This article was the response to the following question from Shanén Nursimloo in our Happier Souls discussion this week and we really wanted to share it with you guys
How do you deal with negative people?
This is a really interesting question, because I think it reveals more about ourselves than the "negative" person in question.
It's true that negative people aren't exactly the most pleasant of individuals to be around, but I also think there's another trait many of us carry today that may not seem negative at first glance but actually is. It's called toxic positivity, and it refers to the overgeneralisation of a happy, optimistic state that results in the denial, minimisation, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. This can range from masking our own true feelings, all the way to chastising others for displaying anything else other than positive vibes.
That being said, I think there's a very thin line between doing things for the safety of your own interests and evoking toxic positivity. Often times we might think it's important and beneficial to keep up the narrative and mindset of "good vibes only" or having "no time for negative people", but really we're just telling ourselves that there's absolutely no room in our lives for anything or anyone negative, ever.
Some of my closest friends have gone through hugely negative things, which has in turn made their outlook on life quite negative for an extended period of time. It can get emotionally exhausting and burdensome for friends of that person, but as friends, it should never a problem to go the extra mile to help those we really care about. That being said, however, we have our limits, and I don't expect everyone here to have the same level of tolerance as this or that person, but it's only right that we try our absolute best. Helping someone in their road to recovery is perhaps one of the most fulfilling things in life you could ever do! Seeing their progression from someone who once had a bleak outlook on life to one that is radiant with joy and happiness is so rewarding.
I'm sure there'll always be the exceptional few who are stuck in their ways and refuse to change or make any sort of progress - in which case it would be best to find a way to minimise the impacts of their attitude on you, even if that means distancing yourself - but for the majority of people out there, all they need is a bit of a push. Pain is relative, so be respectful of everyone's experiences and their responses to it.
Thank you so much Shanén for sharing your thoughts on the matter we really appreciate it and we're looking forward to having more amazing discussions!
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