- Are your colleagues at work, family members at home or friends at your club complaining all the time about all the elements of life that make up their miserable existence and that of others to you, and make your working day equally miserable?
- Do you often start your day at work, trying to avoid the exchange of more than “Good morning” and “hi” with some people?
- Do you often feel like a non-voluntary magnet for the negative emotions of others who claim to care about you and come to you for advice only?
Well, congratulations! Because that’s good news. Cheer up!
You attract negativity, good for you!
You see, “magnets” like you that attract negative energy are supposed to be overly positive; by laws of physics (physical attraction is something else, as you probably know from famous book and movie The Secret). We also know the old scientific truism that says “opposite poles seek each other”, don’t we?
Since you are a positive person, and for the sake of uplifting your spirit with a healthy dose of self-motivation today, allow yourself the positive freedom of stretching the positive applicability of these laws to positive human interaction and positive social communication with negative others. Be at ease! You are a positive person, that’s why negative people are attracted to you. Now, make this thought your favourite sleeping pillow.
You must be viewed as a very positive person (family member, colleague, friend, partner) with conspicuous receptiveness for the “nagging” of others. Or one could say that you are a pleasant, helpful, sociable and trustworthy person to the extent that others feel comfortable entrusting their daily discomforts with life, no matter trivial or silly, to your generous & patient listening ears. It all seems positive up and until now, right? Well, that’s good… positive is good. But not always!
The problem with being “carelessly positive”
The problem with being “naively positive” arises when the same “laws of physics” apply themselves to your situation, causing “saturation of negative energy” at the expense of your intrinsic or cumulated reserve of positive energy; when there are far more negative atoms (thoughts) roaming around in your mind than positive ones. How can you tell? Does such a thing even exist?
Well, you got me there! Frankly, I don’t know much about “applied physics” and I am not a psychologist either. I do read a lot about both disciplines and it all sounded like a too interesting metaphor to miss out on using here. It also lured me to convey some level of intellectualism derived from playing with vocabulary and connecting non-reconcilable (multidisciplinary) dots together. But I really think it does. Besides, I do know a thing or two about negativity, negative people and their influence on your “intrinsic arsenal of positive energy”, your IAPE!
PS: Again, there is no such thing as an “IAPE”, I’m afraid. I just like to invent acronyms as I go (AIG) in the hope that a big multinational insurance company, like AIG, would make me happy one day by paying me a six-digit amount of money in a failing trademark copyright lawsuit, after one of my self-invented acronyms goes viral on the internet and becomes “threatening” to their brand-image! 🙂 There is an interesting story behind this, however, and it has some relation to our topic at stake: negativity, positivity and laughing your ass off! You may be thrilled & enlightened if you read it too, here.
Now, back to the topic, at stake… negativity. Yes… I know something about negativity and negative people that I would like to share.
As an entrepreneur, I have had bad experiences with emotional insolvencies, low “positive energy flows” and motivation drainage with the total bankruptcy of my NRPE’s (Natural Reserves of Positive Energy), looming around the corner as a result. My exaggerated expenditure of positive energy at those who suck it up with no Return on Investment (ROI) whatsoever, except for the primitive non-profitable (not even neutral) bargain with the only thing they could trade in, which was negative energy. So, if you want to keep your Balance Sheet clean, you should be aware of what you give (in) and what you get in return and the effect of this simple transaction to the healthiness of “your organization” as an intelligent and healthy creature elevated from other creatures (like animals, plants and microbes) by having emotion and the ability of communication.
Emotionality is more powerful than rationality
As humans, we are governed and run by emotions more than we think. Actually and scientifically, even our rational thinking is only the result of having a tight and proper control on our mighty emotions (in the Amygdala) which form the basis for all of our rational thinking (in the Cortex). Channelling them correctly and allowing them to settle in and move out of the way of rational thought is the process that distinguishes rationality from emotionality in people. So, see to it that your “balance of emotions” is frequently positive, be wary of negative risks that creep silently into your positive balance and process-system and keep an eye to opportunities that contribute to providing you with a positive balance sheet at the end of the day, month or year. Be emotionally intelligent.
How to deal with constant griping?
Griping a is an annoying form of constant complaining, and doing it all the time is even more aggravating. It has a sleazy unnoticeable (be it unintentional) way of manipulating your mood, the way you look at thing and the way your perform your tasks. This is especially the case when you are oblivious to its effect on you, since all you want is to be of compassionate help to your negative colleague in need of a “positive injection”. This, still, is a good thing by the way. But people who “nag” too often, all the time & about any and everything are mostly people with an unvoiced, unattended to or undefined (chronic or behavioural) problem. They mostly have more time (or all of it!) devoted to complaints but not to solving the core of their problems.
I am always up for a solution-oriented empathic listening-session, but I have developed a defence-mechanism towards vicious circles, irrational outbursts & unfounded nagging, characterized by low tolerance, or if you like “conditional tolerance”. I will not be sucked into chronic problems of which I know nothing but the superficial displays and symptoms that are sometimes manipulated and untrue seeking my thoughtless approval, gesture-based compassion or biased teaming up against a non-participating (maybe even fictitious) third party who is to be blamed for all life misery. Being unauthentic, clarity-avoiding, irrational, dishonest and unfair to the issue at stake does not help the core of the problem along.
And since I’m a solution oriented person, I will not always be able to listen to those who seek only and nothing but “emotional validation” and never a solution. Those who constantly and tirelessly seek emotional validation from others just want to be sad, grumpy, angry, disappointed or defeated letting their unguided emotions free. They want to be listened to as such only until it becomes a life-time behavioural pattern. For those people who have such a legitimate human need (for, it is legitimate), there is a thing called “professional help”, or they can read a book about it.
The very definition of “professional help” contains a very important and positive element to its purpose, which is having a “healthy distance” or a self-distancing ability from entanglement and “self-ownership” of the problem through a well-trained attitude. Professional psychologist and therapist, beside being presumably & expectedly not involved in the problem themselves, are trained to be keen observers and “carefully absorbent” analysts of the problems of others without making it “their own” or becoming saturated with it like a sponge. When we are in our “regular people” or “involved people” status, we do not have such self-distancing abilities, even if we happen to be qualified psychologists or therapists. At least, not always, and here lies a hazard to our well-being.
Negative energy is contagious! I like to keep it away and I mostly succeed in keeping it away by doing two things: ignorance of others’ spiral and viral negativism & imposing my own positivism upon them through defining my own happiness.
We should always balance in life. That’s an old universal transcultural wisdom that reads and sounds nice, but does not really resonate until one actually reaches some degree of life wisdom through actual life experience; the kind of wisdom that keeps reminding us of our” non super-hero’s” status. You and I are complicated beings; sophisticated, if it sounds better and therefore intelligent. We have the innate ability of breaking patterns of thinking, acting and talking in our interaction with others, in pursuit of something new, different or better. And it is not always easy; change is the most difficult process in life, more so to humans than to non-thinking and unemotional entities. By the same token, we are weak and susceptible to intrusive viruses that may harm our sound physical and mental system too. And it’s okay to have this balance of viruses coming in and getting out. It helps our immune system along. It’s okay, as long as we are aware of it. Awareness, herein, is the key.