Having a positive mental attitude and enthusiasm can help you achieve success at work much faster. However, despite your intent to be positive, sometimes the negative attitude of others around you can affect your own performance. The person can also affect the performance of others, leading to increased negativity and lower productivity. Learn how to deal with negative coworkers so you can remain positive and help them at the same time. Turning a negative situation into a positive one can make you feel even more positive.


Figure out whether you are part of the negativity and whether you might be causing the problem before you speak directly with the person who you feel is negative.


Don't directly confront someone's negativity immediately. Be prepared to listen to what the coworker has to say. Indicate you are listening by taking notes and repeating what they have to say. Don't get focused on one point only because you might not hear the rest of the conversation.


Put yourself in his shoes and think about how you might feel based on what the person is saying.

Ask Questions

Probe to find out why someone is negative. Use why and how questions. Present another viewpoint if you think you can turn the positive into a negative.


Determine whether a sound reason exists for their negativity. If a sound reasons exists, demonstrate that you understand what the person is saying. One effective way of doing that is to repeat what they have said to you and indicate that you understand. If you don't believe a sound reason exists for their negativity, inform them why and show them how to reframe how they are viewing the situation so they can eliminate their negativity.

If the person remains negative, politely disengage so their negativity does not affect your attitude.

Offer Help

Determine whether they are open to getting help. Determine whether you can help and how much of your time would be required. Decide whether someone else would be better able to help them, then suggest that person. If they aren't interested, avoid their negativity if possible, unless you have to deal with them as a supervisor. Don't let negative people influence you.