Battling Debbie Downer: Dr. Aymee's 3 Tips for Positive Change

Q: I feel like I am surrounded by negativity all the time. How can I stay positive and help out the people who are stuck in a downward spiral?

A: Choose to respond in a positive way. Showing kindness and expressing love can go a long way to changing someone's bad day -- and yours in return!

One of the most common questions regarding how to be happy, regardless of life’s challenges, is the question of how to deal with negative people.

On a daily basis we encounter others who are suffering, having a bad day, or are at the height of their disappointment or stress. We witness and participate in road rage, work-related stress, circumstantial disappointment, and the list goes on and on.

How can we maintain our own positivity and help these people in our lives without succumbing to the negative experience they are having?

That is the question...

As we all know, misery loves company and a complaint begets a complaint, ultimately sucking all parties into a downward spiral. This is a common experience. It is easy to join in the gossip, sorrow, fear, stress, and disappointment in everyday living. Instead of contributing to the downward spiral of negativity, I would like to offer you some practical tips for how to remain positive while dealing with negative people.

Tip 1: How Can I Help You?

One of my favorite methods of converting negativity into positivity is by simply asking, “How can I help you?” This very simple question offers the person a feeling of being heard and helped instead of frustrated and isolated.

Tip 2: AAA (Admiration, Appreciation, Affection)

“I admire you for _____. I appreciate that you _______. (show affection)”

This is going to work every time! Who needs more admiration, appreciation, and affection in their lives?! Everyone! When confronted with a sudden burst of positive reflection, this helps people feel better about themselves in whatever situation they are in. Note that you have to use all three of the AAA at the same time.

Tip 3: KLOGZ (Kindness, Love, Optimism, Gratitude, and Zest)

How can I use kindness, love, optimism, gratitude, and zest to protect my happiness? Tell a person with “I admire your ____, I accept you are ____, I am optimistic that _____, I am grateful for _____ and (add a dash of enthusiasm!)” They will not only respond favorably to you, you will feel great in the process! Note that you have to respond using all five of the KLOGZ in order to get the best results.

All in all, we have a choice as to how we want to affect the people around us. I encourage you to take the higher road and choose to respond to negativity with positivity so the people suffering around us can feel heard, supported, and inspired into the upward spiral of life!

How do you deal with the negative people in your life? What are your best tips for getting and staying happy when surrounded by people who aren't?

Dr. Aymee Coget, Sustainable Happiness Expert, founder of The Happiness Makeover™ Training Program offers services and products on how to become happier at her website Ask questions and visit her on Facebook or Twitter (@draymee), or her blog


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