If you don’t want your life to be “messed up,” don’t fool around with those who have messed up theirs.

It is a peculiarity of human relationships that it is virtually impossible for one individual to have a lasting positive influence upon members of a group of negative thinkers. Usually, it works the other way. You cannot maintain a positive, productive attitude if you spend all your time with negative people. Those who have wrecked their own lives (and usually blame their misfortune on others) are not the kind of people who will help you achieve success in your own life.

Choose your friends and associates carefully, and refrain from complaints about your job, your company, or any individual. Spend your time with positive, ambitious people who have a plan for their lives. You will find that their optimism is infectious. ~ Napoleon Hill

More power to the one who can stay in a group of negative thinkers and maintain their positive thoughts. My experience has been that the majority rules – if I’m surrounded by mostly positive thinkers and doers, I’ll be more positive. And, that’s my preference. I always tended toward the negative, toward trying to be realistic, toward being the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ … none of which is very helpful to moving forward.

On Facebook I’ve removed Friends from my list, I’ve hidden and unfollowed Friends so I don’t see their posts (thinking that after the political season is over their posts will return to normal), and when I’m working I enable “News Feed Eradicator” so I’m not sucked into nonsense that 1,000+ people can (and do) post every 60 seconds.

On LinkedIn I communicate on purpose in Articles, InMails, and groups, mostly ignoring general feeds.

In life, I host a monthly lunch for a small group of women at my home. It’s by invitation only and they’re not invited again if they are disruptive or unwilling to participate in the discussions. And, when I attend someone else’s events, if I leave feeling worse than when I arrived – I won’t go back.

When it’s my husband’s turn to be down, I use the ‘arms length’ approach for detaching from his emotions but not from him. He does the same with me. Getting sucked in and reacting does no good but does cause harm by magnifying the negatives through anger, hurt feelings, arguments. We both aspire to do this every time.

These are just a few of the ways I consciously and purposefully keep the negative away.

What about you?


Also published on Medium.