Ever wonder why you seem to attract negative people to you? The fact is… negative and positive people are often drawn to each other, even when they seem so vastly different. It’s rooted in our nature. Actually…it’s science. A battery has two ends: a positive terminal (cathode) and a negative terminal (anode). If you connect the two ends…electricity is produced!
Whether it’s comfortable or not, when a negative person connects with a positive person, energy is created. We crave energy. Energy is a flow of electrons, and energy is a flow of emotions. If you’ve ever wondered why opposites attract, there’s part of your answer. A positive force will magnetically draw a negative charge to it.
Know that in dealing with negative people, you first must recognize that we are in fact attracted to the energy or charge that we feel. The key is understanding the flow of energy, and if you need to “detach” from that negative force. Ask these questions:
- What are you getting from the relationship?
- What is it you want from the relationship and is it realistic?
- Will you ever get it?
- Does this relationship serve you?
- Is your life better with this person in it?
- Does this person lift you up?
- Are they happy for your success?
- Do they cheer for you?
- Pray for you?
- Do they care enough to push you or ask uncomfortable questions when you’re off track?
With most relationships we have a choice. We can’t choose our family members but we can choose our friends.
A true friend is someone who cares so much, that they will risk offending you, having that uncomfortable conversation to let you know when you’re on a destructive path or just underselling yourself. A true friend should feel like the President of your Fan Club! They want what’s in your best interest. Those are the people you need in your life. Those are the important relationships, and you have a choice. Those friends who are negative, impossible to please, terribly unhappy with themselves, and hell bent on confrontation, are not healthy people to spend time with. There is a cost to be paid and guess who pays the price? Ask yourself, how often does this person repay the withdrawals they make? We have a finite amount of love, energy, compassion and most importantly time. Be mindful of how and with whom you spend those things. And if you need to cut ties, check out this blog.
Tips to deal with negative people…
To best manage these relationships, I hope the following suggestions are helpful:
- Carefully consider how much of yourself you give to those who only withdraw.
- Give negative individuals less power over your emotions, time and happiness.
- You are not responsible for another person’s happiness, value or good mood.
- Don’t take the hurtful actions as a personal reflection.
- Remember…it is impossible to win an argument with someone who is “never wrong” or blindly self-focused.
It Stems from the Past
Difficult, needy, angry, overly sensitive people are that way, not because of something you’ve done or not done, but often because of early childhood experiences. Have empathy and compassion but not at the risk of sacrificing yourself. Don’t take it personal. It’s really not about you. And sometimes there’s nothing you can fix…but we can choose our friends. Hurt people, hurt people. When the negative person is family, remember that you have choice in the way you respond. So respond in love. Stop being angry, end your resentment. Put love in your heart.
We can’t change people…But we can pray for them. When dealing with unhappy family members, know your part, but set healthy boundaries. Be supportive without taking responsibility for the self-worth of another. Create a healthier relationship and if you want this person in your life, (or if you really don’t have a choice via marriage or bloodline) then make a decision to do your best without sacrificing your soul. Ask questions. Listen. And listening doesn’t mean letting the other person talk, so that they will hurry up and finish so you can say what you need to say. Listening is understanding; trying to see things from their life perspective. Having an understanding of what it is like to walk in their shoes and what experiences have led them to this way of thinking. Take the word confrontation out of your vocabulary. Decide to be more loving.
And lastly, I believe that no relationship is 50/50. Every relationship has a humble hero. It’s okay to be that person from time to time, the one who does more and takes pride in their role. Be the person who’s willing to make the other person feel like the center of the universe. Instead of keeping score or building resentment, just hold that pride inside of you. Know without having to broadcast it or write your award acceptance speech that this is your gift. This is what draws other people to you. Stop feeling sorry for yourself or wondering when someone else is going to do the same for you. Respond in love or make a decision to make a change. There are exceptions to every rule, but the thing I know for sure and it sounds “total cheeseburger,” but love is almost always the right answer.