How to Talk to People Who Wish You Bad Luck

Whilst in the process of telling others our plans for the future, there are often subtle hints present when they want our plans to go down the drain.

A common hint is the tendency for those to whom we tell our plans, to bring up worst case scenarios which are out of our control. It’s never an effort to help ensure everything goes to plan on their part. They simply look to remind you of things that are difficult to stop from going wrong.

It becomes painfully obvious that these people are envisioning those negative instances coming to fruition. They’ll soil the plans you unveil with visions they have of you failing in executing those plans.

This article will not go into the details of how to know when someone wishes you bad luck. That assessment is yours to make, and is often too context-specific to generally describe. 

In some instances, people who wish you back luck are impossible to ignore or stay away from. Your neighbor can come up to you whilst you’re putting in new plumbing and ruin your visions of a finished successful project with visions of things going wrong. Your roommate can see you working on a website you started only to tell you how unlikely you are to succeed.

This article is about navigating the conversations you have with people who wish the worst for you. It is about turning their negativity around and employing them to attack themselves with it.


Wishing Bad Luck on Someone Is a Game of Belief and Distraction

A person’s tendency to bring negative things up in hopes affecting your outlook and plans is an effort on their part to disturb and distract. The events that would be most pleasing for them to witness are their words distracting you enough to see your plans actually derail. These people either let their malice subconsciously get the best of their conversation with others, or are operating in a planned effort to distract and demotivate you.

A sign of victory for them is your push-back on the things that they bring up. They’ll expect you to say, “Well I’ll try hard to be part of the 3% that makes it.” They’ll wait for you to deny their claims that your water will be unsafe to drink no matter what measures you take in your act of putting in new pipes.

People who wish you the worst want you to fight back in their attempts to wish the worst on you.

The reason they do, is because your act of fighting back signals that their words carried with them strength. They’ll notice that their attempts to wish the worst for you made a mark on your perception. They’ve introduced a possibility of things going wrong, and you took it seriously.

When dealing with people like this, be as noncommittal as you can. Rather than attempting to disprove their opinions and observations, simply stay on the “anything can happen” train. Be sure to frame their opinion within the larger picture of all possibilities. Make their opinions seem small and unimportant. Their wishes of the worst happening are a possibility of reality, but are not a definite outcome.

By being noncommittal to both, your or their visions and opinions, you strip their attempts of wishing you the worst of their power.  Use language which vague and which doesn’t pick sides. Present and take their opinions to simply be the opinions / hopes of one individual. Make their opinion seem insignificant not by reacting, but simply letting it pass as a possibility.


Below are examples of noncommittal dialogue:

  • “That can definitely happen, it wouldn’t be a surprise.”

  • Maybe you’re right; it is just a game of probability.”

  • Perhaps you have a point, it’s difficult to say for sure.”

  • Nobody really knows for sure right? We just have to wait and see.”


The reason why your noncommittal nature hurts those who wish you the worst, is because you don’t seem to take their malicious dialogue seriously. You not only present the possibility of their hopes coming true, but you more importantly leave open the possibility of those things not being true. They’ll see that their dialogue didn’t make an effect on your mood or future discourse. They’ll feel treated like a child on an opinionated tirade as their words fail to carry with them weight.

You listened but you didn’t validate or directly respond in their mind. You framed their opinion in a noncommittal stance. You exposed their malicious hopes to be camouflaged as objective opinions without reacting. Their position would thereby be exposed, but their words would not seem like they affected the outcome of your future plans in any way.


Results Are Never Final

The next thing you should note is that these people will come back after you’ve completed the plans you told them about to see if they were right. They’ll ask you how your website’s going, and how that difficult class you enrolled in is coming along.

Even if your results disproved their attempts at wishing you the worst, try not to insinuate that you’ve achieved the desired result.

Always keep them believing that bad luck can still make its mark, even when you know that it can’t.

  • “I’m doing pretty well in the course, but we have this crazy hard chapter coming up which I think I’ll have trouble with.”
  • “The website is coming along; it is nowhere near where I want it to be and how I want it to look.”
  • “The new pipes don’t seem to be staining the water that comes through, but we need to verify that for sure by testing a sample, you never know.”

By insinuating that the result of your plan is not in a final state, you give them hope for their malicious hopes for your failure coming true. You’ll encourage their negativity to stay alive without making them feel as if they’ve been proven wrong. The benefit in not proving them wrong, is restricting them in trying to make a bigger mark on your results. Those who feel as if their attempts at making you fail were not enough will try harder the next time.

By keeping their hope of you failing alive and well, you keep them satisfied in a sense. Weirdly enough, their interactions with you will improve, and they won’t jump on your progress with intense malice. If these people are those who you don’t have the opportunity to get away from, keeping them feeling that they have the best luck and you have the worst is effective in subduing them.

The person in question will be consumed with finding out whether the worst case has transpired while you move on with your life without giving them closure. You would disturb and distract them, the very same thing they tried to do to you.

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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.