I recently discovered The Daily Love, a fantastic little site that sends inspirational quotes and daily affirmations to your inbox. While reading it a few days ago, I came across the following quote:
“Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don’t hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people.” – Zig Ziglar
My first thought was: ‘Oh thank God I don’t date my ex-boyfriend anymore!’ I mean, let’s face it…at some point in our lives, we’ve all tried to “fix” someone who’s been mired down by depression, right? (Unfortunately, I spent the majority of my 20’s trying to lift men up from their Eeyore-like state).
Then it dawned on me: while we can choose our partners and friends in life, we can’t necessarily choose our coworkers. Zig Ziglar’s quote made it alarmingly clear to me that what I had at home and at my part-time job was the one very crucial thing I lacked at my full-time job: positive people.
Positive people are rare. They are those people who’ve done the “work” on themselves, the ones who are authentic, the ones who truly want to make your day better instead of bringing you down with them into their murky pool of misery. They’re the ones who don’t start sentences with: “I already know it’s going to be awful…” or “This place is despicable because…” But hey, I’m guilty of being negative too. When negative people feed off of one another (especially in the workplace), positivity shrinks away like a wilting flower.
So the next time you feel yourself being affected by the words or actions of negative people in your life, self-inquiry expert, Byron Katie, suggests asking yourself these four important questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?
Chances are you’ll see that whatever that negative person in your life is doing (or spewing) has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own projections. Walk away. Walk far, far away.