Associate With Positive People
Have you ever heard the phrase, “We become part of what we are around?.” Have you given much thought to how this principle has been molding and shaping your life? It’s worth thinking about. The people you associate with have a profound affect on how you feel and what you’ll ultimately achieve. I’m sure most of you have heard this principle before. Some of you have heard it a hundred times. But this is one of those areas where there is a large gap between theory and practice. In other words, you know it’s important to limit involvement with negative people, yet you continue to hang around with them.
By the way, I’m not talking about your relationship with your spouse or significant other. I’m referring to discretionary relationships, both at work and in your leisure hours.
In today’s literature, we frequently see the terms toxic people and nourishing people. As you might expect, toxic people are the ones who always dwell on the negative. The dictionary defines toxic as “poisonous” toxic people continually spew their verbal poison. In contrast, the dictionary definition of nourishing is “to nurture or promote the growth of.” Nourishing people are positive and supportive. They lift your spirits and are a joy to be around.
Negative people will always drag you down to their level. They hammer away at you with all of the things you can’t do and all of the things that are impossible. They barrage you with gloomy statements about the lousy economy, the problems in their lives, the problems soon to be in your life, and the terrible prospects for the future. If you’re lucky, they might even throw in a few words about their aches and pains and recent illnesses.
After listening to toxic people, you feel listless, depressed and drained. Psychologist Jack Canfield describes them as “energy vampires” — they suck all the positive energy out of you. One thing is certain: these “vampires” will wear you down and kill your dreams.
On the other hand, how do you feel when you are around people who are positive, enthusiastic and supportive? I’ll bet that you are encouraged and inspired. You start to pick up their attitude, and you feel as if you have added strength to vigorously pursue your own goals.
If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather hang out with nourishing people? Well, in fact, you DO have a choice. It’s up to you to determine who you spend your time with. If toxic people surround you in your daily life, you can do something about it.
To begin with, develop friendships and associations with people who are positive and supportive. In addition, seek out people who are action-oriented and service-oriented. As you spend more and more time in the company of people who have these traits, you, too, will develop the same successful characteristics and put them to use in your life.
Consider who you have been spending your time with. Examine your friendships and relationships at work and during your leisure hours. Those who occupy your time have a significant impact on your most priceless possession … your mind! It is your responsibility to regulate what you allow into your mind.
Here are some steps you can take to be more responsible in this area:
* If you regularly have lunch with toxic people at work, stop it. You should be able to find a diplomatic way of extricating yourself from this “poisonous” group.
* If you have a toxic relative (which could be your mother, father, son or daughter), it is important to put some limits on your involvement with them. This does not mean that you abandon this relative and never speak to him or her. However, you should not go out of your way to call that person several times each day if he or she is going to put you down or fill the conversation with negative remarks.
* Form your own positive group with friends or colleagues. Make a commitment to meet with these people on a regular basis (e.g., once a week or once a month) to discuss goals, exchange ideas and offer support. These should be people who accept you as you are and yet challenge you to be the best that you can be.
In case you’re wondering, I’m in favor of trying to help friends who are negative. I think we should make efforts to steer them in a more positive direction. But if we’ve been trying for the last 9 years and the person insists on being negative, maybe it’s time to severely limit the amount of time we spend with that person – or to stop spending any time with that individual.
As you increase your associations with nourishing people, you will feel better about yourself and about your ability to achieve your goals. You’ll become a more positive, upbeat person — the kind of person others love to be around. I used to think that it was important to associate with positive people and to limit involvement with negative people. Now, I believe that it is essential if you want to be a high-achiever and a happy individual.
By the way, as you continue to associate with positive people, the law of attraction starts to kick in. That law states that LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE. When you are positive, you’ll attract more positive people into your life. Of course, if you are NEGATIVE, you’ll attract negative people.
So, surround yourself with positive, nourishing people — they will lift you up the ladder of success.
About The Author
Jeff Keller is a motivational speaker and author of the best-selling book, Attitude is Everything.