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Avoiding negative people these days?

 

On his personal path to Enlightenment, JOE has been proud of himself lately. Because he can’t help noticing how, increasingly, he has found himself avoiding all negative people

“I just can’t stand to be with them any more,” he told me with an air of triumph.

Uh-oh. Is that really such a good thing, no longer being willing or able to tolerate negative people?

Don’t think I advocate being purposely negative. In fact, this article will contain some practical recommendations in pursuit of the kind of positive quality of life that wise people desire.

It’s just misguided, IMHO, to pursue happiness (or Enlightenment) by the Tosser Method. Where one simply judges others as negative, tosses each relationship, and then brags about it.

Worst case of “Forced Positivity” for chakra databanks

Actually I encounter this worst case of “Forced Positivity”quite often in clients who work hard at being positive. Consider hard-working GLADYS, for instance. This new client has struggled to stay positive. And although it’s smart to make positive choices for happiness on the surface level of life, “Forced Positivity” happens quite often.

That’s where someone as hardworking as GLADYS takes the positivity pursuit inward, bringing “giving self a hard time” to the level of habitual torture.

So I found problems like these, reading GLADYS’ aura at the level of chakra databanks:

Solar Plexus Chakra Databank for Self-Confidence:

1/8 inch. Angry and frustrated. Pushing herself to stay positive.

Heart Chakra Databank for Emotional Self-Esteem

1/8 inch. Discouraged. Self-loathing. Trying hard to stay cheerful and in a perpetual good mood.

To tell GLADYS had problems, you didn’t have to read her aura, however. Her auric modeling was shot through with the troubling results of forcing herself to be what she was not.

(Blog-Buddies, you may know about auric modeling, how the truth of our auras shows to everyone and can’t be faked. Due to auric modeling, everyone reads everyone else’s aura subconsciously.)

What would have helped more? Well, GLADYS started that with our first session, permanently moving out STUFF from her aura and subconscious mind. Less STUFF means more spontaneous, positive engagement in life.

Uninformative relationships

Dumping people, villifying them, projecting negativity onto them… isn’t that the sort of thing that commonly happens with “I just can’t stand to be with negative people any more”?

Once I worked as a secretary for AARP’s National Retired Teachers Association. My boss, SALLY KELLING, was a remarkable communicator. She could talk to anyone, pull out the likability in anyone.

If folks had a particle of decency in them, SALLY would find it and speak to that.

She wasn’t phony. (Alas, she wasn’t perfect, either. But that’s another story.) SALLY just had superb communication skills… and the desire to get the best from every relationship.

I used to book airline tickets for my boss and make the rest of her travel arrangements. After one such trip, SALLY started getting calls from Ms. JOE. I couldn’t understand it, at first. Why all the calls? SALLY was constantly in meetings with high-powered executives. Ms. JOE didn’t seem to be one of them.

Turned out, Ms. JOE got to sit next to SALLY on a recent flight. Ms. JOE became convinced that SALLY was her new best friend.

After solving this mystery, SALLY gave a gentle laugh. Evidently she was used to having strangers falling in love with her.

I’m all for being that kind of person, authentically charming. One way to not get there is to whip out a Negativity Meter in different social situations, making it your business to assess just how terrible every stranger is.

What can help when dealing with “negative people”?

Based on my personal journey, as well as helping clients over the past 42 years, here are my top five strategies for dealing with people who might be considered simply “negative.”

1. Heal any spiritual addiction

People often seem “negative” to someone whose life is all about New Age Spirituality, Fundamentalist Christianity, etc. (Did you know that, in the U.K., a term for the latter group is “Happy Clappies”?)

Apart from suggestions about overcoming spiritual addiction that you can find in “Magnetize Money with Energetic Literacy” or — in bits and pieces — scattered throughout this blog, consider this: If everyone outside your belief system seems like a “negative person,” maybe it’s time to move outside that belief system.

2. Overcome energy hypochondria

It’s so easy to pull out a Negativity Meter when conscious waking hours are spent monitoring everyone’s energy. Look, I teach aura reading and even I don’t do it all day long. I do no more than 30 minutes total, most days, of all spiritual practices combined.

My conversations tend to be regular, human-type conversations, with people in here-and-now objective reality, learning from the flow of information. (And occasionally learning from the process of the conversation.)

If a conversation isn’t productive, I say and do what I can to make it productive.

How often, I wonder, are folks unfairly blamed for being “negative” or “boring” just because the blamer is lacking some social skills?

3. Move out STUFF that causes suffering

Cutting cords of attachment can make such a difference, as can learning the many skill sets in “Use Your Power of Command for Spiritual Cleansing and Protection.”

