Healthy Minds, Healthy Souls: Living with Negative People

We have all come across people in this world, who seem a bit more drawn toward the negative perspective. They might frequently use sarcasm to hurt others with what seems like cunning intent, or, rather than showing empathy and tolerance to those who are different, they are more likely to be judgmental, attacking, blaming and critical. When something goes wrong, they point a finger rather than accept reality. Small things seem to lead to big reactions for these individuals. Why? Many people have a lower level of baseline happiness that comes across as moodiness or negativity. Truth is, at rest, their brains are simply not at peace.

Each of us have a different level of baseline happiness that we are born with, where our moods typically reside if nothing out of the ordinary is going on. Some of us are full of joy and the world couldn’t be more colorful. Others of us are right at neutral. People who are born with lower levels of happiness, however seem to just think more negatively about the people and the situations they face. With these individuals, you may find that no matter how much you try to shed light on the positive, their opinions don’t really budge.

If we are not careful, being around someone else’s negative mood can wear on us. The tension they bring to a moment can cloud the atmosphere with heaviness. The negativity they bring to a situation can cause us to react defensively or worry about what we have done. We must be careful that we don’t allow ourselves to get caught up in this negative spiral. Taking ownership of someone else’s reactions and negative moods, is not healthy and makes us feel somehow responsible for making them feel better, something that is not in our hands.

If you know someone who tends to be negative, critical, judgmental or otherwise unable to embrace a more empathic, tolerant and merciful perspective, realize, you must remain intentional in keeping your peace. It’s best with these folks to remain conscious of your own thoughts and feelings, monitoring them for negativity. In conversations, seek to take in, only what’s necessary for the sake of the moment and leave the rest behind. Breathe deeply and remain focused on your own sense of calm. Keep in mind that your happiness and joy is only yours to give.

“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

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