Fri, 03/12/2010 - 12:18 — Pauline Neckles

Cutting Negative People From Your Life

Have you got dream sappers in your family or circle of friends? These are the ones who always tell you why you can’t get what you want or why some dream is out of your reach. They stand by waiting with a proverbial bucket of water to throw over any idea you have.

Do you know anyone who always chooses to see the negative side of any situation? You know that one who says this will never work out for good? They cover their pessimism by saying “I am just being realistic”. They never have a good thing to say to encourage in good or bad times.

These are negative people whose sole purpose in our lives (whether purposely or inadvertently) is to drain us of any emotional strength or courage that we have. If we listen to their discouragement we would remain stuck wondering what would happen if we just stepped out courageously and pursued our dreams and aspirations. Worse yet, we would never allow certain situations in our lives to help us grow as individuals because we let their negative opinion of that time colour our perspective.

Negative people can hold us back.

Ultimately, we must cut such people out of our lives. This task is difficult and not for the faint of heart, for such people often have a manner of making themselves so entrenched in our lives that it is hard to uproot ourselves mentally and emotionally to cut ties with them. However, there are ways to remove ourselves from these draining relationships and here we discuss a few of these options.

Initial opportunity to change

I believe in giving people a chance to change. Thus, I would always encourage a talk with this person about their attitude and its effects on you before you do anything drastic such as stop talking to them or ignoring their calls and requests. Clearly and evenly state that you respect them and their role in your life but would prefer if they do have negative thoughts that they should keep said thoughts to themselves. Also notify them of the consequences of their actions if they persist to inflict their negative attitude on you.

Follow through with promises

If this talk does not improve the state of things, follow through on the promised consequences. This may be in some cases just ignoring calls until that person gets the picture by either apologising and adjusting their behaviour or stop calling. The consequence may be as drastic as moving out of your home or establishing and maintaining a more independent lifestyle (if the person is a relative you live with). This way you are not dependent on the person whose negative attitude you are trying to remove from your life.

Place importance in your perspective

There are times that you can’t uproot this person from your life for whatever reason. For instance, you may not be financially independent enough to move or leave that person in the past. That, however, does not mean that you need to give in to their negative influence.

First, build confidence in your own perspective. Appreciate that your opinion of a situation is equally valid to theirs and, working from that confidence, ignore their negativity. This will help build your self-esteem and minimise the effects of their negative attitude on you.

One thing you will want to do is build a network of encouraging people around you. People who will “be realistic” with you and show you how to overcome situations or inspire you as you pursue your dreams.

There will always be negative people around you. However, you do not have to take their opinions and attitudes to heart. You don’t have to argue or cause a ruckus with them when they are being negative, just remove yourself from the situation or ignore them. After all, rooting negativity out of your life frees you to be the person you want to be and allows you to grow into the best possible you.

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