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To ask how on earth to deal with deliberately negative people?

(32 Posts)
simpleth1ngs Wed 23-Oct-13 07:45:07

I work with a guy who is the most negative person I've ever met. I know him quite well now and he has no significant family/childhood/health problems, but will merrily admit he enjoys complaining. It's relentless and he gets himself really wound up about nothing, and can rant about the weather or customers for hours. It's like it's a deliberate personality trait and I can tell he's hurt if I am short with him or leave the room but I CANNOT TAKE IT when he does it and I am unwell or in a bad mood myself. Isn't it polite to make small talk that isn't angrily raising your voice? It's got to the point where all our colleagues avoid him and I give one-word answers as much as possible.

How should I deal with him?

dunkedbiscuits Wed 23-Oct-13 07:47:27

You have to tell him to say two positive things before a negative. Keep repeating til he gets it.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 23-Oct-13 07:47:50

Ignore him, he will love it because it will give him something g legit to winge about

CeliaFate Wed 23-Oct-13 07:49:24

Tell him his negativity is draining.
Suggest counselling for him.
Adopt a really trite stock phrase for when he starts, such as "Oh well count your blessings" or "worse things happen at sea"
Take the piss out of him "Oh, here you go again!"
Tell him he obviously needs more work as he has so much free time to complain about.
Tell him to get a hobby/life/fucked. grin

simpleth1ngs Wed 23-Oct-13 07:50:01

biscuits that is what I normally do but he doesn't stop and I leave a ten minute conversation feeling like I want to cry

simpleth1ngs Wed 23-Oct-13 07:53:37

If I pull him up on it he'll just say 'I enjoy complaining' or 'I've always complained a lot.' I think in his head he's a funny Chandler Bing character but in reality he's an endless pit of dour misery

Iaintdunnuffink Wed 23-Oct-13 07:56:52

I sit next to someone like this, he moans about everything and everyone. Then to top it off he picks up on someone and moans about them for weeks on end, he likes to get a huddle around him and have a good bitch about the way they eats biscuit, or whatever.

The moment he gets wind that the person isn't loving their treatment he get hurt. Then huffs and puffs about how rude they are to him. Can you guess that it's my turn to be bitched about? What I've done who knows. Oh well, off for another day of hell.

CeliaFate Wed 23-Oct-13 08:00:08

Ignore him then. If he doesn't care about your feelings, why care about his? Fuck him. (not literally)

simpleth1ngs Wed 23-Oct-13 08:05:45

nuffink mine doesn't share the same audience as yours as barely anyone will acknowledge him now. How does yours get people to listen?!

If I ignore him he'll glare at me with an almost comedy intensity. If I say 'what?' he'll blow up about not being able to look anywhere without being accused. Sigh.

TiggyD Wed 23-Oct-13 08:10:15

Suggest he gets treatment for his disorder then just walk away.

NotYoMomma Wed 23-Oct-13 08:20:43

disorder? hmm

just tell him to get a bloody grip and walk away.

or just say that you dont want to be brought into his endless pit of doom amd gloom so are leaving now

DoJo Wed 23-Oct-13 08:24:02

I second walking away, perhaps say something like 'I'm in too good a mood to let you bring me down with your moaning' over your shoulder as you go.

plentyofsoap Wed 23-Oct-13 08:48:00

I work with two very negative men. I can leave the office though when they get too much. However, when I have to endure their moaning I counter act it with hyper positivity just to piss them off. I have at times just been honest with them. They don't change.

GeordieCherry Wed 23-Oct-13 08:54:09

"I've decided to have a cheerful day today.. So I'm not going to listen to that"
Said with Pollyanna smile & repeated as necessary

Good luck! They're exhausting smile

Latara Wed 23-Oct-13 08:55:32

I was going to say oh maybe he's depressed; but having read this it doesn't sound like he is depressed at all; he just enjoys moaning!

Sorry I don't think there's a cure for that kind of moany character, it gets too ingrained...

stargirl1701 Wed 23-Oct-13 08:56:18

I know someone like this. I am relentlessly cheerful around them. Relentlessly grin

lottiegarbanzo Wed 23-Oct-13 09:23:52

'You enjoy complaining, I don't enjoy listening to people complain, it drags me down. We either need to find something else to talk about, or work in silence don't we?'

'Well listening to endless negative whinging drags me down. I'm not prepared to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of your enjoyment, because i don't think you and your wishes are more important than me and mine, sorry'.

'Complaining hurts my ears, so very time you do it I'm going to have to sing to block it out. Ok? Good.'

lottiegarbanzo Wed 23-Oct-13 09:53:40

Or, more succinctly 'well I dislike listening to complaining and your likes do not trump mine, got it?'.

