What is the best word that I could use to describe a person that seems to attract negative situations? Every time I am around him/her, something bad always seems to happen. Is there a word to describe this person?


You call such a person a jinx.


Lightning rod, figuratively a "person or thing that is a target for negative reactions and distracts criticism from another target" is an alternative to jinx, a "person or thing supposed to bring bad luck", as is jonah, a "person or object which is deemed to cause bad luck; a jinx".


All of these are used in context alongside the idea of "luck" or that this person is simply a victim that attracts negative situations. If you're trying to describe the person as having a negative disposition (and possibly causing his/her own suffering) then you may use these idioms. However, idioms are strictly informal, use caution in professional settings.

Negative people can be called

  • Debbie Downer
  • Susie Raincloud
  • Negative Nancy
  • Grumpy Gus

These refer to disposition rather than situational negativity...I don't know if this helps.

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