Photo By Rachel Thompson
One of the more popular pieces of advice being posted on social media is to get rid of the negative people around you. Whether it comes from therapists, life coaches, or someone looking to wax inspirational, removing the detrimental and disparaging people from your environment will steer you toward a path of self-improvement and growth.
This ubiquitous counsel is often backed with studies that show why it is critical to heed this magnanimous instruction. Perhaps this sage advice is being directed to the wrong person. After all, if we are looking for “self-improvement”, why are we pointing the finger at others? What if getting rid of the negative people in your life only left room for other types of negativity or adverse people? It is always much easier to look at someone else and see what they are doing to get in our own way. However, it is typically not about the other people in your life but rather what is it that I do which draws them to me. If something about my behavior and attitude attracts this type of person then they will eventually be replaced with more negativity.
What if I changed my attitude and demeanor t0 become a more positive person? No doubt these negative people would not want to associate with you. My point is instead of finding reasons why others stop you from your goal, the first step is to take a look at what you can change about yourself. Yes, sometimes there are factors which are completely out of your control and end up greatly affecting your outcome but taking a hard look at what you can change – your own behaviors – is something that is within your own grasp.
Self-growth is never easy and it usually involves uncovering painful thoughts about who we are/were. However, the growth received always outweighs the suffering which accompanies these insights. To help remind you, every time you want to blame something or someone else, remember to point the finger towards the mirror first and see if there is anything you can change about YOU! As always, your comments are appreciated.