Saturday, March 22, 2014

"A Negative Mind Will Never Give You a Positive Life"

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"People inspire you, or they drain you - pick them wisely." -Hans F. Hansen

I always used to wonder why it seems like bad things are always happening to negative people. We've all had those friends who seem like they're constantly complaining about something going on in their lives. Sometimes this just comes from bouts of misfortune, but sometimes it's just because they are negative people in general. These people tend to have a hard time finding positive things, and because of this, everything in their lives is always "negative". They will only talk about what's going wrong, not what's going right, and if you surround yourself with these people, slowly you will start to become more negative. Negative people drain all positivity and energy out of those around them. The saying "Misery loves company" has a lot of truth behind it. Unhappy people get some sort of consolation knowing that other people are miserable as well. Sometimes when I'm feeling depressed I don't like to be around upbeat people because I find it too overwhelming or even obnoxious. At times, being in the company of another person who is suffering makes my sadness easier to bear. To a certain point this can be healthy. Two people who are going through hardships at the same time can sometimes help each other through it and form a special bond. If you're really feeling down, sometimes being in an upbeat environment or trying to force yourself to be happy can do more harm than good. However, at a certain point this becomes very unhealthy and if it's all people ever do, the negativity will consume them and it can be nearly impossible to find your way out.

I think the first step to creating a more positive life for yourself is being able to differentiate those who are being negative and those who are negative. Sometimes it seems like a fine line, but it's there. We all have moments when we're in a bad mood or feeling negative, but this doesn't make us negative in general. Those who truly are negative, take on negativity as part of their identity. The easiest way for me to identify these people is by observing whether or not their negativity is part of a pattern. 
When somebody is just BEING negative, it's usually temporary and out-of-character. Because of this, it strikes something in us that causes us to ask this person (a friend, family member, lover, etc.), "What's wrong?", "Are you upset?" or something like that because we recognize that this behavior isn't normal for them. With those who are negative people, we expect this negativity from them. For them, being negative, hopeless and critical are all parts of their character.

I read an blog entry written by Marc Chernoff this morning that I strongly recommend for everybody called "7 Negative People You Need to Ignore". In his blog, Chernoff describes those with negative attitudes and opinions as "venomous and contagious" and he couldn't be more right. He goes on to describe seven different kinds of negative people we encounter in our lives, explains the negative affects they can have on us, and tells why we need to subtract them from our lives.  

"People inspire you, or they drain you - pick them wisely". If you're constantly around negative people, they'll drain all of your energy and you'll become more like them, always viewing things from the negative side. However, if you surround yourself with positive people, they will rub off on you and you'll quickly see positive changes happening in your perspective and your life. Like Chernoff said in his blog and many others  have said before, if you're sharing your life with negative people you have to free yourself from them. You don't ignore them or cut them out of your life because you hate them or even dislike them, but because you love yourself and need to take care of yourself. In order to live the most positive lives possible we have to surround ourselves with positive people who reflect the person we aspire to be. Every relationship we have (be it friendship, romantic...) should help us, encourage us to grow, and create happiness...not hurt us. We should only surround ourselves with those who support and respect us.

There aren't a lot of things in life that we can control, but who we share our lives with is one thing we can. Life is full of enough negative things without filling it with negative people and letting others suck the happiness out of you.

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