If you are on a mission to be happy it’s likely that you already know that happiness comes from within. External influences shouldn’t determine how we feel but sometimes they do.
Take for example negative people. These people might be friends or family, people we work with, or just people we meet in everyday life. It can be difficult to control who we run into everyday, and whilst it would be a nice idea to avoid negative people altogether, it’s not always possible.
There are however, some steps that you can take to minimise the amount of contact you have a negative people.
Start with people you can just switch off or ignore:
Switch off the news. Listening to an endless stream of death, destruction, danger and misery is bound to put a dent in your good mood. The one good news story right at the end won’t be enough to undo the previous 30 minutes of negativity. Whether or not you’re consciously aware of it, the negative news seeps into your mind and affects the way you think.
Avoid listening to radio phone-ins where the callers are urged to argue with each other over what really and truly feel like trivial matters. You’ll hear the anger in their voices and you might even start to feel some of their anger as you side with one caller or the other.
The same goes for newspapers and magazines. Reporters and editors like nothing better than writing about conflict and human interest stories that tug at the heartstrings. Empathy will draw you in and before you know it you’ll be feeling miserable.
As for the people you can’t ignore:
You may not be able to avoid all of the negative people at work, but do your best. Instead, surround yourself with colleagues who are enthusiastic and ambitious, all of their positive character traits will rub off on you and increase your positivity.
At home with your husband or wife and children, dealing with negativity can be difficult because these are the people you love and you really don’t want to avoid. Try to make sure that your own language is positive and don’t allow yourself or your family to speak of events using a victim mindset. Encourage your family to use positive language too and help them find positive things to take away from every situation.
Take the time to explain to your family why it’s important to avoid thinking or speaking in negative terms. Explain why you’re doing it and ask them to respect what you’re trying to do.
Negative people will bring you down, avoid them whenever you can but if you can’t, try to be in their company for as little time as possible. Just because they’re miserable doesn’t mean that you have to be.