As you sit at the break room table, listening, yet again, to a few of your closer colleagues complain about everything from work to school to their spouses, it hits you: You don’t want to complain today. In fact, you’re done complaining. You can feel the negative energy wash over you like noxious gas. Before your lunch is even over, you’re walking out of the break room back to your desk just to get away from them. You’ve finally realized your craving for real substantive, positive energy.
Don’t get us wrong — negativity is just a natural human emotion, but when it becomes excessive, it becomes detrimental not only to the complainer, but also to the people around them. It’s like a poison, slowly seeping into your skin.
Traits of Positive People
If you’re tired of feeling weighed down by the negative people who surround you, it’s time to start attracting positive people into your life! Let’s define, first, an overall sense of what it means to be positive:
- Having compassion and empathy toward others
- Having ambition and courage to follow your dreams and goals
- Having coping mechanisms to deal with sadness, anger and frustration
- Having the ability to look at a situation and realize that it’s one moment in time — not an entire lifetime
- Having the discipline to invest in yourself before others, meaning to value self-care as important and not selfish
How to Surround Yourself With Positive People
Here are five things you can do to help ensure the people you are around aren’t just chronic complainers:
1. Be Yourself
The first step to becoming truly happy and surrounding yourself with people who are positive is one of the hardest things to do: be YOURSELF. Being true to yourself, especially in tough situations, is not easy, but to attract the right people, you have to start practicing this trait.
By being true to yourself, your personality will shine bright. You’ll also be happier, and in turn, positive people will be drawn to you.
2. Find Common Ground
With any relationship, common ground is important. You have to define for yourself who you consider a positive person. Is it someone who always finds humor in things? Is it someone who, even in a crisis, sees the good and tries to help?
You’ll have to define what positive traits you’re attracted to and adopt them yourself. As soon as you do that, you will be able to hone in on who you jive the best with in your social circles.
3. Get Outside of Your Comfort Zone
Not much good comes from swimming in the same pond over and over again with the same fish. If you’re surrounded right now by people who have negative outlooks, you can’t expect to draw in positive people.
Getting outside of your comfort zone and experiencing new things is a great way to find positivity in your life. Find a way to meet new people — join a club, a young professionals group or a workout group. At every corner, there are opportunities to make small talk with someone who may just turn out to be a great friend in the future.
4. Look in the Mirror
The old adage, “opposites attract” may be true in aspects such as love, but when it comes to positivity, your best bet is to adopt a positive mindset yourself. You don’t like being dragged down by very pessimistic, cynical people all the time, right? The positive people you want to meet don’t want that, either.
While we will all have ups and downs, in order to create relationships with those who have an overall positive outlook, you’ll need to create a positive outlook yourself. To have positive experiences, you have to be willing to embrace both positive and negative energy, but to focus more on the positive.
5. Give Positivity First
Just as negativity is like a cold you don’t want to get, positivity and happiness are also highly contagious — but people don’t mind catching them. For example, we can’t always be surrounded by positive people (take your coworkers above — you still have to work with them), but we can exude positive energy to help diminish the negativity in the room.
Next time you find yourself in a room full of people who are complaining, try taking a few deep breaths and focus on what truly makes you happy. It could be the beach, bird watching, eating a chocolate chip cookie — anything that makes you happy!
This method is ideal to use in any negative situation. Use the positivity you harness to diffuse the negative comments. You may just find the people who had extremely negative traits start to look on the brighter side of life, too!
Attracting positive people into your life won’t be an overnight accomplishment. It takes an immense amount of thought and practice to change your own mindset and to find others who value positivity just as you do, but it’s well worth the hard work it takes!
Originally published at Productivity Theory.