These past few weeks I’ve been struggling with negativity, not my own but from people around me. I don’t believe in karma and auras, but there is something contagious about foul moods and I’m easily influences. Normally I would just avoid contact with these folks, but unfortunately they’re in circles of friends and family that I enjoy. To cut them out means that I would no longer see people who lift me up and encourage me. I’m not really sure what to do.
In the beginning, I tried to support the negative Nancys and Debbie downers. I listened to their complaints. I sympathized with their problems. I offered suggestions. Despite this, it never seemed to help. Their negativity came with a sense of despair and unwillingness to find possible solutions. It’s as if their only perfect solution was impossible and no other solution, albeit not perfect, would be suffice.
Now I can acknowledge that apoplectic situations do exist. Personally, I think they’re pretty rare, but when they do come along, I think it’s best to accept it and move forward. Bemoaning the situation never helps, and besides, dwelling on the unpleasantries of life is, well, unpleasant. We can’t avoid all unpalatable events, but we shouldn’t prolong them. Plus I live by the motto, “Fake it until you feel it.” Sometimes it’s important to vent your feelings to a trusted confidant; often it helps to share your emotions. However, constantly spewing your tribulations to everyone every day gets to be burdensome. I think it’s good to pretend you’re in high spirits. After all, spending the day upbeat and smiling won’t leave you feeling heavy and downtrodden, even during the most difficult hardships.
Despite my approach to difficult situations, I still have to interact with negative individuals, and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I suppose I could follow my own advice and fake feelings of warmth and concern until I feel that towards them. However, I’m afraid their influence will leave me in a gloomy mood for several hours after speaking with them. How do you deal with these types of folks? What do you advise?
It’s come to my attention that several readers are upset about this post. Let me clear a few misunderstandings. This about folks that run in my circles of friends and family but are not within my inner circles. To the best of my knowledge, these individuals do not read my blog. I would not use this site as a means to attack those that I’m close to. I’m very upfront with those I care about, almost to my detriment. If I had a problem with a close friend or loved one, I would talk to them directly.
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