Don’t Let Negative People Bring You Down: 10 Tips for Dealing with Negative People at Work

Keeping Your Cool with Toxic Coworkers

Rose Bak
3 min readApr 29


Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Is it me or is everyone cranky lately?

Between the pandemic, the Great Resignation, lingering economic woes, and everything else that’s bothering people, positivity seems to be in short supply.

That’s particularly evident in the workplace. Everyone I’ve talked to lately has complained about angry coworkers, people quitting out of the blue, and staff shortages.

Dealing with negative people at work can be challenging and draining. It can affect your mood, motivation, and overall productivity, even if you are a person who really likes your job.

Here are ten things to try when you have to deal with negative people at work:

  1. Stay positive: It may sound a little pollyannaish, but one of the best ways to deal with negative people is to stay positive. It’s hard, but try not to let their negativity affect you. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your work and your “why” for being there.
  2. Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries with negative people. Let your coworkers know that you won’t tolerate complaining or trash-talking, and that you prefer to keep things positive.
  3. Don’t engage in gossip: Listening to nonstop complaining from your coworkers won’t solve anything, it will just bring you down. Instead, try to steer the conversation in a more positive direction or excuse yourself from the conversation.
  4. Focus on solutions: When people bring up problems, try to focus on solutions instead of dwelling on the problem. Offer suggestions and ideas to help solve the problem, or if people aren’t interested in talking about solutions, try to limit their venting time with you.
  5. Surround yourself with positive people: Surround yourself with positive people who will support and encourage you. Like attracts like. Seek out coworkers who have a…



Rose Bak

Rose Bak is a freelance writer and yoga teacher who lives in Oregon. Find her at or follow @authorrosebak on social media.