What Was People’s Most Common Cause of Negativity? Other people!

 In Better Life, Focusing on the positive, Relationships

Thanks so much to all of you who shared the areas and situations in your life that cause you the most negativity.  I really appreciate your thoughts!  I was struck by the common theme – OTHER PEOPLE!!

Here’s a quick summary of the negative people you listed.

  • People who push your buttons
    • You get riled up and irritated.  They put you in a bad mood.
  • People who complain and whine about their situation/work/life/etc.
    • They bring you down and get you focused on all the bad stuff.
  • People who gossip and talk bad about others
    • It’s easy to join in and find yourself being like them.
  • People who put you down, criticize you, or make you feel bad
    • They can make you upset, embarrassed, or even feel bad about yourself.
  • People you care about who make bad decisions for their lives
    • You wish they would change and make a better life for themselves.  You wish there was something you could do to make their lives better.

It’s so easy to let other people’s words and actions affect how we feel.  I struggle with this a lot!

Here’s the tips I try to remember that help me –

  •  We can’t change other people.  We can only try to be a good influence and infect them with our positive attitude (emotional contagion).  Good or bad, we are not responsible for their attitudes or lives.
  • Other people’s words and actions are about them and their problems.  Whatever negativity they aim at us is really a result of their own issues.  “People who are not happy with themselves cannot possibly be happy with you.” – author  unknown
  • We need to build our own internal resources so we can be more resilient and resistant to the “problems” of others.  Remember your positivity ratio.
  • We can practice not letting others emotionally trigger us.  Think of them as teachers helping you learn patience, tolerance, and calmness.
  • Surround yourself with upbeat positive people who make you feel good to help offset the negative people.  Try to limit your time with them if possible.  Studies show we tend to become like the 5 people we spend the most time with so choose carefully.


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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association.

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