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Negative people can often be very mean and selfish in their remarks. The golden rule is to learn to ignore what they say completely.

- Before they start talking, it’s a good idea to start the conversation on a positive note and avoid topics that even skim the edges of anything negative.

- Do not make the mistake of asking them, ‘So what’s up?’ Chances are that there’s a lot in their case and they are about to unload it all on you.

- Focussing on all the good things in your life is a good way to deal with the negativity heaped by them.

- You are not responsible for the person’s problems in life. Do not make them your own, even though you are an attentive listener. Don’t feel guilty about someone else’s mess-ups.

- If a person is hurt, chances are that he might want to see you hurt too. So, avoid falling for the trap when he or she tries to get a reaction out of you by hurting you anyhow.

- Empathise, but be firm in telling the person that it’s about time that they start being more positive in life. Or subtly put across the name of a self-help book on positivity and recommend it to the person.