Stop Being A Negative Nancy!

Veera is a published Author (‘Endured’ and ‘#LoveBitesLifeHacks’) and Columnist; a passionate Educator and Counsellor; Poet and Philosopher… but most of all, a lover of all things literary. 

Life is about experiencing happiness and living in a relatively healthy, balanced and positive manner. When we decide to become positive, it’s not a simple act of flipping a switch mentally – choices have to be made and hard decision taken to detox your life from all sources of negativity, followed up with correlating action.

In life, we encounter situations and people that are either positive or negative. Choosing to feed or fend off positive or negative energy lies in your hands. Oftentimes, we carry our own luggage of positive or negative energy. The key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with positivity. Do you have a friend who you love to death but is ‘Oh ever so draining’ to talk to? Every single conversation veers to her complaining, ranting or simply extolling the difficulties she faces every single day. Then there are people amidst us who constantly complain about their health, their relationships, their spouse and their kids. It’s almost like they’ve not had a single day of sunshine in their bleak lives! The world is rather dark from their perspective. They house boundless negative energy which ends up affecting everyone around them.

Negative folks are often chronically critical, belligerent, indignant, angry or plain rude. It requires great effort to be compassionate or sympathetic to people who repeatedly drain everyone around them. Show them empathy, and you get sucked into their doom, one way or another. It’s not easy to disconnect with such people when the relationship is intimate or close. It’s hard to offer compassion to rude and sometimes even obnoxious people. But try approaching them with a positive mindset instead and maybe they will surprise you! You could, in turn, offer them kindness with firmness. If you dig deeper, you could understand the root of their negativity but do not let yourself get dragged into that hole. Maintaining a positive boundary and a positive space protects your mental and psychological wellbeing.

It’s easy to identify negative people – they show a variety of negative personality traits:

A Negative View Of The World: They love complaining – they’ll whine about the weather, responsibilities or even simply their luck. It’s like the world is conspiring against them at all times; you simply can’t litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you’ve got a trashy life!

Always Playing The Victim-Card: Usually reeking of self-pity, negative folk position themselves as the perpetual victims of crises, traumas, illnesses; always assuming that life is a constant series of battles. They don’t acknowledge joy, passion or excitement. They are simply fixated on misery, on unsatisfying lives, jobs and relationships.

Easily Offended: They are extremely sensitive to the slightest criticism and can turn even a compliment into an insult! They often interpret even the most innocent remarks as being rude or a direct insult to them, while most accept them at face value without overanalysing. Every conversation can become weary and you feel like you’re treading on eggshells, never knowing what innocent point of view or casual remark might set them off!

They Rarely Display Love: They rarely hug or show affection towards people. They find it difficult to express their emotions through words or any kind of physical intimacy. They rarely holds hands, smile or laugh. They struggle with being easy relaxed and open. Oftentimes they are rigid and inflexible in mannerismd and behaviour patterns.

Rarely Spontaneous: Negative people are drawn to mundane routines and itineraries. They follow strict rules and protocols and have timetables for their lives, relationships and conversations. They lead an anesthetized existence – clinical, cold and rather sterile. Much of their time is lacklustre, bland, lacking spontaneity and colour.

Now that we’re a week or two into our New Year, let’s make a fresh start. This year has been truly been a year of pause and reflection. Without the chaos and din that usually surrounds our overly-packed lives, we have been given the opportunity to sit and evaluate what we want – in our careers, our lives and our relationships. This is the time to decide what and who stays in our inner circle.

Undoubtedly, people have revisited their old passions and skills, learnt new ones or discovered hidden talents that were hidden for the longest time. What are all the things that simply make you happy and smile more? Similarly, who are the people in our lives that bring a smile wherever they go. They are the ones that lift and encourage you at all times, unlike those ‘Negative Nancys’ that dim our flames.

So, cull out that negativity. Just because you’ve known someone all your life does not mean you have to spend your time pandering to their ego. Just because you work with someone or report to them doesn’t mean you have to put up with their mistreatment forever. Don’t let negative people kill your flow or your growth. Human happiness largely depends on the quality of relationships. Pessimism, negativity and suspicion from people in your life can greatly affect your mood and behaviour. In the words of Albert Einstein, “There are two ways to live your life. One is through believing nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.”

Veera Shroff Sanjana
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