“You can’t live a positive life around negative people.” – Marc Chernoff
I came across a great article today while hunting for a quote for this post. The gist of the article was that it is nearly impossible to maintain positivity unless we’re willing to remove negativity. Some of the negativity is people, and some of it is our own negative thoughts. What I have seen over the last few months is that not everyone wants positivity. (Noah touched on that here.) In fact, people will fight it, make fun of it, turn from it, or ignore it completely.
I know this because I have seen it. I have lost Facebook “friends” from posting a daily blog centering on positivity. Add Twitter followers to that list. I’ve been asked multiple times why I am clogging up timelines with the same stuff every day. The message is this: some people don’t want positivity. Some people don’t feel like a positive outlook can make any difference in their lives. Oddly, some people are completely turned off or even angered by positivity or positive people. Some people see their own negativity reflected in your positivity. They can’t make sense of it, so their default emotion is ridicule.
Case in point: I work with a woman who is constantly smiling. When you encounter her, she says hello and asks how you’re doing. Every time. Without fail. Yet, I have heard more than a few people make fun of her, wonder what the hell she’s so happy about, or dismiss her attitude as phony. That’s what you’re up against when you try to present positivity.
Okay, so far I have told you how to lose social media contacts and get made fun of at work for simply trying to be a positive person. Sounds fun, eh? Look, the alternative is this: maintaining an abysmal approach to everything, bringing those around you down to your level, constantly complaining but never doing anything to satisfy said complaint, and constantly finding the negative in every situation. I’ll choose a little ribbing for being a “hippie”, as some have so eloquently put it, as opposed to the alternative.
The fact that not everyone is going to change or see things your merry way isn’t a reason to throw in the towel. I choose to find positivity and expect people to be generally good because the alternative sucks. I’ve done the alternative. I’ve been the selfish bastard. I’ve been the gossiper. I’ve been the ridiculer. Know where that got me? Exactly nowhere, unless you consider “being miserable” a destination.
You have literally nothing to lose by choosing positivity over negativity. You have nothing to lose by letting go of people and ideas that don’t further your vision and abilities. You have everything to lose by staying complacent and pissed off under that dark cloud of misery. People don’t have to follow you for it to make sense. It helps, but it’s not necessary for your fulfillment.
Make the decision.
Have an awesome Tuesday,