How to Handle Negative Nancys in your Business

Caro Syson

There’s nothing worse than when you’re feeling good about your life and business, and someone comes along and says something to burst your bubble. It doesn’t even have to be a huge statement, it could be a certain look, a little sniddy comment from a friend or family member, but it can derail you and make you feel so rubbish. Sound familiar?

It’s usually from someone you’re close with and tell everything to, and the worst thing is, they probably don’t even realise the negative effect they’ve had because they’re dealing with their own money blocks or confidence blocks. 

Your success can trigger jealousy in others

Now we’re not saying this is ok as clealry it’s not ok to rain on anyone elses parade. But, business success, or someone creating something great in their lives can trigger jealousy and highlight low feelings of self worth in others. Then instead of looking deeper into their own sense of lack, or self worth, they lash out and project that onto you. 

It happens to everyone who is growing a business, or achieving great things in their lives, and the sad thing is you will find it happens many times over. 

You can deal with it

You can deal with it, though. Read that again. You can deal with it. 

If you can start and grow your own business from scratch then you sure as heck can deal with others peoples’ negative mindsets.

It might not be an obvious comment that puts you down, it could be something like a family friend saying ‘I remember when you were playing in the paddling pool in your knickers, now look at you.’ Or a friend asking, ‘do you really charge people that amount?’ 

It might be it’s only one person who’s always making snarky comments, or turning your success into something small, telling you it’s luck and not acknowledging your hard work.  But whatever it is that’s said, it can still be just as derailing as someone being unkind.

It might be your partner, mum, dad, best friend, husband, wife, it could even be some stranger online you’ve not even ever met.

Know that whatever they say about you, all that it means is that its a projection of their own sense of lack and negative vibes and nothing to do with you - YOU and your success is just THEIR trigger.

You don’t have to share your success

Remember also that you don’t have to share anything about your business or success with the people who have thrown negative or snide comments at you. 

It’s up to you to protect yourself, and protecting yourself is a must so share your business journey only with those who deserve to hear about it.

Be clever where you seek support from 

Most people need validation at some point, especially if you’re new in business. Even if you’re experienced in business, it’s human to need and want support from others, but you have to be clever about where you seek it from.

You may no longer be able to get the pat on your back from your parents or sibllings that you did when you were a kid, they may just not understand what you’re doing, or maybe your success triggers their lack of success. It’s ok to not share everything with them.

Choose like minded peers

Surround yourself instead with your peers that are at the same business level or higher than you. Hire yourself a business coach, or join a business community, full of like minded people who will support you, cheer you on, and give you great advice. 

That doesn't mean you have to dump your friendship groups or your partner or parents!, It just means you might avoid discussing the ins and outs of your business with them, and leave that conversation to have with people who will help and support you.

Which leads us onto our next point.

Don’t expect your partner to be your business coach

You can’t expect your partner to be your business coach and mentor, especially if they’re in a different line of work and/or income level. It’s ok to want and expect them to emotionally support you, but you don’t have to discuss everything with them, especially if they don’t get your business journey.

It’s ok to upgrade your friends 

If there is someone that goes out of their way to be super negative, it’s likely that they’re jealous of your success, or your business and say backhanded things and if that happens, then know that it’s ok to upgrade your friends. Your best friend might now be jealous of your success and say hurtful things, it’s ok to defriend them, and it’s ok to protect yourself from their jealousy.

It’s ok to avoid negative people

If you’re feeling vulnerable it’s even more important to surround yourself with the right people and not talk to those who will be jealous about your business or business idea. Small snarky comments at the beginning of your business journey can have huge detrimental effects, protect yourself, and avoid the Negative Nancys.

It’s important to both stay away from people who will be negative and to remove those people who will keep you playing small.

Try changing the subject

You might find yourself in a situation where you can’t avoid the people you know are going to be negative, so if that happens, then just try changing the subject. If you’re being interrogated by someone at a party, or family event, or somewhere you can’t avoid them, switch up the topic of conversation and head off to get a top up! 

Or try saying ‘business is great thanks - how about you, are you going on holiday this year?’ or ‘did you see the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy?’ or ‘I read a great book this month, have you read it, what did you think?’ 

Whatever you like, deflecting away from their line of questioning your business is ok.

Reach out

Finding yourself a business or life coach, or a peer group on the same level as you means you can get support and advice on your business and how to grow. 

You can share what you’re learning but don’t expect others in your circle to overcome their issues and don’t try to get them to change as that’s their journey and you mustn’t let it affect yours.

Crowd out the negativity, listen to podcasts, read books, surround yourself with positive business supportive people. It’s down to you to hold your vision for your business, so drown out those Negative Nancy’s. 

Reach out for support if you’re feeling alone or vulnerable as it’s ok for you to grow and you don’t have to do it alone, and you don’t have to put up with negative family members.

Check yourself for jealousy too

Jealousy can also come from you too, especially if you’re trying to create something and someone you know starts to do well in something you’re creating. It’s ok for others to do the same but it’s not ok to wish them anything negative. 

The best way to overcome this is to step back and acknowledge that good things are happening to you too or work out why their success is triggering you so much.  Maybe have a chat with them and say how impressed you are with their achievements and how much you’d love to find out how you could also learn from them.

Write a list of all the things you’re grateful for, it will help to shift your mindset from being triggered by another person's success, to being grateful for what is going on for you. And, what we focus on grows, right?  So focus on the things you have to be grateful for, and watch yourself attract more things to be grateful for.

No one like a Negative Nancy, so clear them from your life and focus on the Positive Pollys! 

Do let us know what things this blog has brought up for you. We all have our own friend and family dynamics and hearing more about other peoples can help us feel less alone.

Follow us on on instagram and facebook and send us a message as we love to connect.

Caro Syson is the Founder of Pocket PA and is passionate about helping small business owners to reach their full potential in the easiest possible way. 

Pocket PA is a super easy system to manage your finances, accounts and gets you organised in your business to ensure you love your work and shine your light brightly.

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