7 Signs You’re Dealing With a Negative Person

4. They are mostly against things, but never for things 

Sadly, negative people rarely know what they stand for; they only know what they stand against.

If the person you’re dealing with isn’t “for” anything positive, they likely have a negative worldview.

5. Compliments are usually followed by the word “but”

A positive person (and even a neutral person for that matter) can give a compliment. Negative people can’t.

What starts out positively (“I really enjoyed the event today”) is inevitably followed by a “but” (“but had they turned the volume down and shortened the message it would have been better.”)

People who can’t give a compliment are rarely the kind of people you build the future on.

6. They aren’t accomplishing much with their life

OK, this one sounds harsh, but it’s accurate. Truly negative people rarely accomplish anything great.

You can’t build a life on what you’re against.

Because they are against so much, few people want to work with them. Stalled out careers, a history of frequent job changes, financial trouble and other similar markers often characterize negative people.

Sometimes they get notoriety (think angry bloggers), but beyond a few ‘angry celebrities,’ most negative people do nothing significant with their lives.

And I’m not sure you could call angry blogging or commenting ‘significant.’

7. They have no vision for the future

A negative person is almost never excited about the future. They have no compelling vision for what should be.

They can just tell you why your vision is wrong. When you ask them for alternatives, they rarely have original or well-thought-out ideas.

What do you see?

Those are seven signs I look for to determine whether I’m dealing with a negative person. In the final post in this series, we’ll look at how to handle negative people in your life and in your organization.

I wrote more about creating a healthy church culture in my latest book, Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.

In the meantime, what are some signs that tell you you’re dealing with a negative person. What would you add or change in this list?  

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Carey Nieuwhof
Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.

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