Why I don’t Surround Myself with Negative People, and You Shouldn’t Either
For every person that’s trying to bring you down, there’s another one who will be there to lift you up. To bring you wine when you need it. To listen to your heartache, and to help you find solutions, or to just, well, listen. Negative people zap the energy from you. They zap the life out of you. They try to shift their own unique insecurities by projecting them onto you. But you don’t need that. Honestly. You don’t. You know you don’t. And you know why? It’s just not, well, it’s not helpful.
During university, I completed 10 courses in psychology. I was actually accepted into the behavioural neuroscience stream but later decided that I wanted to pursue a different path. But those classes, while it didn’t make me an expert in the field, taught me some very important and valuable lessons that I’ve learned to apply in my day to day life.
Like for instance, when we rattle off positive words like love, kindness, compassion, humility, respect, dignity, achievement, happiness we feel positive emotions, positive vibes. We are better able to see that beer glass as half full. But you don’t even need to worry that you’ve already drank half, you see, there’s another one where that came from. And you know that.
So, vice versa, when we rhyme off negative words like jealousy, envy, insecurity, hate, anger, etc., we tend to feel negative emotions. That glass, and it was a beer glass, is half empty. And the bar is dry.
This, in part has to do with the way our brains are wired. Essentially, what we think, effects how we feel, which effects how we act. That theory is known as Cognitive Behavioural Theory and is used in counseling sessions in almost all mental health clinics around the world. As social workers, we apply it in our sessions with clients. And guess what? It works.
So, lets look at this theory from another perspective. When we surround ourselves with negative people, what do we hear? Negative things. Where does this take our thoughts. In negative directions. How do we feel…? Negative? Right? Now, if we apply that same idea but we are now being surrounded by positive people, we get a completely different and opposite result. Bam. We feel happier. We hear happier words, our thoughts move in happier and healthier directions, and we likely have happier and healthier behaviors. Like, you and your gal pal stop for ice cream.
I have several best friends. I have a tonne of beautiful, wonderful women in my life who lift me up when I am feeling down. And we all feel down. So, I don’t want you to mistake negative people for people who, from time to time, are going to need your support. Because, you know what? You’re going to need support too. We all need it.
No, when I talk about negative people, I’m talking about the people who complain about EVERYTHING. Who can’t find the good in anything. Who make snap judgements about your home, or your partner, or your friends, or your livelihood. I’m talking about the people who want you to fail. There are people, believe it or not, who just want others to fail. And who are even going to want you to fail. And that’s sad. But that’s a reality. They have not yet moved themselves through their own process and they are still stuck on their own insecurities. But you don’t need that. You know it. I know it.
So, if you’re surrounding yourself with negative people. In fact, if you have to ask yourself if you are surrounded by negative people, and whether so and so are negative, they probably are. Take a deep breath. And just channel your own energy elsewhere. Find someone who wants to encourage you to reach your dreams, who is there for you, too, when you need them. Who can laugh and cry with you. But who, on the day to day, is a positive, and uplifting spirit. There are a tonne of people like that.
But still be kind to everyone. Yes, there are negative people out there. And yes, you have your own life to live, and you don’t need to deal with that. But, still, be kind. They, too, are fighting a battle. We don’t need to make that any harder for them. But most importantly, and you are what is most important, you don’t need to make your own life any harder by choosing to engage and surround yourself with negativity.
This is your one life, your one life to live, your one life to be happy. And you have the ability, and the responsibility, to grant yourself permission to allow yourself to do so.
*photo creds Andrea and Hannah!! * love you girls xx