Thursday, December 02, 2004

Negative People

Okay...I suppose this is just my opinion getting the best of me (like it tends to do!) but I would have to disagree with a phrase many of us have encountered...

What I’m talking about is a phrase I have gotten in several email forwards before...for instance the "words of wisdom" forwards that people send around...this particular forward puts it this way..."Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down." But this isn't the only one email...we've all seen the other ones that say things like, "Avoid negative people" or "Stay away from those who are pessimistic" You get the picture.

So anyhow, when I started thinking about it, I decided I didn't really like those types of sayings. Without giving the saying much thought, I would quickly just agree, because surfacely, it seems like it is the “right move.”

I tended to refer to these types of sayings when I would be around some of my friends that maybe weren't so happy a lot of the time. With the kind of person I am, when I am around people who seem to be grouchy a lot of the time or who never seem to have a positive thing to says, I normally will say something like "well why don't you say SOMETHING nice..." or something like that. Basically, I would point out to them all the time that I thought they were too negative and I would tell them that I would just avoid them if they were not going say anything positive because "I should avoid negative people" since they "pull me down.”

So I was giving this some thought and I decided that what is really being said is if someone IS negative all the time or grouchy (due to certain reasons--that CAN be helped [that is my psychology punch!]) then they shouldn't have any friends because others should avoid them because they pull them down....right? Like all the negative people don't deserve friends. This makes me think that maybe there should be an ending on the saying that says "avoid negative people--but if YOU are negative, then go find other negative people to hangout with."

And then there is the "Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down." This one is interesting to me too. Since it says "Keep" this means that there are [or were] other “non-cheerful” people that are [or were] your friends too. Well, you obviously became friends with them for SOME reason, correct? So isn’t there something special about them that you love? Something drew you to them in the first place. Can you just leave that person who has meant something special to you just because they are negative? Or maybe it is that when you became friends with them they were not negative and grouchy all the time. As a friend shouldn’t you try to help them, not “avoid” them? Does this mean that you should drop their friendship because they are “pull[ing] you down”

Why do we always just think of ourselves?

Of course, no one wants to be around a person who tends to be negative or grouchy all the time, but if a person is negative do they not deserve friends? They need help or possibly just support and a friend to be with them, not to “avoid” them. But we only think of ourselves, not them. YOU need cheerful friends. YOU deserve better than a negative friend. YOU don’t need to put up with unhappy people. They will pull YOU down.

I think negative people need friends just as much as positive people, possibly even more. It is said that happiness and smiling is contagious. I firmly believe this, but sometimes it just takes time. I think if a happy person stays around a negative person long enough the negative person will either become happier because they see the happy person having more fun and they will want that for them self or they will just get fed up with the happy person because they are always seeing the positive side of things that they are refusing to see and will leave, because they can’t take it, most likely going off somewhere and publishing a quote that says “Avoid excessively happy people!”

SO! Lets try to help negative people and not only think of what is best for US and “avoid” them!

1 comment:

Holly said...

Great post! I, too, have thought about this and how such sayings have an underlying meaning of "think of what's best for you and only you." I think that, especially for people like you and I, who are going to be working with many negative people in our career, it is imperative to have such a positive attitude toward wanting to help, rather than discard, such negative individuals. To avoid such people, to me, often seems cold, narcissistic, and weak -- which would mean the positive (those "do what's best for me")people are really the "negative people" in need more psychological help than the real negative people in which they complain about! ha ha. Once again, great post and wonderful theory and outlook!