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Last Updated on May 28, 2019

10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

Do you want to be successful?

Do you want achieve great things in life and make all of your dreams come true?

Then one thing I think you have to be very careful about is deciding who you associate with in your life personally and professionally. What I have found is the most successful people that I’ve met have made it a rule to avoid negative people.

Here are 10 reasons why you should avoid negative people in your life.

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1. Negative people can affect your attitude

I’m now the author of 18 books, but when I first started writing I told anyone who would listen that the first goal was to write five books in three years. Friends and family were very encouraging, and told me that it was a great goal. Acquaintances however were quite a different story. Some of them said that I was being unrealistic, that I was setting the bar too high, and that writing five books in three years was nearly impossible. If I had chosen to listen to those negative people, or chosen to believe what they had to say, it would have affected my attitude about writing and my goals.

Negative people will discourage you and they will try to drag you down with them to the dark side. As Robert Tew once said, “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.”

2. Negative feedback from negative people affects your thinking

I’ve often said that negative people are ESV’s which stands for energy sucking vampires! The problem with negative people is if you hang around with them enough, and listen to them long enough, they start impacting your thinking, and you soon realize that instead of thinking positively you are thinking negatively. They are very stealth at this. Before you know it, you will find it can definitely impact the way that you think and change your belief system when it shouldn’t.

3. They are an energy drain

I have noticed that when I’m around positive people who are enthusiastic they raise other people’s energy levels. Negative people do the opposite; they tend to be an energy drain. I’ve seen some people walk into a room and the energy level goes up, and other people walk into a room and the energy level goes down. They suck the energy out.

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4. It damages your credibility

If you surround yourself with negative nasty naysayers, then you may not realize it but other people in your life will judge you by people that you associate with. If you hang around negative, small minded people it makes you look negative and small minded yourself. At one point in my life I had a business partner, who I worked on several projects with. For many reasons, I stopped doing work with him. After he stopped being my partner, several people said that they were surprised that I was ever doing business with them. Little did I know that my association with him was damaging my credibility.

5. Negative people won’t provide encouragement

Negative people are not only negative, they’re also great at discouraging you, and giving you negative feedback. They are so good at it they can make the negative sound like it makes sense. In life there’s going to be times when you are struggling or are facing adversity. What you need during those times is someone who will encourage you support you and convince you that it can be done, not someone who does the opposite. You need someone to lift you up not knock you down.

6. They are hard to get rid of

I meet many people as a professional speaker, and when we talk about negative people, they tell me that they do have a friend of theirs who is very negative that they have been friends with for years. When asked, they say they have been friends since high school, and that they would feel bad getting rid of them. I strongly encourage them to end the relationships with negative people because of the huge negative impact it’s having on their life. Yet they cling to that negative person because of a feeling of loyalty. As Hans F. Hanson once said “people inspire you or they drain you, pick them wisely.”

7. Life is too short

I don’t know about you, but life, I believe, is short, and I really do not want to spend my time being around negative, crabby, grumpy or grouchy people. They tend to make life miserable and I want to live a life of happiness. I want to live a quality life by being with quality people. So one of the ways of doing that is to limit my contact with negative people and to increase my contact with positive people, to bring me joy and happiness.

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8. Negative reinforcement versus positive reinforcement

Negative people will simply reinforce anything negative that you say, and give you all the reasons why you’re right in your negativity and toxic thinking. Positive people will tell you can do it, and will give you positive reinforcement which is what you need when you have doubts. Negative people will make you believe your doubts, while positive people will convince you that you’re wrong and that you can do it after all. As Joel Osteen once said “you cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.”

9. They love drama

In the past in my life, I have had negative people who were friends. Often they would have many dramatic things going on in their life, and I would try to coach them, help them, and support them. I would give them advice which they said was great advice, and that they would definitely make changes. But guess what? About a month later out I would have breakfast with them, and discovered that they still had the same drama, and I came to realization that they relished and enjoyed it.

The negative people of the world thrive on drama and believe me- it’s not something you need in your life. On top of that, they want to involve you as a character in the drama .As Tony Gaskins once said “negative people need drama like oxygen, stay positive, it will take their breath away.”

10. You won’t grow

If you’re friends with negative people, they will revel in stagnation and negative thinking and they really do not want to grow. Because they don’t want to grow, they want to discourage you from growing as well. The only way to move forward in your life is to associate with people who are also moving forward and will help you move forward with yours. The positive person has their foot on the gas pedal, and the negative person has a foot on the brake.

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So in the end it is up to you to decide what kind of people you’re going to be friends with, and the kinds of people you’re going to spend your time with. I strongly recommend that if you have negative friends you should end the relationship. If you have negative family members, we should spend as little time with them as possible. I guarantee you that if you eliminate negative people from your life you will be more successful, far more productive and truly happy. As W. Clement Stone once said “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.”

Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

More by this author

Shawn Doyle

Shawn is a certified professional speaker, author and an Executive and Life Coach.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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