GLADYS, for instance, was doing a brave workaround. A cover-up with sweetness and light. Brave but unconvincing.

How wonderful the opportunity to permanently heal the subconscious and astral-level STUFF. No need to cover up then!

4. Put in what aligns with a your soul

Ha, the second 50% of Energy Spirituality! The better known 50% is moving out STUFF with cord-cutting, etc. But the second 50% is also important.

Filling up with what really suits you — that is a very personal type of healing (just like the first 50%, true STUFF removal).

Certain social skills just can’t be learned, so long as old kinds of pain are dominating. And, historically, certain social skills just may not have been available in your childhood this lifetime. Now is a great time to fix that, to supply what is needed.

With less STUFF, anyone becomes more teachable! So never worry that the most painful parts of your history must be your destiny.

Many, many people today are lacking in social skills. Learning them is fun.

Until effective relationship skills are learned, however, one uses up each relationship and tosses it after the rest.

5. Keep your heart open, appropriately

I loved watching how SALLY KELLING used to keep her heart open with people. As her secretary, I got to eavesdrop a lot. And, with SALLY, was eavesdropping ever inspiring.

One way to be with folks is to “Duh!” them, ever-ready to sneer or judge. At the opposite extreme, we can keep our hearts open. We can make the best human connection possible.

If the other person in a conversation doesn’t have much to offer, we still don’t have to close up our hearts. We can keep the relationship pleasant but superficial.

Having a range of skills for different types of conversation sure has a lot more nuance to it than deciding, “That’s a no-good, negative person. He’s dangerous to my mental health and spiritual progress.” 😉

Beware the cultural New Age fad of “all positive”

Fads in cultural life do affect us all, whether or not we’re consciously aware of the social pressure. One such fad is “Being positive.”

No nuance or personal accountability, just judgment!

Just check out some of these Google hits for today:

  • Negative people: 42,500,000
  • Negative people in your life: 18,800,000
  • Avoid negative people: 51,000,000
  • Toxic people: 94,800,000
  • Avoid toxic people: 11,200,000
  • Can’t stand to be around negative people any more: 33,900,000
  • Be positive: 761,000,000

Evolution doesn’t mean getting all victimey

Actually, one’s spiritual evolution is NOT directly proportional to one’s disdain. You could look to improvements like these instead, when you have less STUFF in your aura, have improved energetic literacy, etc.

  • Accomplishing a great deal every day
  • Enjoying yourself, regardless of whom you’re with
  • Helping people as you deem it appropriate
  • Being The Most Important Person in the Room
  • Deepening relationships with people you like
  • Managing the degree of intimacy with all your relationships
  • Even managing to HAVE relationships with real-live people, in here and now conversations
  • Use self-authority gently and persistently all day long

Why the big fuss over negative people?

I’ll bet you Blog-Buddies have developed some interesting theories about this. Bet you have also been hearing people make unrealistic demands lately that YOU become positive.  Which, perhaps, means that you drop everything to respond point-for-point to all the ways you have allegedly hurt their tender feelings.

Perhaps you have heard folks talk about avoiding the negative people as though it is a kind of religious duty. Not just being holier than thou but, now, more positive as well.

How Kali Yuga is that, having “negative people” have become unacceptable to the world view? Must all of us now go along sedatedly with the cheerful crowd?

What think you?

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  1. 1
    Wrinkle In Time says:

    “Negative people” can be our greatest teachers. I know that from a personal experience. To a point though. We shouldn’t stay around and take the abuse either, physical or verbal. Sometimes it is necessary to retreat from hurt and pain in order to regroup and grow.

    Once I read an article about disappointment. It said something along the lines that disappointment is a painful way of revealing ourselves to ourselves. This is also the case with that negative person in our life. They can better than anyone show us where our hot buttons are. Then, it is up to us to benefit from that knowledge.

  2. 2
    Amanda says:

    Hi Rose,

    This issue brings the ‘motes and planks’ statement to mind every time I hear it!

    My direct personal experience of this was with a lady who teaches energy healing. She didn’t like what I wrote and interpreted it as ‘weird’ and ‘wrong’, announcing for backup that an NLP practitioner had agreed with her.

    Myself and the other students on the course have ended up taking her to court for not teaching the course as advertised and lying about her accreditation.

    Since then she’s clearly gone a little further into paranoia. Her defence contains the statement ‘I do not wish to see Amanda. She frightens me a little, with her constant talk of evil and demons, though she portrays herself as very sweet’.

