I have a friend. She is generally a jolly person and very caring. She has been my friend for gosh, let me calculate, for many many years.
I used to jokingly call her ‘prophet of doom and gloom’ when she would give a negative outlook to something that I (or a mutual friend), was planning to do. In hindsight, it was generally over someone I had dated. And most times she was so right.
Having said that she is not a negative person. She has been there for me over the years and has had positive influence on my life in a few ways.
So in spite of the fact she would now and again throw a so called gloomy outlook to some plans or dreams, overall, she was not a negative person. In her defence, she was balanced and more of an encourager.
However, there are people who seem to be always gazing into darkness, never seeing the stars. And these are the people that we have to be wary of. If we are one of them, we need to CHANGE…quick!
Always complaining, always seeing the worse, always full of doom and gloom.
Eventually, they drain life out of you literally. You find you becoming unhappy, heading for depression even, angry with everyone for no just cause, or just fed up with life. These are negative people. Sound at all familiar?
So are all pessimists, how can we identify them?
##1 They hardly have a good word to say about others
No one is perfect including YOU. So, when we keep seeing the shortcomings of others, and that is all we ever focus on, it says more about us than the other person we see with the issue. And by the way, all the not so good things they say about others are usually done during their gossip rounds.
##2 They don’t usually pay compliments
Negative people can’t see anything good in others. Ask yourself how often they pay you a compliment. Is it that you are never deserving of one? Is it that you never get anything right? Point made!
##3 They have Phd
Now I got you there. No, not the degree but Pull him down /Pull her down!
Tell your dream to a negative person only if you want to a) have that dream killed if you are not strong enough to take what they say. Or b) hear why it won’t work with the view of examing those points in order to make it work, ha ha! I like (b). I have a project and want to see a side I have not considered, I tell a negative person so I can plan for the eventualities, correct any perceived mistakes,listen to their endless list of cautions, and see what my competitors have not seen. (Negative people do have their uses after all)!
##4 They complain a lot
Human beings complain. Even in the Bible, there is a long list of those who complained over not eating onions, leeks and garlic! We seem to pick up along the way in life the programming in our human DNA to complain.
But when complaining becomes a favorite past-time, and when you examine the content of your conversation, take out the complaints and find there is nothing left to talk about, you are a chronic complainer. Nothing is ever good enough for a complainer.
Complaining will eventually drain the hearer. Complainers will hang out with other compainers and get others into their den. The truth is even complainers will fall out with each other eventually. It is a negative spirit and can easily be imbibed. Suddenly you are complaining about your lovely husband, your fab kids, your job, the dog, the goldfish, on and on.
##5 They never are excited except if they have the same thing
Here’s the real kicker. They find it difficult to celebrate the achievements of others unless they have already achieved it. Someone has achieved something that they want or they have not had, for a negative person, there is always a hidden agenda as to why that thing happened to the other person and not them. There is always a catch, or the person cheated or lied. Or it can’t be that good. There is always a negative spin on someone else’s good news.
##6 They usually punctuate their sentences with BUT
Give them another perspective about a subject, especially a positive slant, their next sentence will start with a BUT. Keep adding more positive vibes, notice how the BUTs keep coming in quick succession.
But, what more can I say myself at this point?
##7 They are stuck in their comfort zone
Now pay attention to this point. Negative people are very comfortable in their comfort zone which is often buffered with complaining. They resent change and are challenged by those who embrace change. They will try to discourage others with their negative vibes and words when others dare to go into zones they do not have the bottle for.
##8 They are hardly happy
A word of caution, life can throw a few curved balls. And some curved balls seem to have flesh tearing spikes. Being challenged with mental illness can make it oh so difficult to stay positive a lot of the time, too. However, if recovery is to be possible, then we got to look at really addressing keeping on the positive highway.
When I met Chuck, he would start every sentence with ‘I used to.’ Always looking at the past trophies of life and never seeing ahead that there was a way out of the wilderness. I had to gently point out that ‘I used to’ would keep in forever in the past and ultimately unhappy, and ultimately stuck in the challenge of mental illness!
With negatvie people, even when they have good news, it never lasts for long. They are just too negative to make anything good thing last. They will hardly have much friends,or lose the ones they have eventually, because people begin to avoid them after a while. And that will make life ultimately more gloomy and negative for them, making it a vicious circle.
So, what does one do if their friend is a negative person? Can we help them? What if we are negative ourselves? Iis there hope for negative people? Can negativity be overcome?
Next time, we will take a look at some of these points.