As human beings we create the environments in which we live, work and play that can either nurture or harm us. We respond to people and situations in our environment, which triggers how we feel and behave.
How many of us are fortunate enough to have truly positive influences surrounding us each day? I’m sure that we all have a friend, family member or co-worker that is Captain Negativity.
It’s easy to notice the difference in how we feel when we spend time with people who are positive compared to those who are pessimistic and look on the downside of life. If you are constantly surrounded by these types of people you may not even realized just how much they are bringing you down!
You don’t have to be surrounded by impossibly perky people notice the difference. Just notice how you feel after spending time with a friend who is always talking about what is wrong with their life, and finding the faults with yours; compared to how your feel after spending time with a friend who focuses on the good things life has to offer? Maybe you are one of those negative people – pay attention to your conversations and notice how often you comment in a positive way or a negative way. If you notice you are predominantly negative, perhaps it’s time to do something about it!
You can’t avoid negative people, especially if they’re a close friend or family member. But you can prevent them sucking the life out of you! Negativity is a highly contagious disease that you don’t want to catch; as once you've got it it’s a tough bug to get rid of. Here are five ways to deal with the negative people in your life.
1. Limit your time with pessimism
If you have to spend time with negatively focused people, limit your time with them where you can. The less time you spend with these types will give you more opportunity to spend with people who actually make you feel good.
2. Change the topic
Some people are genuinely having a hard time with some issues, and have a right to be negative to an extent. Listen for a considered amount of time, and then try to change the topic to something that is less likely to promote a negative response.
3. Don't get drawn into the negativity
While your friend is on their negativity rant, it’s easy to start thinking about all the things you don’t like about your life. Your job isn’t super great, you need a new car, and your latest hair cut is awful. The two of you will just start comparing the negatives in your lives, and end up in a competition as to who is worse off! Having a wallow in a pit of negativity may make you feel better for five minutes, but then you’ve just put yourself in a downer mood for the rest of the day
4. Balance out your time with positive people
It would be impossible for any of us to be surrounded by positive people 100% of the time. If you know you’ll be spending some time with a friend who you know brings you down, balance out your day by talking with others who are slightly more inspired with their lives.
5. Don't let others tell you how to feel
Negative people love to share, and tend to find it easy to focus on the negatives. You might have just got a new car that you are really excited about, but they might be more focused on how much you’re going to have to repay in interest. Not only is that not their problem, unless they are offering a way to help you reduce it they are just taking a good thing for you and reminding you of a downside. Never let anyone tell you what you feel, and don’t let anyone pass their negativity onto you!
Having valuable, positive relationships is highly important in contributing to our overall happiness. If you want to be a happy person, your environment needs to include people who are contributing to your happiness, and not drowning you in their negativity. Happiness is just as contagious as negativity, it’s just not as abundant. You can’t completely avoid negative people, but you can prioritise which relationships bring positivity and happiness into your life and nurture them.