It’s challenging enough for most of us to do more with less at work as we’re all forced to do in this economy. But when Eeyore Vampires—negative people—invade, the dark shadows take over.

I refer to negative people as “Eeyore Vampires” because just like Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, negative people respond to most everything with “It’ll never work.”

They are “Vampires” because these negative people morph at sunset into creatures who fly around your thoughts and suck time, energy, and attention away from enjoying your family and friends.

The question is “How do you deal with Eeyore Vampires at work?”

In the spirit of Halloween, let me offer these three strategies:

Redirect like Jekyll and Hyde.

You remember the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the abrupt changes. That’s the way you redirect Eeyore Vampires. You just change the subject of a conversation abruptly to a completely different topic.

If Eeyore V. is complaining about the boss, you say, “Hey! Did anybody catch the Steelers game last night?” You stop the negative conversation and suddenly change it to another thread. You draw a boundary that says, “This far and no more.”

Reframe like a Frankenstein.

Frankenstein was sewn and bolted together from different parts, reframed into one person from several. That’s much the way you reframe an Eeyore Vampire’s negative noise.

Let’s say he’s still criticizing the company owner. You reframe by saying something like, “Well, Mr. X can improve his management skills, but last week, my payroll check cleared the bank. What about yours?”

Similar conversation, yet different, shining a light on a bright spot in the company.

Remove yourself like a Zombie.

When you deal with an Eeyore Vampire by redirecting like Jekyll and Hyde and reframing like Frankenstein and the negative person persists, it’s time for drastic measures.

You play the Zombie. You may be living, but you are dead to the Eeyore Vampire.

You no longer give any time, energy, or attention to the Eeyore Vampire. You avoid any conversation beyond “Hello.” You remove yourself from his or her presence in the break room.

Cold? Perhaps, but it’s better than the negativity of such horror stories bouncing around your mind, interfering when you’re taking your own children trick or treating or passing out candy at the front door on Halloween night.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Joey Faucette is an international speaker, business coach, and best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World: Redefine Your Reality and Achieve Your Business Dreams. He has taught business professionals this life-transforming process for over two decades, leading individuals and organizations to achieve amazing results. He is the founder of Listen to Life, a company that coaches people to redefine their reality and fulfill their business dreams. Learn more at, connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter @DrJoey, and become a Facebook fan at Work Positive.