I’ve noticed lately a string of inspirational photos/sayings encouraging us to “avoid negative people”. That’s all fine and good, but it’s important to explain what this means. Something like this can’t be put into a neat little quote or a three word “command”.
We are encouraged to “avoid negative people” who “bring our vibration down”, right? But what exactly does this mean? Let’s get real, are we all beacons of light all the time? Face it, sometimes we have bad days, trials, bad moods, and so on. We can’t always be traipsing through the fields with butterflies around our heads. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I went traipsing through the fields with butterflies around my head.
Simply put, if someone is abusive, puts you down, makes you feel bad about yourself, is critical and not encouraging, complains nonstop about everything, and that is their usual modus operandi, then that is a negative person. That is the person who consistently spews negative comments. You can even feel it when you are around them. Nothing is ever good enough, things are always bad no matter how good they get, and they can always find the putrid lining in any situation.
However, if you have a friend who is going through a hard time and needs to talk about it, that is not a “negative person”.
If you have a loved one or friend who is ill or needs your support through tough medical treatment, that is not a “negative person”.
If you have a loved one who has lost someone dear to them, including a pet, and is grieving, that is not a “negative person”.
I’m going to use the cancer patient as an example in this post, simply because I have experience and can speak from that. You can apply this however to any life challenge. Substitute any challenge for “cancer”.
The most lonely thing someone going through a hard time can hear is “please don’t talk about your situation, it will bring me down”. Mind you, if the person has been complaining about the same thing for 20 years but doing nothing about it, then you may be justified. But if someone is going through, for example, cancer treatment, the last thing they need to hear is that their situation might be “depressing” to others. Imagine how it is for THEM!!
Some things in life don’t come in neat little packages. For example, cancer might recur, and if you have a friend or loved one diagnosed with it, you might be called upon to be a support several times. That is not a “negative person” in your life. What cancer patient, on top of everything they are enduring, has the energy to worry if their situation is a “downer” for others?
All cancer patients, no matter how cheerful, have recurrence fears, whether they talk about it or not. And it’s cyclical and variable. Near the time of a visit or scan or blood test, for example, it might get more intense. It’s different for each patient, but it’s there. Always. It might be in the background, the foreground, or the middle ground. It might be a big dark cloud or a little wispy cloud. Some days the cloud seems to have disappeared, only to return.
During these times, they need understanding and a little slack, not judgment and avoidance!
A very important component, and one thing that is asked of the cancer patient upon their initial visit on the intake form, is about their social support system. It’s that critical to their recovery.
There is a type of friend cancer patients have, who runs at the first indication of cancer, only to return when the trouble is over (when the patient is in remission). When it recurs, they are gone again. My mother used to call these people “fair weather friends”. In other words, no friend at all.
Please don’t be a fair weather friend, so that your otherwise mentally healthy friend has to hire a therapist and spend big bucks just to have someone to talk to.
And remember, if you avoid negative people at all costs and cast too wide a net in that regard, when you are in need who is going to be there for YOU? Certainly not the friend you consistently disappeared on when they had a rough patch.
Please don’t force your friends to be cheerful when they really need support, because they don’t want to “be a negative influence in your life”.
It’s unrealistic to be chipper and chirpy all the time. Life is messy and full of stuff we have to deal with. We call that “contrast” in the LOA (Law of Attraction) world. Honestly, I’d rather be with people who are real than with people who put on a phony front of cheerfulness and hide their troubles.
People who hide their troubles might be doing a favor to the people who want to “avoid negative people”. But they are also contributing to the illusion that “everyone else is fine, what is wrong with MY life”? or “She seems to be handling this situation fine, why can’t I?” when “she” is struggling just as much. This doesn’t help or serve anyone.
One last thing. If your policy is to avoid negative people at all costs, what are you going to do when you have the inevitable day when YOU are the negative person? UH OH.