We all know what the answer to this is. Itâ€™s a hard answer, but deep down inside, we know itâ€™s the right one.
So how do we deal with the negative people we know?
I was going to say we should cut them out of our lives, but that might seem a bit harsh so instead, Iâ€™ll say we should keep our distance from them.
Easier said than done than for most.
First off why should we keep our distance?
One of the biggest indicators as to how we think and what we do in our lives can be found in the people we consistently associate with. Hang out with negative people, it will rub off on you no matter how hard you try to resist.
They will plant seeds of doubt and negativity and then you think theyâ€™re coming from your own reasoning, when in fact, the seeds they planted have grown shoots in your mind. They unknowingly prevent you from growing, from reaching your fullest potential.
Let me ask you a question.
If I were to put a drop of deadly poison in a glass of water and hand that glass to you, would you drink it?
I just put in a tiny drop of poison in that water.
Would you drink it?
You could rationalize that since itâ€™s just a drop, the poison would become diluted so the risk of dying wouldnâ€™t be there and you might be right.
But even if it is diluted, and you donâ€™t die, chances are youâ€™ll become very sick.
And thatâ€™s the best case scenario. Becoming very sick
Refuse to drink the water â€“ youâ€™ll never suffer the ill effects of it at all.
But hereâ€™s where it gets tricky.
Itâ€™s easy to distance ourselves from negative acquaintances, people we just know casually, but this becomes considerably harder when we try to distance ourselves from those closest to us that we identify as the negative ones.
The funny thing is â€“ we didnâ€™t even realize we had negative people close to us.
But as we grow and pursue different directions in life, we find that there are those around us, usually very close to us who spew their negativity on to us to preserve the status quo. Negative people who want to prevent us from going in our new chosen direction, whether it be starting a business, moving, deciding to travel, changing careers, deciding upon a new religion to follow, etc.
It pains us to sever the link because we have a certain feeling of loyalty as result of investing much time with those people who might comprise of childhood friends, family friends, neighbors, etc.
Very hard to sever the link.
And even if you do find the courage to sever the link, the question of who do you hang out with now might creep up into your mind
That element of consistency in terms of association that was present in school that helped you easily make friends is gone. Itâ€™s becoming harder to make good friends later in life so knowing that, people donâ€™t want to give up the ones they currently have. The anticipation of great loneliness deters people from distancing themselves from negative people.
So what do we do now?
First, realize that as we grow older, itâ€™s PERFECTLY NATURAL to have our social circle change. In an ideal world, it would be great if the friends we had when we were kids could be our friends for life, but thatâ€™s often not the case.
As we grow older, we each begin to clarify whatâ€™s important in our lives and what we want to pursue. Itâ€™s bound to be different for you and the friends you grew up with so youâ€™re bound to lose touch naturally. This happens even faster when you have your own family.
Itâ€™s life. Itâ€™s natural. Itâ€™s not something to be ashamed of or think of as a loss of loyalty on your part.
As you pursue whatâ€™s important to you in life, youâ€™ll naturally distance yourself from those who donâ€™t share the same sentiments, which is largely going to work in your favor and help you progress even more. Thereâ€™s only enough time in the day. Then you factor in work and your family and time for yourself and thereâ€™s not a lot of time left for socializing anyways.
Now the question of who do you hang out with should you distance yourself from your negative friends arises.
Hereâ€™s the answer and itâ€™s very simple and profound.
You just need to find ONE.
And you will. If youâ€™re pursuing your new direction in life whole heartedly, you WILL find that one friend, that one good friend. Invest in that relationship and you know what happens?
You know what happens.
You find other friends.
Invest in those relationships and youâ€™ll find more friends as well and before you know it â€“ your new social circle has arrived, one that supports you in all your endeavors and nurtures you to achieve your fullest potential.
Once you get to this stage, you wonâ€™t believe how far youâ€™ll skyrocket in your chosen endeavor. Having a strong social group that supports you will increase your success ten fold. The benefits you get â€“ the encouragement, ideas, contacts, networks, etc., from this group will provide enormous leverage for you in ways you canâ€™t even begin to imagine.
Hang on to that vision when times seem tough, when you start to feel lonely after youâ€™ve distanced yourself from the negative people you know. Itâ€™ll be hard in the beginning, but if you invest in your new relationships, youâ€™ll find itâ€™s well worth the wait.
However, some might say â€“ shouldnâ€™t we try to help our negative friends see the light in the first place?
Itâ€™s a noble gesture indeed but hereâ€™s the ugly truth:
We canâ€™t change a person directly. The harder we try directly, the harder they resist in turn.
They have to want to change and make the decision and actions themselves.
The only thing we can do is become the change we want to see in them and in doing so, set an example full of action, not just words and hopefully that will motivate them to do the same.
And if we succeed in doing so, we experience the joy that so many never get to â€“ the regaining of a friend.