Negative People While Networking

July 14, 2017

The world is filled with all kinds of people with all kinds of personalities. Some are very easy to embrace and others are not so much.

I have been incredibly blessed recently to run across a number of people - male and female that are an incredible source of positive energy, assertiveness, friendliness, and authenticity.

When you are around people like this, you feel better... their spirit is contagious...

And yet, when you are around someone who is the opposite of that... you may find yourself in a totally different mindset... and overall feeling...

When you find yourself around someone who is highly negative... it causes you to rethink a number of things... and often you look at what is wrong with you instead of what is wrong with the situation you are in with that negative person.

Let me explain.

A negative person will spend a great deal of time either being outright aggressive towards you or even worse passive-aggressively attacking you.

An aggressively negative person will be easier to spot. And run from. You can avoid them by saying 'NO' in a variety of ways...

A passive-aggressively negative person will approach you with interest to meet with you, to get to know you. And you will be willing to meet with them because you do not realize they are as negative as they are... you will greet them and then you will begin to feel the attack coming on.

Here is the thing.

You are not sure what you are to do with them and what they say to you or about you.

You will think 'maybe there is some truth'... then you think... 'that is not true'... and then you sit there wondering what you did wrong to deserve this...

And the truth of the matter is... you did nothing to deserve this... you are just their next 'victim'.

In most cases, this is an easy fix... you tell them they are wrong and move on along.

In a networking situation, this is a bit more challenging. You can't tell them 'the blunt truth' as they are a part of the networking group that you are... and you see this person repeatedly. Often.

You have to be careful when you interact with them because if you stand your ground assertively, this person - negative, passive-aggressive or outright aggressive - will make life challenging for you.

Even though their behavior is not 'unknown' to others... it is the same situation for all those who have encountered the same behavior directed at them.

It does not matter how 'strong' you are...

It does not matter how 'assertive' you are...

It does not matter how 'positive' you are...

It does not matter how 'confident' you are...

When you are networking with others, you are putting yourself, your brand, your company, your reputation out there for others to 'judge' you worthy to share with others who will share you with their friends, family, and clients.

When someone makes a point to 'damage' you through their attacks on you... it can shake your strength, assertiveness, positive outlook, or confident you are... you look inside to see if it is true, you look inside to see if your insecurities are going to peek out or if they have... and you are going to feel down or depressed - depending on the strength and duration of the attack... and you are going to have your confidence shaken... even for just a little bit of time.

A recent conversation with someone who suffered through an encounter with a person I had recently suffered through myself... she didn't have to mention a name... I knew who she was talking about when her story had started... Her confidence was shaken and this positive, beautiful, creative, confident and strong woman should not have had her confidence shaken in this manner...

I know this, because I also went through this with the same person...

It is not that our insecurities overtook us... yes, it did make us second guess ourselves... but what the real problem was... we both are assertive women who will share our opinions and feelings with others... felt that we could not tell this person that this was uncalled for... because of the numerous ties to networking groups we all had.

Our hands were tied in how to separate ourselves from this negative and destructive situation and person.

That is the crux of our dilemma. To make a statement to this person to stop or avoid all potential encounters in the future... kill them with kindness while keeping them a safe distance away.

The reason for the attacks is not nearly as important as avoiding situations where the attacks can happen.

Humans crave connections with others... they want to feel respected, cherished, liked, wanted, needed, and relaxed around others. We look for people who will most likely make us feel this way. We look for people who will make us feel good to be around. We look for people who will give us what we don't always have - to make us feel whole. We want positive experiences from others. We want to build something great with the encounters we have with others.

This is true in business and in personal aspects of our lives. They are often interwoven and hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

But we seek what we feel compliments us... and we avoid what hurts us... no matter the reason it hurts.

In the world of networking... we learn that we should seek the 'pains' of our clients/customers... to be able to show them a solution...

We should never be the pain or cause the pain to sell them our services... it just never works out well.

When we are our authentic selves - sharing positive energy -we do more to sell our products and services because of the need of others to find those who will build them up - as it is a part of who they really are.