{bon mot} monday | positively

on 12-07-2015

negative people


I think this quote is about two things –choices (Who am I choosing to spend time with and stay in touch with?) and awareness (How do these relationships affect my thoughts and actions?).


Those questions remind of Jim Rohn’s belief that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”     Whether or not you agree with the late entrepreneur/ author, his statement will probably get your wheels turning. It makes me ask myself:


Who are the 5 people I spend the most time with?

How much am I influenced by the company I keep?

How do I choose to deal (or not deal) with someone in my inner circle whose attitude, behavior or core beliefs conflict with my own? 


If you interact with a negative person (or — let’s be realistic — negative people) on a regular basis, simply “not hanging around” with them may not be an option.


It helps to have a game plan, and these three Psychology Today features offer a number of strategies for your playbook. Raj Raghunathan Ph.D., an author and marketing professor at The University of Texas at Austin interested in happiness and decision-making, penned all three.)


Raghunathan writes about how dealing with negative people means being able to deal with our own negativity. He describes how “the fears negative people harbor manifest themselves in a variety of ways”  like being judgmental, pessimistic, demanding, controlling, etc.  The common denominator? A “tendency to blame external factors—other people, the environment or ‘luck’—rather than oneself, for one’s negative attitudes.”


He continues by explaining how negativity is often a “thinly disguised cry for help” and offers ways to deal with negative people within this context.The option he considers most viable involves three elements:

— compassion for the negative person

— taking responsibility for your own happiness despite the other person’s negativity

— maturity in how you interact with the negative person.


Raghunathan’s straightforward strategies are worth reading, as is his article about doing what it takes to protect your own happiness by taking personal responsibility for your own positivity.


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train of thought 

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