Do you FULLY Realize Their Influence???
Pessimists are a depressing lot, aren’t they? Given the way they suck life and energy out of the world, we should call them vacuums. When they ask why, we can say, “Because you suuuuuuuuck.” Just kidding, of course, it’s never cool to call names. Not even when the name fits like a brand new pair of Isotoners.
Pessimists almost seem allergic to positive thought – you can practically see them recoil at the concept.
I am so thankful to be surrounded by optimists. Everyone in my offline world is a certified optimist. The cheerful, glass is half full, upbeat, life breathing kind of people you look at and go, “Wow, how did I get so lucky to have you in my life?!” I did a mental inventory this morning of these amazing people and realized that each and every one is the sort of person that if I said, “Let’s go fight the hounds of hell,” their response would be, “I’ll grab a weapon!”
Except for my oldest daughter (Emily) who’d also want to take a thermos of coffee. Sigh, I raised that girl right.
While I have no intention of clearing my schedule to charge the gates of hell, it’s pretty cool to know I could round up am army in an hour. Two, tops.
I find that I’m even drawn to authors, blogs, newspapers, websites, tv channels, and magazines that are optimistic. Some people are GREATLY amused by factions of the media that belittle and make fun of celebrities, athletes, politicians, and so on. That bumfuzzles me, to tell you the truth. Think about it – this sort of thing is like a shot of negativity on the rocks. Why invite negativity and pessimism into your world. I don’t “get” falling over yourself to view “worst dressed” stars, for example, when the “best dressed” would be so much better for your eyes.
I also don’t understand why so many people want to read negativity. It’s essentially inviting negativity to come into your home, sit down, make itself comfortable, and stay a while. The problem with making negativity your house guest is this: After a while, even though you probably won’t realize it , you become as negative and pessimistic as the company you keep. I like to use the analogy of newspaper ink. When you’re holding a newspaper in your hands, reading the divisional baseball standings, weather, or (if you have the fortitude) the front page – you don’t realize that the ink is slowly coming off on your hands.
You don’t feel it happening. At the time, you don’t even see it happening. But after you’ve laid the paper down, you happen to glance at your hands and, sure enough, they’re ink stained. Fortunately newspaper ink is a cinch to get rid of. If only the negative repercussions’ stains were as easily wiped away.
I detest negativity and perennially negative mindsets so much I even unfollow people on Twitter if they start stinking up my twitter stream with too much negativity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Mary Poppins. I know there are times when we all have to vent. I’m not talking about grumbling about a ref’s call or your team’s inexplicable refusal to play defense in the biggest game of the year (what IS up with that???). I”m also not talking about asking what a celebrity was thinking about when she wore a meat dress. Oh that Lady Gaga…
These are things we all do. And, let’s be honest, sometimes refs beg for it. But most of us also realize (and publicize) that there are many more things to be happy about. The good vibes we send out far outweigh the bad. I’m talking about people who never seem to be happy, satisfied, or content with anything. They gripe about the President, they gripe about prayer in schools (oooooh, that did so much harm <—-SARCASM), they gripe about what they had for lunch, they gripe about what they’re going to have for supper. Their bad vibes are poisonous and their good vibes? Well, they’re so scarce you never notice them. You know the type.
But do you avoid the type?
If not, they’re leaving a bit of a stain behind whether you realize it or not – and it doesn’t wipe off easily. We all have to be careful when it comes to our influences because, to a very real extent, they determine the person we see in the mirror each day.
I believe this can be filed under our series of How to Be Happy posts, for obvious reasons. The people you allow into your world influence you greatly (whether they, physically walk through your living room or simply trample across your thoughts). If you’re permitting pessimistic grumble guts to keep company with you, you can’t very well complain about not being happy, can you?! Find a happier, more upbeat and optimistic group of influencers and watch (and feel!) the difference.
Here’s an easy exercise – a great way to measure the amount of negativity you’re allowing into your world. In the coming days, pay close attention to the people you follow on Twitter, your friends on Facebook, the blogs you read, websites you visit, newspapers and books you read, shows you watch, etc. Judge each one’s level of negativity vs the level of positivity. Realize that this is the company you keep… the guests you’re inviting into your home.
Then ask in the immortal words of Dr. Phil… How’s that working for you?
~ Joi (“Joy”)