The Kind of People You Want and Don’t Want in Your Life

By March 10, 2024 Toxic People
The Kind of People You Want and Don’t Want in Your Life

Have you ever considered how the people around you influence your life, for better or worse? Who should you welcome into your circle, and who might it be wise to keep at a distance? In this article, I will discuss the kind of people you want and don’t want in your life.

The Two Ways People Can Make You Feel

Our interactions with friends, family, coworkers, bosses, and others typically manifest their influence on us negatively or positively.

Negative Influence:

Negative influences in our lives often take subtle and overt forms. They could be a friend who constantly criticizes, a family member who undervalues your efforts, a coworker who spreads negativity, or an overly demanding boss without recognition or support.

Negative interactions or interactions with negative people can leave us feeling drained, devalued, and demotivated. They might foster self-doubt, increase our stress levels, and even impact our self-esteem and mental health.

Positive Influence:

On the flip side, positive influences are those that uplift and encourage us. Examples include a supportive friend, an understanding family member, a collaborative coworker, or an inspiring boss.

Positive relationships are characterized by mutual respect, encouragement, and constructive feedback. They leave us feeling valued, understood, and capable. Positive influences boost our confidence, contribute to personal growth, and enhance our well-being.

Recognizing the nature of these influences in our lives is key to understanding how they shape our feelings, behaviors, and, ultimately, our happiness and success. Now, let’s take a closer look at how positive or negative people can make you feel.

How Negative & Positive People Make You Feel

Understanding the impact people have on us can sometimes be challenging, especially when it comes to distinguishing between the influence of negative and positive individuals in our lives.

To help shed light on this, here are five ways to recognize how you feel when around negative or positive people. This insight is crucial because often, we don’t immediately attribute our negative feelings to the company we keep.

Negative people can drain or upset us, and we might not always realize why. Identifying these specific feelings can be a powerful tool for understanding our interactions and guiding us toward healthier, more positive relationships.

How a Negative Person May Make You Feel:

  • Drained: You might feel emotionally exhausted after spending time with them.
  • Insecure: Interactions could leave you doubting your abilities or worth.
  • Anxious: Their presence or behavior may cause a sense of unease or nervousness.
  • Frustrated: You might frequently feel misunderstood or undervalued by them.
  • Pessimistic: They might bring out a more cynical or negative outlook in you.

How a Positive Person May Make You Feel:

  • Energized: Being around them boosts your mood and leaves you feeling more alive.
  • Confident: Their support and positive feedback help you feel more secure in your abilities.
  • Calm: Their presence brings a sense of peace and reduces stress.
  • Valued: You feel appreciated and acknowledged for who you are.
  • Optimistic: They encourage a positive outlook and inspire hopefulness in you.

Real Examples of Negative and Positive People

Negative Tom 

Meet Sarah, an enthusiastic and dedicated employee at a marketing firm. She loves her job and has a great relationship with her boss. However, Sarah’s workspace is next to Tom, a colleague who constantly complains. Every day, Tom grumbles about the boss’s decisions, criticizes the company’s policies, and talks about how unfairly he feels he’s been treated.

Initially, Sarah didn’t share Tom’s negative views. But over time, his constant complaining started to affect her, and she began to question her own positive work experiences.

Despite her achievements and supportive boss, Sarah felt increasingly unhappy and skeptical about her job. She noticed a growing dissatisfaction and started dreading coming to work.

This example shows how even if nothing is fundamentally wrong with our situation, being close to someone who constantly radiates negativity can start to skew our perceptions and feelings.

Sarah’s case highlights how a toxic coworker can indirectly impart their negativity, impacting our job satisfaction and mental well-being.

Positive Tom

Now let’s look at this same scenario in reverse: 

Imagine Sarah, who recently started a job at a marketing firm. She enjoys her role and feels optimistic about her career prospects. In this version, she works alongside Tom, a colleague known for his positive attitude.

Tom greets each day enthusiastically, often sharing words of encouragement and offering assistance. He regularly highlights the team’s good work and is quick to help Sarah settle into her new role.

Thanks to Tom’s positive outlook and helpful nature, Sarah adapts quickly and feels increasingly confident in her new environment. She feels a genuine sense of belonging and sees challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.

Despite the usual stresses of a new job, Tom’s cheerfulness and supportiveness uplift Sarah’s overall experience.

Tom’s positivity and proactive approach to work and his colleagues create a pleasant and motivating work atmosphere in this scenario. His demeanor demonstrates how a positive colleague can significantly enhance our work experience, general mood, and outlook on our professional lives.

For more examples of how positive people make you feel or for examples of positive people, check out my series of articles on motivational stories.

Dealing with Negative People in Your Life

Recognizing a negative influence in your life is the first step towards improving your well-being. Once you identify such individuals, the next steps depend on your relationship with them.

When You’re Not Intimately Tied to the Person:

If the negative person in your life is someone you’re not closely connected with, like a coworker or an acquaintance, the solution might be simpler. Here are some actionable steps:

  • Limit Interaction: Reduce the time you spend with them. If it’s a coworker, try to minimize joint projects or meetings.
  • Set Boundaries: Politely but firmly set boundaries. If they start complaining or gossiping, excuse yourself or change the subject.
  • Focus on Positivity: Surround yourself with positive people and activities that uplift you.
  • Mentally Detach: Practice not letting their negativity affect your mood. Techniques like mindfulness can be helpful.
  • Cut Ties If Necessary: In extreme cases, completely severing the relationship might be best.

When You’re Closely Tied to the Person:

Walking away isn’t always an option if the negative individual is someone close to you, like a family member or spouse. Here’s what you can do:

  • Open Communication: Have an honest conversation about how their behavior affects you.
  • Seek Understanding: Try to understand the root of their negativity. It might be stemming from their own struggles.
  • Offer Support: Suggest seeking help together, like counseling, if the negativity is due to deeper issues.
  • Set Emotional Boundaries: Learn to separate their negativity from your personal happiness. Practice self-care to maintain your emotional health.
  • Spend Time Apart: Even with close relationships, it’s okay to recharge yourself.

In both scenarios, the key is to protect your mental and emotional health. Whether it’s through distancing yourself or setting emotional boundaries, remember that your well-being should always be a priority.

Ultimately, it’s essential to remember that this is your life, and the people you choose to surround yourself with can significantly impact your happiness and well-being, for better or worse. You have the power to decide who you let into your life. With the insights from this article, 

I hope you’re now better equipped to identify negative influences and understand how to handle them effectively.

At the same time, it’s just as important to recognize and appreciate those who bring positivity into your life. Keep these individuals close; they are invaluable in your journey towards a happier, more fulfilling life. 

Your choices about the people around you are crucial. Choose wisely, and remember that your well-being is the ultimate priority.