“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.”
I repeat, you cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang around negative people. We all know this, but do we live it? Some people think that their positivity is so strong that it can rub off on the other person. If this is you or your thinking, run fast in the opposite direction of the negative people you spend time with. You cannot change another person, they have to change within themselves. I will say it again in hopes that it resonates somewhere deep…real deep. You cannot change another person, they have to change within themselves.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. That explains a lot. For me, I have a very small circle. My circle looks more like a dot. I don’t think that I am better than people, nor am I hard to get along with…it’s just hard to find people I connect with. When I was younger and more immature, I wanted a lot of friends. Yep, I even wanted about twelve bridesmaids. Today, I can barely count five people who will stand beside me on my special day. The thought doesn’t make me sad or squeamish, it means that the women who are selected to stand beside me during such an occasion truly bring vitality to my life; quality over quantity.
Meet Rachel. Rachel is in her late twenties, finishing a Master’s degree while working full-time. Rachel is on this new self-empowerment kick. She has started taking up Yoga, meditating in the morning and at night, and even opting for self-help books over the steamy romance novels. She is an active member in Oprah’s OWN network, being sure to read all the blogs and watch the Super Soul Sunday episodes before going to church. She is serious about changing for the better. Rachel is enrolled in an MBA program and have high hopes of starting her own cupcake shop when she finishes. She learned how to cook from her mother and grandmother. Cooking is second nature to her, but she always had a special love for baking desserts.
Rachel confides in her friends about her aspirations. They listen, and I guess they are supportive since they taste-test all of her latest recipes, but she oftentimes leave them feeling depleted and unmotivated. Rachel recognizes that her friends aren’t exactly headed in the right direction, but they have been friends since barrettes and overalls, and she just can’t imagine life without them. They all have a mutual friend who joined the military and dropped them as soon as she started adding stamps to her Passport and dating foreign men. Rachel vowed not to be like her, she wanted to bring their neighborhood friends up to her level, not leave them behind.
On one sunny afternoon, Rachel decides to invite her friends over for a small soiree and a bit of good news. She enlists the help of a classmate who will start her own event management company. The room is completely decked out. Delicious desserts and pastries create an aroma of sweetness and success. Rachel is on cloud nine.
Her friends come in about thirty minutes late and begin to socialize and indulge in the sugared affair. Rachel creates a small circle with their spruced up chairs and tell them that an investor has reached out and that she will be opening her bakery much sooner than she expected. The girls do not seem as excited as she thought they would be. Several of them whisper, “Good job Rach”, but go back to talking about the latest, scandalous gossip from their small community.
Rachel decides not to let their drifting moods affect her, she cleans up and rushes home to tell her mother. The conversation goes a little something like this:
“What does he want out of the deal? Who in they right mind going to just give a college student all that money for no reason?”
“Mom, he thinks that I’m good and he sits on the advisory board for the college so he knows that I know how to run a business.”
“How does he know you know how to run a business when you don’t have a business?”
“I do have a business. I bake for people every day. I may not have an actual store, but I’ve made good money so far.”
“I just smell trouble. I wouldn’t do it. That’s why I never left my kitchen. Ain’t nobody about to put me in some fancy place and give me all those bills when I can cook fine right here.”
“That was your goal. My goal is to do more.”
“Sometimes doing more can put you on your ass, then what?”
Rachel left her mother’s house disappointed and second guessing her decision to accept the money. Maybe keeping the business at home is the safest route for right now.
Rachel has successfully allowed a few negative people to make her second guess her craft, her ability to be fruitful, and distorted her usual positive outlook on life. This opportunity is what she has been working for her entire life, yet it is being shadowed by the doubt created in others.
This happens so much that it may be hard to identify. Mostly, it’s going to come from the five closest people in your life. You probably could care less about the other people, you’ll just call them haters anyway. No matter how positive you are, no matter how much Oprah you watch, if you are constantly engaging in negative relationships, conversations, and thoughts…there is no way for you to be positive. Imagine living with someone who is always negative. When do you get the chance to be positive? His/her negativity will snuff your little vibes out so fast it’ll make your head spin. Energy and vibrations are a thing. I challenge you to do some self-study on the two. I have energy, you have energy, and the people you hang around have energy. Have you ever been somewhere and then someone who is super negative all the time walk in the room and totally throw off the energy? You may even say, “Uh, his presence just ruined my mood!” It’s the energy that he’s giving off. Energy is not verbal, it’s spiritual.
The key to all of this is determining who your positive clique is and accepting who’s in the negative clique. That doesn’t mean that I have 86th these people from my life. It simply means that I do not ask these people for advice, I do not share ideas/hopes with them, I do not include them on things that require good vibes. We have all heard, keep the vibe killers out of our circles, but sometimes that means eliminating parents and people we have known our whole lives. That’s not reasonable, but it is reasonable to limit your contact and dealings with these people. I know negative people and some I love dearly. I don’t have to erase their existence, I just have to know they are negative and know our relationships are limited due to their negativity.
In time they may see the light and decide to change on their own, but in the meantime you are tested with the feat of maintaining some sort of relationship without allowing it to affect your energy. These are the people you deal with “with a ten foot pole” as they say. As for your true circle, make sure their energy is similar to yours. You should feed off of each other. If you are the only light in a dark room, I suggest you find another room.