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Why You Should Be Really Grateful To The Friend Who Always Challenges You

Why You Should Be Really Grateful To The Friend Who Always Challenges You

It may seem obvious, or not so obvious to some, a friend or lover who challenges you is likely much better for you than one who always agrees with you or tells you you’re right.

 You complement each other.

Their strengths and your strengths will likely be different and will therefore complement each other. Are you great at organizing and planning, but suck at pulling the actual trigger on projects or big decisions? A friend or partner who isn’t as wobbly about taking command will inspire you to push forward, trust your gut and make decisions you might otherwise waffle on for months or years (or god forbid-a lifetime!). And you can help them by being an organized planner, when they know exactly what they want to do and are ready to do it, but could use a little more research, or a better thought out plan.

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For example, you might be the type of person who wants desperately to do something else with your life, but feels obligated to stick with the profession you have because you went to school forever and racked up student debt. You feel that you should be ‘grateful’ to have a steady paycheck. You may have researched a hundred programs that you’d like to take to attempt the new career change, but you never pulled the trigger on starting any of them. If you have a friend or partner who wants the best for you and isn’t afraid to be honest with you, they will encourage you to pursue your dreams. You may make a move sooner than you would have without them.

They stimulate our growth.

People don’t learn and grow by surrounding themselves with those identical to them who parrot their opinions, beliefs, likes, and dislikes and buffering themselves to the outside world. People learn and grow when they are stimulated or caused to stop and question things or to stand up for their own beliefs in the face of differing opinions.

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When we have to explain why we believe what we believe or want what we want, it forces us to face why (or if) we truly do believe or want what we tell ourselves we do. Often, when questioned these things over time, we find we don’t feel as strongly about these things as we thought). Yet, if left unquestioned, we tend to cling to old beliefs or ideals for no other reason than it’s what we’ve always known.

You get honest feedback even if you don’t like to hear it.

They’ll give you honest feedback or well meaning advice when you are making stupid decisions or can’t see things clearly for whatever reason (post-lust, heartbreak, or tragedy) instead of letting you barrel ahead to make decisions you will later regret.

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Like when you maybe texted a friend telling her how much you wanted to buy that oh-my-god gorgeous $400 dress even though you were broke, asking her if you should buy it. She knew you were trying to save up to pay off your school loans and that you shouldn’t be splurging now, but she still told you ‘sure you go girl! you deserve it!’ The end result -you regretted the purchase. Maybe you’ve had done it anyways, but you might not have made such an impulsive decision had it not been condoned and supported by your FF (False Friend aka enabler!)

There is a limit of course to how much of the time it’s cool for someone to question, argue/disagree with, or throw challenges at you. If someone is simply a difficult, argumentative person who tries to prove you wrong in a mean spirited ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ way, that’s not a recipe for a good friendship or happy relationship. But, as long as they’re doing so with good intentions, or because you are important to them and they don’t want to lie to you or let you do things (or not do things) you’ll regret doing (or not doing) later, it’s healthy.

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Whether you listen to them or not, you know that you can trust this kind of person to be honest and you’ll undoubtedly learn new ways of doing or looking at things thanks to them. And vice versa.

Are you a friend like this? Do you have a friend/friends like this? Share this with someone who challenges you or who you challenge.

Featured photo credit: Matthew Wiebe via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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