It can take just a small amount of negativity to sap a positive attitude and that negative energy can significantly impact your quality of life. While its sometimes hard to recognize, some people are chronically negative and can have a draining effect on us. Making it even more difficult, sometimes those are the people closest to us, even family. You can’t change that there will be those people and you can’t change them, but you can change how you deal with them in order to reduce their negative impact on your life and improve your relationships and ability to remain positive. People may not be outright negative to be classified as a negative person. This means that it doesn’t have to be someone who is cruel or verbally negative. Other negative behaviors can be just as draining and mentally damaging. For example, people who demand more time from you than is healthy and that leads to you not being able to have time to tend to other areas of your life without upsetting them or people who critique your way of living and expect you to adapt to their way before giving approval. These things may not be overtly negative, but they can cause you to doubt yourself or throw your life out of balance. Then, there are the people who are not negative towards you, but are chronically negative in attitude. The people who are unable to enjoy a fun event or see the beauty in things, constantly express their dismay at how others act, focus on the negative details and ignore the positive, or become angry frequently and quickly. All of these behaviors have negative effects not only on the person exhibiting them but also on the people around them.
Unfortunately, you cannot always remove these negative people from your life. When this is the case, it is important to learn what healthy and appropriate boundaries are and how to set them without hurting others or causing harm to yourself. Having a positive mindset is the number one way to combat the negativity of others. Remembering not to take their negativity personally and that you are not able to cause someone to have a negative attitude just as you cannot change them. Setting physical boundaries, meaning limiting time spent with them or spending time in a safer environment with other distractions can allow interactions with negative people while helping you to maintain your own positive attitude. Not allowing someone to control or demand your time when you are unable to give is a healthy boundary that is at times difficult to set. Setting healthy boundaries, even when difficult, can allow you to maintain relationships that may be important to your life, without allowing negativity to harm you or impact your family and life.
Another way to combat the effects of negative people on your life is by balancing the amount of negative relationships with an equal or hopefully greater amount of healthy relationships. Healthy people and relationships are those that build you up rather than tear you down. They encourage you to be your best. They support your life, even when it is not exactly what they want it to be or how they would live it. It does not mean that they will never criticize you. It means that if they fear you are doing something wrong, they will constructively share their opinion and allow you to do what you want with it rather than force it on you. They accept that you may make mistakes and help you pick yourself back up rather than punishing you for them. They support your dreams, wants, and needs while also sharing theirs with you. They are honest with you. They maintain their own beliefs and accept yours. They spread positivity into the world rather than share negativity.
Finally, it’s important to be the positive person that you want others to be. You lead by example and just like negativity can spread through people, so can positivity. This is where you make an effort to make the world a better and more positive place, in order to hopefully reduce the amount of negativity that people feel. Do charity work, buy a stranger a coffee, hold the door for someone, compliment a stranger, be kind. Put the energy out into the world that you want to get back. Just like your parents always said, treat others like you want to be treated.