    I giggle whenever I think of that! when I’m not talking of evil and demons, of course 😀

    It is sooo human though, and documented throughout human history. Sometimes I think the process of healing and integration is designed to bring these kind of deep nasties up to the surface – in which case, if you are experiencing them, it simply becomes a question of how best and quickest to let them go and come to the true self.

    Believing and acting on our thoughts without question, or communicating them to others is where it gets dodgy!

    Amanda

  3. 3
    Liv says:

    Rose, I don’t really have much to add, since this post was so complete and insightful; I just wanted to say I’m in full agreement with you!

    I find that the term “negative” as a descriptor of a person is so vague as to be meaningless. I think this post does a great job of breaking down the different categories of meaning that are usually behind this odd formula of words.

    -Liv

  4. 4
    Amy says:

    What if you’re on the receiving end of this behavior? That you’re classified as ‘negative person’.

  5. 5

    AMANDA and LIV, thank you so much for your contributions to this thread. AMY, you have opened up a really fascinating aspect. Blog-Buddies, can any of you think of a relationship where (in retrospect, anyway) you were treated like a “negative” or “bad” person and then dropped?

    How informative was that experience for you?

  6. 6
    Jennifer says:

    I think I was probably considered a negative person my last two years in high school – I was going through a rough patch and was sad a lot of the time, so all my friends stopped being my friends. It was definitely an informative experience! I learned that I shouldn’t depend on other people to try to pull me out of any funk I may be in, but also that true friends don’t just abandon you because you’re having a hard time…ohhh high school. Glad those years are over. 🙂 But in retrospect, it was a really valuable experience, because I also learned how to interact better socially.

  7. 7

    JENNIFER, that does sound like wonderful learning.

    However, you have indirectly pointed out one of the problems with labeling someone as negative and then dropping the person.

    Where was the human compassion? “Fair weather friend” is an expression that pre-dates today’s convenient version, labeling anyone in distress as “negative” and bad.”

  8. 8
    Liv says:

    I’m with you, Rose. Someone who is mired in sadness or worry, or to whom everything just looks bleak for a while — that person is especially in need of a friend. If we all breezily walked away from people who were “being negative,” the world would be an incredibly lonely place.

    My best friendships have only grown deeper when one or both of us were passing through a dark night of the soul. Maybe it’s just the lens I’ve developed working in mental health, but I see “negativity” as a big, flashing neon sign shaped like an arrow, that reads, “Love and healing needed HERE!”

    I don’t recall ever encountering a “negative” person. My personal experience has been that all of us are beings of love and joy. It’s just that in the vicissitudes of human life, that fact is sometimes concealed — even, or perhaps especially, from ourselves.

    Disclaimer: This is just my two cents, from planet Liv; I don’t know if or how it fits in with a good understanding of energetic literacy!

    -Liv

  9. 9
    Rachel says:

    I have met several people who insist on being positive and who insist that everyone else be positive too, and it drives me nuts! I find that it’s one way of really limiting any possibility of getting close to them, because my sad and confused feelings are just as much part of me as my sense of humour.

    I also think that when other people, say at work, come across as ‘negative’ by complaining or being grumpy, it’s just their way of expressing what’s going on for them. They are meeting their needs in the best way they know how. So yes, I totally agree that writing such people off as negative is so small-minded.

    Having said all that, I agree with ‘Wrinkle in Time’ that if someone is being persistently rude or abusive, we are within our rights to insist that they stop – and if they won’t, then maybe it is indeed best to not hang around with them anymore – that is, if we have made attempts to resolve the difficulty first.

    Don’t you agree, Rose?

  10. 10

    I do agree, both with findings from Planet RACHEL and from Planet LIV.

    What matters immensely to me, however, is to be informative in ending or shifting a relationship. Whenever possible, I would be informative about a shift in a relationship. For instance, if JOE keeps talking about a political problem in a way that offends me, I might ask, “Since we have such different views of politics, JOE, I would prefer that we not talk about that. We have so many other interests in common.”

    And then, of course, it’s simply a matter of following through.

    Or, if a relationship cannot be salvaged at a particular time, I would let JOE know, preferably by phone. But even an email is preferable to just ending a friendship or dropping a relationship with no information.

    I might say, for instance, how much the friendship with JOE has meant to me but that I’m just not that interested in snorkeling any more. Or that JOE hurt my feelings by smashing my glass slippers at the ball.

    This commitment to being informative has grown for me over the years. It is possible to be both informative and kind. I do my best this way. And I very much appreciate when others do the same for me.

    Most relationships do not last for a lifetime. When a friendship or other relationship runs its course, it can be ended with grace.