You will be told to get a sense of humour, or that he's just trying to be friendly, or it's just how he is.

'I have a great SOH but you're not funny', 'I'd be delighted to join you in a friendly conversation about something we both find interesting, any suggestions?' 'Oh well, I'm just naturally cheerful and unwilling to sacrifice that for you, sorry'.

He'll probably get huffy and ignore you for a bit.

pudseypie Wed 23-Oct-13 10:13:40

I worked with someone who moaned constantly but I got on wrll enough to turn it into a joke and be able to say 'stop moaning!!' He did then get the idea

Milkjug Wed 23-Oct-13 10:20:23

I've been relentlessly cheerful in similar circumstances. Like a cross between Pollyanna playing the Glad Game and Maria Von Trapp singing about her favourite things in a thunderstorm.

SharpLily Wed 23-Oct-13 10:30:12

I think I'd be tempted to go dramatically sarcastic - nod along, with much hand wringing, head tilting and agreeing that first world problems are sooooo difficult to deal with and isn't it just the end of the world that so and so or such and such can ruin his life that way.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 23-Oct-13 11:09:12

The one I know who is like this is very strange, the tiniest bit of rain and its the end of the world and requires about an hours worth of moaning if he can't find something again end of the world, if he has to wait more than 24 hours to purchase anything its even worse.

I must admit I take great delight in just saying "you are now sucking the very life out of the room so please fuck off"

But he's seriously bad has lost 4 jobs in the last year because of it

Viviennemary Wed 23-Oct-13 11:13:45

I'd much rather have a moaner than one of those endlessly cheerful breezy types. I find them much more irritating. Especially when they go around telling everyone else to cheer up.

echt Wed 23-Oct-13 11:38:04

You're so right, Viv, may I call you Viv? Especially the ones who loudly and individually say hello to very bugger in the room. Every morning.

Yours sincerely

Mrs GrumpyCunt

CooEeeEldridge Wed 23-Oct-13 11:48:10

My Dad is just like this - he deliberately buys the daily mail to give him compliaining fodder.

I find there is nothing you can do but try and let it drift over you. Bitching about people around you, you can maybe pull him up on, but the rest just try and ignore! If you engage with the general stuff you will end up frustrated and angry!

Viviennemary Wed 23-Oct-13 11:55:32

Years and years ago I worked with an older guy. If anyone asked him how he was he always had a miserable face and said mustn't grumble in the grouchiest voice. And someone said he never does anything else. Strangely enough his wife was a cheery soul and very nice too!

Dubjackeen Wed 23-Oct-13 11:59:40

Vague responses can work, so if you have a computer screen in front of you, murmur oh yeah, politely, but without looking away from the screen. If he keeps saying something, drag your eyes away reluctantly from the screen, and respond vaguely again, as though you haven't really heard, and you are fascinated with what is on the screen. Eventually, he might get tired of not getting any other response.

curbyburr Wed 23-Oct-13 12:01:33

Why are you putting up with this at all? Where I work this kind of bahaviour would not be tolerated, and met with a resounding 'Bore Off mate!!' every time he started...
I do work on a trading floor though, not much of anything is tolerated on any level
grin

NotDead Wed 23-Oct-13 12:08:20

I can't believe how moaning about someone moaning has got you all moaning about various people in your past and present who were moaning.. welcome to the british winter! I mean jesus, haven't you all got anything better to do than go round and round making the same point over and over again about how negative and draining it is to hear people going on about people who aren't changeable or who don't magically start off in the same emotional state as you?!

I mean essentially all you are doing is going on about other people who in your eyes are responsible for you feeling bad because its their fault that you listen to them! What is that all about?! IF its not your dad, then its the plumber or another guy at work who likes trains or whatever, or some old lady complaining about the weather or being too hot or too cold I mean honestly its such a whinge fest in here! The air needs to be fresher than it is with you lot complaining about complaining, I mean its as if you've got nothing better to do than fire up whatever tecnhonlgy you have and complain about people! Heaven forbid that anyone would notice etc etc etc

ZippityDoodahday Wed 23-Oct-13 12:12:59

My BIL is like this & it's rubbing off on my Dsis. It's bloody annoying. They are never satisfied with the here & now. They do nothing to improve what ails them. They just can't stop moaning. It's a right PITA.

NotDead Wed 23-Oct-13 12:17:24

bastards I can't believe it.

CooEeeEldridge Wed 23-Oct-13 12:20:03

You moaning about us moaning about them moaning not dead?? grin

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