Negativity Is Contagious! Why You Should Avoid Negative People
We are social beings, and we get the feelings we crave from those around us. Studies have shown that in order to be accepted by others, people change their behavior and even their perceptions to be in line with the group. We value harmony and try to avoid conflict, which is why we adapt.
Whining Is Bad for the Brain
As long as we’re surrounded by level-headed, clear, and optimistic people, that would be great, but often we absorb negativity like envy, gossip, and hostility. And that leads to the fact that we also begin to perceive the world in this way.
Many believe that whining works through anger, but again, studies have shown that people who complain a lot may see an improvement in their mood in the short term. But in the long run, they always become more morose and aggressive towards those around them.
Stanford University found that when the hippocampus, a brain region important for learning and memory, shrinks, the increased cortisol secretion weakens our immune system.
So how can we deal with negative people to protect ourselves from their influence?
Observe Without Judging
First of all, it is important to remain a level-headed observer and not immerse yourself in what is happening. Be lenient and don’t judge that person, because more often than not, whining people are trying to distract from or justify their own shortcomings, or they have made whining a bad habit.
If it is a person who does not come from your close environment, i.e. family member, a friend, or a colleague, then it would be worth considering breaking off all contact with such people.
People who just vent their frustration and anger without wanting an honest opinion or any kind of help from you are not enriching. They unload their garbage on you, so to speak, contaminate your consciousness and disappear again. Why should one do such a thing?
Don’t try to be the savior of someone who doesn’t want to be saved. These people are more likely to ruin you than save you.
If you can’t avoid certain negative people (e.g. family members or work colleagues), try to reduce the time you give them to a minimum and at a level that is bearable for you. Don’t join in the chatter, but steer it in a different direction if possible.
Don’t be afraid to seem rude when you change the subject — a reasonably reflective person will understand why you’re doing it, and once they realize you’re not whining or responding in a similar way, they’ll eventually give up.
I can remember that there were always people in the office who liked to gossip. But since my responses to such conversations were nothing more than “I don’t know about that” or “I have no idea,” these people lost interest in me. And I freed myself from their negative energy without obviously having to reject them.
Don’t be sympathetic if you don’t want to be. Have the courage to end the conversation or at least steer it in a different direction. So at some point, you start gossiping yourself because you have to get rid of the anger about the other person.
Who you surround yourself with has an impact. That’s why successful people say they have at least three acquaintances or friends who are ahead of them, who are better than them in some way — because that pushes them, and as they try to keep up, they get better.
Or try to take over this part in your circle of friends by developing yourself and becoming an inspiration.
Remember: There is unimagined potential in you that is worth discovering. Surround yourself as often as you can with people who see the special in life and in you. This is how interpersonal relationships become a real enrichment.