How to Respond to Negative People and Negative Comments?

A well-timed witty comment among friends could be termed as good humor but passive-aggressive comments that masks jealousy, hatred or anger beneath the surface constitutes snarky.

Sometimes, critical comments are intended to win professional rivalry and they get coated with compliments like, “you are a good salesman for small market” and so on.  No doubt these comments affect most of us, they not only hurt but make us angry as well.

In fact, a study by Michigan State University found that individuals who were subjected to snarky behavior, like sarcasm and put-downs, wasted their mental energy trying to interpret the individual’s intentions. They grew mentally fatigued and had greater difficulty managing their impulses and regulating their emotions. Consequently, they were more likely to lash out because they lacked the energy to suppress their impatience.

Unfortunately, one snarky individual can lead to mass incivility, if you’re not careful. But the good news is, it is possible to stay mentally strong even when you’re dealing with pricky comments. Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo (one of Delhi's top psychologist and counsellor) shares tips on how to effectively handle negative comments in a workplace and in a social gathering.

1. Be very attentive

Make it a habit to pay absolute attention to people and to your surroundings. No matter if you are in a team meeting or in a party, always put unconditional attention to what people are talking and how their body language is

Remember your attention on people could help you to get the prior signal if a particular person is feeling negative about you and more seeing you attentive generally discourages them to hit you with negative comments.

2. Never give others the power to control you

Remember mentally strong and successful people never allow others to control the way they think, feel, or behave, i.e. they don’t give others the power to control them. And certainly, they don’t let negative, snarky comments influence them in any way.

3. Think with brain, not by emotion

When you practice not to give others the power to control your emotions, the intensity of your impulsive anger when you listen to a negative comment reduces gradually. This will allow you to think intelligently and reply appropriately as soon as you face dark comments.

4. Know when to Speak or keep Silent

Remember most of the times negative comments are intended to get attention. Hence practice when to be assertive and when to speak up but also recognize that it’s sometimes best to ignore someone when someone is passing grumpy comments just to get your attention.

5. Build Your Mental Muscle
Everyone has the ability to develop patience, intelligent answering skills, and stronger mental perception to handle tough circumstances and snarky people. But, if you find yourself in a toxic environment that is too difficult to handle and it’s affecting your health and mental peace, it’s advisable to plan to change your toxic workplace.