Avoid Contact With Negative People

Stress Relief Tool – Limit Your Contact With Negative People

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating, exhausting, and highly stressful for most.

Dealing with difficult people is frustrating, exhausting, and highly stressful for most. If you have to work with a negative person, try to limit the amount of time you spend interacting with him or her, whether in person, phone, or other communication method.

When you need to engage with a negative/toxic person, take a deep breath and resist the temptation to comment and/or encourage a negative conversation. By not encouraging the negative talk, that person will likely look for someone else to dump on and free your time for more positive activities.

If you need to confront a toxic person, approach the situation rationally. Identify your own emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. Also, try to consider the person’s perspective so that you can find solutions and common ground. And if things completely derail, take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring you down.1

On the flip side, try to surround yourself with positive, happy people to reduce your anxiety. Yale researchers have found the following:2

  • People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected.
  • A person’s happiness extends to three degrees of separation, meaning that it can influence (and be influenced by) their friends, their friends’ friends, and the friends of people who are friends of their friends.
  • Each additional happy friend increases your chance of happiness by about 9 percent.
  • Geography matters. Our happiness increases when we live close to happy friends and family members.

Bottom line: Make it a habit by hanging around happy people and avoiding negative or toxic people.


  1. Bradberry, T. – Stress Literally Shrinks Your Brain (How to Reverse the Damage)
  2. Fowler, J. & Christakis, N. – Dynamic Spread Of Happiness In A Large Social Network: Longitudinal Analysis Qver 20 years In The Framingham Heart Study

Posted by Professor Pete Alexander

A seasoned professional with over 30 years of Sales and Marketing experience, Pete has battled the negative effects of stress head-on and has developed the LIGHTEN™ stress relief model that motivates his peers to better protect their health and handle challenging situations with grace and success.


I agree 100%

Professor Pete Alexander

Thank you Gerald!

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