A life lesson that was hard for me to learn, remove the negativity around you. Other people who are overwhelmingly negative. This is a tough one because often these people are friends and or family, they maybe kind and generous and have other good qualities. If their negativity is too much then it's time to make that tough choice. Sometimes just limiting time with them will help but in some cases you have to remove the cancer. I say cancer because negativity spreads like a cancer. Try as you might to stay positive, if you are hanging around someone who is negative it will wear on you. Often times we pick up the bad habit ourselves and are not even aware of it. It becomes a competition of sorts, Ms. Negative says, "I'm so tired." Mr. Negative counters with, "I'm so tired, I had to work 10 hours today and I didn't sleep well last night." then things snowball from there.
If you are aware of the persons negativity and do your best not to engage in it, it can unfortunately still have a negative impact as it creeps into your soul and brings you down. It is too heavy to be around. My therapist calls these people energy vampires as they suck the energy from you. One can only with stand hearing so much negativity before it starts to suck the life out of you.
Unfortunately I have had to do this in my own life. I was an energy vampire, I use to be that person that complained about everything, didn't see the good in the world and just wasn't fun to be around. I couldn't understand why people didn't want to be around me, I was kind, loving, generous etc. Then one day someone pointed it out to me and kept reminding me of it. They were a professional so I was more open to receiving the feedback. If it had been a lay person I think I would have just felt hurt and continued to complain. I am thankful now that I got this feedback as it has changed my life. Once you realize this and change it, you will find it difficult to be around others that do so.
More then once I have had to remove friends from my life as they were too negative and it was keeping me down. We are should surround ourselves with people who are up lifting and joyful. I became overwhelmed with hearing about their pain, fatigue, things they were angry with or unhappy about. Sometimes it's easy, you can just limit your time and they just move on to complaining to others. Sometimes it is not that easy and you actually have to address the issue. If this is the case remember to only address the behaviour and not the person. Don't say things such as, "your too negative." Try, "I feel impacted when you tell me multiple times how sore your neck is." The first is an attack, the second is an assertive way to address your feelings, if the person takes offence, it is their issue. As long as you are assertive, use I statements and don't insult, you are doing all you can. Just remember you are doing it for the sake of your soul, positivity nurishes the soul, negativity eats away at it.
This doesn't mean the first time a friend says's my back hurts you should get rid of them. All of us at some point or another have minor complaints. It is when the person is overwhelming with their complaints. Their back hurts and you hear about it for the entire time your out to dinner. I try to redirect the conversation but some people will not let go and continue to complain.
It is important to have friends that share the same values as you and positivity is an important value. I have strong opinions and values but an open mind. I do not judge people based on income, social status, race, religion, sexual orientation etc. People are people and we have all had different opportunities and challenges that lead us to where we are. This is another reason I don't like to hang around people who are negative, I often find they are also judgemental. If you are anti gay, racist or believe the poor are lesser then you, I don't want to be around it or listen to is as it is a very negative and hateful way to live. I don't want any of that rubbing off on me. It boggles my mind how people can make comments about people of another race and then say their not racist. Well what are you then?
Valuable lessons can be learned from everyone in this world if we only take the time to listen. I had a homeless man who told me, "it's important to remain positive, you won't get anywhere with a bad attitude, that's why I'm always smiling." What wonderful insight this is, from a man a lot of people chose to judge as, a low life, worthless, lazy, etc. Funny thing is, he has a better attitude about life then the people who judge him. I am taking his advice and trying to keep my attitude about the world positive, I hope you will join me in this quest. Positivity is a much nicer thing to spread then negativity.