Do you know anyone who is so negative that it seems like his or her mission in life is to make you feel angry? Sad? Weak? Miserable? Depressed? Does that negativity bring you down? When you have a friend … enemy … frenemy who constantly puts pessimistic thoughts into your head, it can really take a toll on you.
The first thing to remember is that NO ONE can MAKE you feel anything. One of my all time favorite quotes is “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” These wise words, spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt so many years ago, still ring true. Don’t give someone else power over your emotions.
There are essentially two things you can do to banish the negativity from your life, ending the cycle of the naysayers ruling your emotions: You can change your reaction to it or you can cut them out of your life.
In most cases, it is best to choose the latter. My dad used to say “Wake up with dogs and you’ll get fleas” or “It is impossible to swim in a river full of muddy water, yet be able to get out of that river without a speck of dirt on you.” The only way to avoid getting fleas/ getting dirty is to refuse to swim in that river in the first place. I recently cut out a Facebook frenemy and I have to say that it was one of the most liberating things I have ever done! It’s so easy to hit the “Unfriend” button…
I’m sure you are thinking It’s not possible to cut every single negative person out and I completely agree. In some cases, you are going to have to transform the way you react to the pessimism. Just because you are physically present in a situation does not mean that you need to actually participate on an emotional level. The next time a negative co-worker, family member or frenemy goes after you or attacks you personally, take a deep breath, feel the feeling, and then remind yourself that you won’t let the person’s words affect your self-esteem. Life is about choices. You can’t control how others treat you, but you can definitely choose how you allow it to affect you.