5 Ways Negativity Pushes People Away

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Whether it’s a relationship or a friendship, the people close to you are greatly affected by your negativity.   “But I’m not negative”!    Maybe you aren’t  and if that’s the case then good job and thank you for being what the world needs more of! But maybe you don’t realize you ARE negative, for example:
Responding with a “downer” response when asked how you are doing i.e. “I’ve been better” or “I’m alright… I guess”.


Complaining about common aches and pains ALL THE TIME.  These are things that other people have as well like sore muscles, a minor headache, or being tired.
Those are just a couple of minor ways that people spread negativity.

 Imagine negativity as an arrow, and you are the bow.   The people you come across on a daily basis are moving targets.   And the people that are intimately involved in your life through a relationship or close friendship are moving targets at close range. 

 Now, what happens when you shoot an arrow at a moving target?  They try to get away because it hurts.   If being hit by an arrow is unpleasant, why would they willingly continue to subject themselves to that pain?  Perhaps that’s a great explanation for why people distance themselves from you. 

When you come across these targets at any given moment, you have the choice to shoot a negative OR a positive arrow at them.  

While some people say that being nice to others in order to make them feel good isn’t a good enough reason, it actually benefits YOU because you won’t cause people to avoid you.   Your relationships will thrive and your friendships will too.  People will WANT to be around you and include you in on things. 
In case you STILL aren’t convinced as to why you should stop shooting negative arrows from your bow, here are 5 ways that negativity pushes people away from you.

1. Being negative drags other people down.
When someone asks you how you are doing and you respond with a negative answer or even a so-so answer (Alright, Okay, I’m alive), they immediately feel deflated.  It’s a natural response to a negative energy wave.  Even if it only lasts a few seconds, it’s still an unpleasant feeling so in order to prevent it, the person will start avoiding even small conversations with you. 

How to Reverse This:
Bring people up by responding with a positive answer (Great, Good, Just Fine)! If you don’t see why you should respond that way well here is one good reason that you are doing great… You’re Alive!

2.It makes others feel guilty.
If you complain about your trivial everyday issues to someone ALL THE TIME, it can make them feel guilty that they are having such a great day or that they are being more positive.  And no one wants to feel guilty, so to avoid feeling that way, they’ll avoid you.  Why should they have to squash their joy just because you are such a downer?  
How to Reverse This:
See above!

3. It can add stress to their life.
Trust me, as someone who gives advice on a regular basis, I know that there is a fine line between letting someone vent and letting someone drag me down with negativity.  I have taught myself how to let things go so that when I give people advice I just address the issue but I don’t let it weigh down on me.   However in my real life and personal life, I can attest to the fact that I am more stressed when I am surrounded by negativity.  If you love those around you, stop stressing them out.  

 How to Reverse This:
Think before you speak.  Is it really necessary to complain about something?   Will the negative thought in your head matter in 2 years or even in a week? Then relax and just let it go.  Tell yourself it’s no big deal and that it’s not worth stressing your loved ones out by complaining about something so minute.

 4. It makes people feel helpless.
When you complain about issues that you (or they) have no control over, on a repeated basis, it makes the people close to you feel helpless.  No one likes to feel helpless especially after they try numerous times to tell you to be positive, cheer up, or how to fix your issues.   So in an effort to feel better they’ll distance themselves from you. 

 How to Reverse This:
If it can’t be remedied (You don’t like the new person they hired) because you have no direct control over the situation, try to reword how you want to complain.  Instead of saying that you can’t stand the new girl and she makes you angry (This makes the person you’re talking to instinctively wonder how they can help you feel better), simply make a comment that you noticed they hired a new girl and you’re interested to see how it pans out.  There’s no HELP ME undertone to a comment like that.

 5. It takes an emotional toll on them.
It’s emotionally draining to be around negativity.  Have you ever turned off the news because after 10 depressing headline stories, you just couldn’t take it anymore?   That’s EXACTLY how it feels to be around a negative person or a downer.  Sometimes, it can even take a physical and mental toll on people when they are so upset or brought down that they weaken their immune system or their mental state of mind. 

This is EXTREMELY common in relationships… one partner has to soak up the others negativity and it brings them down to a point where they have to get away from the other person in order to make themselves happy. 
How to Reverse This:
First ask yourself if YOU would want to be in a relationship with yourself?  Are you grumpy and miserable or a pessimist in even the best situations?   Well, stop.. because if you don’t want to be around yourself, no one else does.   Refer to all of the above to stop!

Okay so now you’re probably asking how you are supposed to deal with your bad days, complaints, and everyday issues.  Well, you can use the 48 hour rule – where if it’s something you have control over  and can change in 48 hours you NEED to take action or else you can’t bitch about it.  Or you can limit yourself to one or two times a week where you can vent your frustrations out to someone.  Don’t make it a habit of doing it every day even if it’s just a negative response when asked how you are doing, because it will certainly bring those people down.

 And before you ask “Then who can I vent to or who do I talk to about my problems?” I’ll tell you either see a therapist, OR ask yourself if your problems are even real problems or if you are just pessimistically creating them out of regular situations.


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  1. I just want to thank you for this post! I have found myself being negative lately and it didn't really occur to me how it could be impacting my relationships/friends until I read this post. =)


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