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No, deserting the person is not an option.

This person rarely appreciates whatever I do. I am not an expert at anything for sure and am already a procrastinator, but constant finger pointing by that person on nearly every matter "holds me down".

I just don't feel motivated to do anything since I know I'll still have to listen to how I did not do that properly.

How to motivate yourself when you are in a company of a negative person?

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If this is not a job (as suggested that deserting is not an option), I would have this exact talk with them. Maybe they don't see it or maybe they need help with it. – Raystafarian Jul 29 '13 at 21:15
I think this question could be improved with some eleboration of the context in which you know and are in the company of this person. Is it work, or a personal relationship or family? – dwjohnston Oct 16 '13 at 0:07
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are two levels on which to approach this: personal and task-level.

For the next task you are going to do, ask the person what success looks like. In other words, what would you have to do to correctly complete the task. Sometimes just the act of saying it out loud is enough and reducing the possibility for subjective criticizing later. It also gives the other person a more concrete appreciation of what you are doing.

The other approach (you should probably do both) is at the personal level. Nobody wakes up in the morning, looks at themselves in the mirror, and says "I'm going to be a bad person today." No, people are mostly are just trying to pursue their path to happiness. The problem is how skillful they are at finding a good path and judging what is helpful and what is not. It is important to recognize that this other person has hopes and dreams, probably wants to be a good person, probably even thinks he or she is being a good person. When you humanize the other person, you can start to feel for how rough it must be for them to have gotten to this point, to be making the decisions that they are making. Optimally, figure out what is motivating them, but, at the very least, attempt to connect at a personal level.

Not knowing the specifics of your situation, I hope this helps.

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Thanks for the very useful answer. Greateful to you. – TheIndependentAquarius Aug 2 '13 at 14:22

There are a couple of very useful steps you could take:

The one I would recommend most is working to convince yourself that you have the most important impression of yourself, not someone else. If you think you are a hard worker, valuable, etc., then who cares what someone else thinks. Mentally move them into a 'general noise you can ignore' bucket. Define those individuals whose opinion you respect and those you don't. This is what I do, and it means I can happily ignore any number of individuals who may be negative as to me, they don't really exist.

Alternatively, you could try and help them become more positive. This is a bit like charity work, and they may not appreciate it, but demonstrating why you can be happy, positive, upbeat or enthusiastic may help encourage them. You do run a slight risk that they may try extra hard instead to bring you down - weigh this one up before trying it. You need a fair amount of resilience to carry this off in the face of active negativity.

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There is nothing like positive or negative. It is just in one's mind. We shouldn't be bothered about what others tell us or think about us. We should always concentrate on how to improve ourselves, how to keep thinking something new which is never done by others, how to overcome our weaknesses.

People around us will be of all kind, we shouldn't get attached with them so that later we have to repent if they morale us down by forcefully applying their thinking on us. Be yourself, keep your self involved in something which is for your good, try reading some good books on professionalism. You won't even have time to think about others then. Everything will be fine!

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I would start by talking to the person about it. Conflict is never fun, but if you are scrupulous and mature about it people will often meet you halfway. If that doesn't work you could try complaining to your manager. It's their job to fix issues like this.

You said deserting the person is not an option, but you may want to reconsider that. Some people are just toxic and will negatively influence your life no matter what. Removing someone from your life is a drastic step, but sometimes it's the only real, long-term solution. Maybe this question should be rephrased as, "How can I keep this person from being involved in my life?" Looking for another job seems like a potential solution along these lines. Keep in mind that nobody's perfect, there's always give and take in human relationships, and this option should be a last resort.

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Using the power of positive psychology, you can try to think positively of the situation, specifically that the person is posing for you a good challenge that you need to overcome, e.g. persist in your work even when external factors try to demotivate you, and that he/she is teaching you lessons in life that you will not learn from a nice company.

There are already books devoted to explain just this idea. One example is Thank you for being such a pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People.

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Express how you feel about this when he is in a good mood and alone.

It's not what you say, it's how you say it. 90% of the problem comes not because of difference in opinions, but because of the way they say it.

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Think about the meaning of Adventure Time. Study its whole meaning. The wierd "crazy" person in the show turns out the be the one you will end up liking the most. Put this notion to your scenario, and if that doesn't work, talking to him is always an option!


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Perhaps some more information or a link about "Adventure Time" as you reference it here? – dwwilson66 Oct 22 '13 at 10:50

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