine are. Does that make him worthy of my contempt and avoidance? No. And you see in the same moment, my own self-love and self-acceptance dramatically increased. Because simultaneously I could see that I, also, did not deserve to be treated like sh*t and avoided and treated like scum just because I make mistakes sometimes.

I understand some people will argue with this post, and that’s okay. This post is very absolute. There are no exceptions. I don’t care how “heinous” is the person you are avoiding. It still reflects one thing and one thing only: your own self-hatred. And we can all choose either to be honest with ourselves about it or to continue living in self-deceit. Those are the only two options.


Erika Awakening, High Priestess of Miracles at TAPsmarter

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. I have come across few negative people who push you down to the core with their poor body language & behavior. I always used to stay away & move on as these sick people can never inspire or impress anyone’s life.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I can totally relate. I have had my share of annoying, negative people in my life as well.

  3. As carefully as I read this article, i was not able to find “a revolutionary new approach for how to deal with negative people” described anywhere. Am I missing something?

  4. Hi Erica,
    I could not agree with you more! The mirror effect is not always so straight-forward and it’s always there. Any thoughts on a situation where the other person is avoiding contact? I’ve reflected and learned a great deal from the whole experience. I know there is more. At this point, I’ve accepted that it is the way it is until it changes. If you have other thoughts, I’d love to hear them since your article was so insightful.

  5. Angel Card Readings by Eric says:

    I get your message, but sometimes I have difficulty with this. I have a problem with child-abusers, for example. We could all think of some type of person that we have no tolerance for. I mean, I really get that everything is within. Our world is a projection of our sub-conscious. We are not really in physical reality, but physical reality is within us. I understand it. But maybe some aspects are not meant to be loved? Maybe there is a time and a place for judgment and discernment?

    It’s a topic I struggle with – I’m not trying to make a definitive argument against your points. Thanks – Eric

    • Erika Awakening says:

      Hi Eric,
      Yea it’s a longer discussion … It’s not that we are going to continue tolerating painful patterns. It’s that we can’t solve the problem if we avoid it. Whereas if we stay present with it (of course making sure nobody is physically going to be hurt – there are ways to progressively desensitize) … we can engage in radical forgiveness work that will remove from our minds the false image of the child abuser.
      Thanks for commenting :)

  6. Elaine enlightening says:

    That is exactly how it works, for sure, Erika! I learned this the hard way a few years back and then spent then next year seeing the same reflection . After a couple of times of that I woke up to the fact that it was time to put the oxygen mask on me so I would stop attracting the same kind of person who I perceived as dangerous! A few years later I attracted you for my mentor and that was the beginning of a whole new level of healing and growth for myself.

    Thank you once again for you candor and clarity.

    • Erika Awakening says:

      So I am not kidding you … this guy I’ve been avoiding for what like a year now? … with my high and mighty bullshit attitude that some people aren’t worth my time and he’s “incoherent” anyway … I’m actually hearing poetry in his words now. I’m actually looking forward to his comments on my page. And my self-esteem … skyrocketed today. It’s unreal how much we cheat ourselves with our bullshit “boundaries” and exclusions and monogamy and defenses. Woo hoo for defenselessness …

      • Every time I’ve relocated due to some controlling people it’s always been better for me. I’m in the process of relocating again and hopefully attaining independence because of family members. I don’t think it’s self-hatred to do that. I don’t think being friendly and bonding with a psychopath is in anyone’s best interest.

      • Erika Awakening says:

        Hi Kenneth, thanks for commenting. You know, early in my life I seemed to have the same experience. For example, I hated high school and I managed to create a really much better experience for myself by moving away to college and having a new mindset. As time went on though, the patterns I thought I had escaped started to rear their ugly head again. I was in a job a few years ago and woke up one day to realize that I had recreated my family of origin on a large scale there. Took me two years of tapping to transform that place from war to peace. Most people are not paying close enough attention to the connection between their thoughts and what they see in the world to see that, in fact, wherever we go there we are. We are creating all of it moment by moment. So while a change in geography may be accompanied by a change in mindset and seem to solve the problems for a while, eventually the patterns must simply be faced directly. Cheers and hope to see you again here soon :)

      • Hi Erika, it took me a while to find your reply again. You mentioned years before the patterns starting reappearing. It’s been a month at my very own place and life is amazing. I don’t really believe I’m going to recreate anything negative from the past as there’s always difficult people out there but I really don’t think it’s going to reappear in the same manner. That said, your last statement it’s been really helpful facing issues directly and not pussyfooting around the subject.

      • Glad it’s been helpful :)

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