“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
~ W. Clement Stone

Sometimes, no matter where you turn, there seems to be someone spouting something negative.  Maybe they’re talking about the economy, or the job market, how hot it is (yeah, I know, I find myself kvetching about the hot weather), what he’s doing wrong, how dare she blah blah or how this or that will never work.

The question is, what do you do when you’re faced with all that negativity?

I don’t know about you, but I’m what some might consider to be a bit of a Pollyanna.  I’m always looking to and talking about the bright side.  I’m the one that reminds others that often times, things happen for a reason and down the road that reason will be crystal clear.  And you’ll find then that it was one hell of an amazing gift.

Yes, I am That Person.

Sometimes I think that just because I am That Person, that I often attract to me those that wish they had more of that positivity in their own lives. Or as I sometimes say, I seem to attract those that see my shine my light and draw attention to the fact that there is, indeed a clear path out there.  I don’t usually take much notice of this until someone in my circle points it out.

Which of course means that I sometimes have to deal with negative people and all their negative shit.  And trust me when I say…it is their shit and has nothing at all to do with you (but that’s a different article).

Over the years I’ve discovered five secrets to keep me more positive (and excited) about the good things in life.

Affirmations, Mantras and Setting Intentions – It’s no secret that I love me some affirmations, mantras and intentions.  I have found that they really come in handy when you’re dealing with negative energy (or worse yet, when someone is spewing their negativity right at you!).  I enjoy watching dramas on TV…medical, law, life, you name it…but I don’t like having to deal with all that negativity that they often depict with their ongoing discussions of wrong doing and devastating or debilitating diseases. While I’m watching, I’ll regularly repeat over and over in my head, “I am well.  All is good.”  Same thing when I’m stuck in traffic or someone says that I’ll never find parking (or whatever).  I set the intention that I will succeed and I repeat my go to mantra “I am well. All is good.” I find that when you take control of your own thoughts and your own happiness and well being, you’ll find that those around you will bother you less with their crappy stuff.  It’s as if you’ve put up a protective barrier of sorts.

Change the Subject – When you’re having a conversation with someone and you don’t like the direction the conversation is taking, feel free to change the subject.  No, you don’t have to point out any silver lining.  Just pick something else to talk about.  Easy peasy.  When all else fails, there’s always the weather, a recent book you’ve read or something you’ve recently seen or heard that you can talk about.  Better yet, ask a question…bonus points if you ask the negative person directly.  You see we all love talking and having an audience, so when you change the subject and ask someone a question, you continue to give them that audience they were looking for, but now they’ve got something a lot less negative to talk about (if all goes well).

Avoid Them – I don’t watch the news and I don’t read the newspaper (though I do love Jon Stewart and his take on current events…humor makes such a difference to me).  I will physically get up and leave the room or change the channel if I don’t like what I’m seeing or hearing.  Same goes with people.  If someone is way too negative for my tastes, I walk away, find something else to do or someone else to talk to.  And on those rare occasions when I must interact with those Negative Nellies (like at our monthly garden meetings…yowza!), I avoid them like the plague.  I’m not rude, I will be polite and carry on a casual conversation, but I won’t go there or encourage their negativity.

Cut and Delete – Sometimes you just need to cut your losses.  And let’s be honest, that might include ending some toxic relationships (this was a big one for me last year).  So get busy cutting and deleting…people, obligations, organizations, reading materials, things you watch, etc.  You’ll find that you’ll breath a lot easier with these negative sources and energy drainers out of your life.  And don’t worry about feeling guilty about ending a relationship or obligation…your focus is on your well-being and happiness.

Surround Yourself With Things (and People) You Like – No one says that you HAVE to do something or even interact with someone if it doesn’t bring you joy.  I’ve been known to not read our book club selections because I found them to be too depressing or too negative.  I’ll walk out of a movie if it doesn’t work for me.  And as I’ve said above, I’ll end relationships if I find that they no longer work or are too negative.  Time is a gift and I’d much rather spend my time doing things I like and hanging with people that I enjoy spending time with.  So I make sure to surround myself with fun people (I like to say to my friends that if you like me, you’ll like my friends…so if I ever make an introduction, jump on it and now they’ve got to be awesome if I choose to spend time and interact with them!).  I also make sure to have little things that make me happy all around…good coffee, great wine, quality chocolate (notice any pattern here?), moisturizing lip balm (yeah, I might be a bit addicted), uplifting and motivating books and music, and pretty things to look at.  And of course, let’s not forget quality snuggles from my cat and dog (and my husband).

Life is too short, and too full of unexpected opportunities to get bogged down with people that can’t enjoy themselves.  I say, just say No! to those Negative Nellies and Debbie Downers!

ACTION PLAN: What’s one thing that you can remove from your life TODAY to get away from negative or draining energy?