Maybe I'm too sensitive. But I pretty much live by the standard that "If you don't have anything nice to say to someone, then don't say it." I prefer to just let people be who they are and do what they do unless it directly impacts me or mine in some way. I don't like when people give me unsolicited opinions about how I live my life, how I raise my children, how I dress, how I wear my hair. I suppose there's something to the whole "it's not what you say, it's how you say it" thing, but really no matter how you say it, if it's none of your business, it's just none of your business.
I don't understand it. Apparently, this is just how some folks operate. They must get some kind of satisfaction from hearing themselves talk. Or maybe they feel powerful when they think that they have successfully made someone else feel defensive or uncomfortable. You know the type.
It's toxic. We all have things we could complain or rant on about, right? But it's a slippery slope. I'm not saying that I never complain, but I always feel worse when I do. And when I'm around people who are always grumbling and speaking negativity into every situation they can (especially at work!), I want to run in the other direction.
Miserable people feed off the energy of others, and they'll take any kind of attention they can get. Once you become conscious of this, you become much less susceptible to it. If they are judging you, it's sure thing that they are down on themselves in some way. And if they find something unpleasant to say about everything, then this is not the right person for you to open yourself up to.
Guard yourself. Don't allow this transfer of energy to occur. While you can't control what others say or do, you can control what you internalize. Keep your heart and mind clear of other people's trash. Know yourself, protect your peace of mind, and don't let them see you sweat.
How do you handle negative people? In the work place? Family members? Perhaps these things don't bother you at all! Do share.