    Otherwise, whoever is being unfriended can feel cut to the quick, and without learning a thing.

  11. 11
    Wrinkle In Time says:

    I am so a “negative person” to some people even now and definitely in the past. I was indeed dropped during the time period when I was so overwhelmed with little babies and no significant help plus work outside of home. I imagine that I wasn’t too fun to hang out with or whatever. Anyhow – I learned from that and still am learning. Often times I see the pain behind the hurtful behavior and that makes it easier of course. Unless we are enlightened, we are all “negative people” from time to time, imho. Maybe even after the enlightenment.

    Thank you so much for this topic Rose. I always learn something on this blog whether I want it or not. 🙂

  12. 12
    Liv says:

    Rose, again I say “amen” to your comment about being committed to being informative, when ending or shifting a relationship. I’ve been “dropped” without explanation a couple of times in my life, and I would never wish that on anyone.

    And yes, not all friendships are going to continue for a lifetime. But my experience has been that for both parties, endings can be as important and meaningful a part of a friendship as any other — sometimes even moreso — and so, endings deserve as ethical, caring and responsible an approach as beginnings and middles. I like the terms you use, Rose: to be kind and informative, and to try to end things with grace.

    Of course that isn’t always possible, for example, when contacting someone might put us in harm’s way. But I’d say those situations are a very tiny percentage of the ones we typically deal with in our lives.

    It can also be very difficult, and very painful, to be the person who is ending the friendship — particularly for those of us for whom it is an anathema to cause pain to others. However, I’ve learned that just cutting a person off without explanation may make life easier for me, but it is much crueler than the alternative.

    Rachel, it also drives me nuts to be told to “be positive.” Hearing that immediately puts me in a negative place, in fact!! 🙂 When I hear, “Be positive,” I hear, “Be someone other than who you are — stuff any feelings I deem unacceptable!” *grumble, grumble*

    Rose, I guess this topic hit a chord, with me! :)Thank you for raising it, and for sharing such wonderful compassion and insights about it.

    -Liv

  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    I agree, and I love your comment, ROSE – once again it’s an ‘of course’ moment about something I never really thought about before!

    A lovely way to maintain intimacy even when things aren’t brilliant.

    For me the hurt comes if I do that and am ignored or rebuffed, but I guess that’s information about the relationship in itself.

    Amanda

  14. 14

    AMANDA, LIV, as if anyone wouldn’t want to stay “in friend” with you!

  15. 15
    Amy says:

    Rose I really like your approach to ‘unfriending’, and letting people know.

    I have a lovely friend from when we were together briefly at Uni, and now my messages go unanswered. Even a little message that said ‘remaining friends with you reminds me too much of our horrible experiences there to stay in contact with you’ which is what I think may be the case, would be easier than just nothing.

    I don’t think I’ve cut someone off since I was 13 and I suppose I did when I moved country and never got around to replying to letters.

    I think it’s an important skill to develop being congruent and honest with people and acknowledging that it can be very painful.

  16. 16
    Liv says:

    Rose, you are too kind. 🙂 And right back atcha!!

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    This is another lovely thread.

    Perhaps what people are getting at here is being authentic? That when things are not cheerful, there is no need to pretend to be “positive” when one doesn’t really feel that way?

    One thing I have experienced is that genuine joy, even in the midst of awful circumstances, comes from a deep and authentic place. It can’t be faked. It has nothing to do with the “acting positive” / “pretending not to be negative” that appears to be what this sweet conversation is about.

    It reminds me of moments in movies where the main characters are facing something truly awful and just burst out laughing for no apparent reason, with tears rolling down their face. They are tears of joy and perhaps also tears of sadness – but the tears are authentic, acknowledging both the joy and sadness in the situation. These situations could be scenes such as, well, cleaning up a house after a natural disaster; reacting to a diagnosis of a terminal illness like cancer; learning that a spouse has been unfaithful; learning a dear friend has betryed you.

    To me, it’s like relief at learning the truth of a situation or person and just letting go and relaxing into that, accepting it truly for what it is, no matter how difficult it seems.

    It is exquisite joy and pathos simultaneously.

  18. 18
    Rachel says:

    Anonymous,

    Hear hear!

    Love it.

  19. 19
    Jean says:

    “It is exquisite joy and pathos simultaneously.”

    Oh, yeah.

    Thank you Anonymous.

  20. 20
    Anonymous says:

    Hi Rachel and Jean,

    Thank you for the kind words of support (in Comments #18 and #19), both! It means a great deal to me, coming as it is from such wonderful Blog-Buddies!

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