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The Candid Cuppa

How You Can Protect Your Positivity in Post-Pandemic World

A deeper look at positive and negative behavior and ways to control negative influence on your positive life.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

"You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive." — Maya Angelou

It’s been a while since I’m planning my post-pandemic life. The positive numbers of people vaccinating each day across the globe promise a clear way forward. I feel elated by learning more and more people are using their freedom of choice responsibly.

The pandemic changed our life in many ways. I believe many of us have learned to value our present, to look for blessings in life. Wherever I went in these years, most of the people behaved in a compassionate, hopeful, and responsible way.

I rarely had to elude negative people because most of us, now, have an optimistic outlook on life.

We’ve learned to get the most out of today because of prevailing uncertainty.

It seems pandemic has embedded a foundation of positivity in our hearts.

The positivity that surrounds our inside world after pandemic years, has added more awareness and beauty to the present. Many of us are living a more balanced life — without even trying. And the reason, for me, lies within this quote from the book Never Eat Alone,

“If your life is filled with people you care about and who care for you, why concern yourself with “balancing” anything at all?” — Keith Ferrazi

I love the slow-paced, reflective, positive world of ours and I’d never trade it for anything as I’ve tasted the fruits of enjoying each day.

However, our minds are easily influenced by changing circumstances. So there is a fair chance of unlearning all these beautiful lessons in post-pandemic life.

The inner (negative) demons might be waiting to crawl out as they just need a few confused thoughts.

And so we’d have to protect our positivity for getting the most out of our lives.

Dealing with inner negativity

Replace stream of negative thoughts with positive ones

I believe joys and sorrows play hide and seek in our lives. Having problems in life is not a problem because we are all in this together. The real problem is our mindset — our approach in chasing those problems.

Isn’t it odd when we’re sad, we subconsciously remember all the sad things that happened to us in the course of life?

Our memories are interlinked by emotions. One emotional explosion reminds us of other such instances and we can’t help it at least for the time being.

Since we’re not robots, we can’t expect ourselves to stay positive all the time. It’s quite natural to feel negative occasionally as long as we control our thoughts.

The problem with negativity is even in a small fraction of a second, it clouds our mind, and a clouded mind is a confused shell.

We compare our present with our past, only to compel ourselves to weigh our chances of a better future.

So our confused mind, after some time, feeds negative thoughts. This way we become victims of our circumstances and victims have no responsibility. They feel liberated to let the flow of negativity lead them.

So it takes time and energy to replace a stream of negative thoughts with fresh and positive ones.

It needs reflection, space, pep talks, and above all, bravery to clear away the fog.

Positive emotions (and thoughts) create happy chemicals inside our brains that envelop us in positive energies. We broaden our outlook on ourselves and our world.

We feel good and so we eventually find a way to do good. We become accept personal accountability and responsibility.

Life craves a growth mindset

Helping and supporting others is what humanity is all about. When we share our problems we’re actually breaking the power of negative stuff.

The discussion, the support we receive, gives a new direction to our thoughts — to our problems. And so our vulnerable behavior evokes hope.

And hope gleaming in our minds and hearts encourages us to look for the silver linings around the dark clouds.

My friend’s mother, for example, is suffering from a chronic mental illness. Apparently, she has an optimistic outlook on life. But whenever I talk with her, beyond her words there is pain and worry for her sick mother. I always prompt her to share her heart with me.

But she knows it too well that, she’ll have to endure her problems herself.

Sharing them”, as she says, “only shares the burden of thoughts, and drains the energy out of others as well”.

It’s easier to wallow in problems for her but a firm belief in hope helps her to reinforce a positive outlook on life.

However, when discussions help in entertaining more negative thoughts — when our minds focus on tarnished sides of our lives — negativity becomes a way to live life in that mindset.

And this way, negative people weigh down themselves and others with negativity. But in their classic victim thinking mode they often forget, nobody is obliged to take their loads.

In the worst of times and in best times, nobody is interested in surrounding himself with negative people. We all have to be the positive version of ourselves for a better life — a life that craves a growth mindset.

Our mindset either makes us victors or victims of our circumstances. We’ve to take responsibility for whatever happened to us and for this we’ve to tune our thoughts.

And when we have a growth mindset, only then, we open our hearts to this world — to glimpse the disguised blessings.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Maya Angelou

Photo by Mélanie Martin on Unsplash

Dealing with negativity from the outside world

I rarely had a bad encounter with negative people in pandemic years. Social distancing, in many ways, has distanced us from others. And as I said above, people are more responsible than ever.

However, there are and there will be circumstances when we’d have to curb negativity stimulated by life or by others.

And this thought led me to re-reading self-help books (on positive psychology) to prepare myself for a new world as I already have unlearned many lessons while working from home these years.

Here are some lessons to help you protect your positivity in a confused or even a negative world.

How to spot a negative person before it’s too late?

As I said above, we all are negative for the time being and psychology considers negative thoughts as a sign of self-worth, but some of us have a pessimistic approach to live life.

To them being hopeful despite setbacks is an unrealistic chasing of self-growth and for that matter, of life. And when we surround ourselves with them, we wrap our thoughts in confusion as well.

In the book, How to deal with difficult people, for judging people’s mindset readily the author, Gill Hasson, presented an easy tactic,

“Think about people in your life and ask yourself these questions:

1. What kind of feelings does this do person evoke?

2. How would I describe this person in three to five words?

3. Do I like who I am when I am around this person?”

Four ways to control negativity from the outside world

1. Setting a time limit

Gill Hasson in his book further wrote,

“If you do choose to spend less time with difficult and impossible people or cut them out completely, you will have more room and more time for positive people in your life; people who you feel good being around.”

Oftentimes we lose track of our time while listening to others. But spending more time with negative people means subconsciously amassing more negative feelings and thoughts.

Modern cognitive psychology research has shown our unconscious mind attends to imperceptible stuff as well and is inclined to follow the lead of our peers.

It absorbs everything that happens to us like a sponge. Over time their emotional behavior, inclinations, feelings become a part of ourselves.

And this load of stressful thoughts weakens our emotions and demotivates us as well.

As in the wolf story, we all have a negative wolf inside us. It just needs enough time and fueling thoughts to creep out.

Setting a time limit guards our time while listening to them and thinking about them.

And so it controls the influence of negative people on our physical and emotional well-being and makes more time for positive thoughts as well.

So by guarding our time, we guard ourselves.

As Jim Rohn has said,

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn

2. Setting unbreakable boundaries

We all set (emotional/mental/physical)boundaries and honor them in our personal and professional lives. Boundaries conserve positive emotional energies. They give us enough time and space to reflect on ourselves.

But sometimes due to circumstances and feelings, we have to relax our boundaries. Which is not bad though. Life usually happens with surprises.

However, making flexible boundaries even while surrounded by negative people, often results in an emotional explosion. We get carried away by their problems and so our relaxed boundaries rob us of our peace of mind.

Our thoughts, by and large, enter in the confusion zone and so our negative part wins.

To deal with negativity, we’ve to honor our boundaries especially when surrounded by them.

“When you are with them, avoid correcting their negative views because they’ll only find a way to contradict your positive interpretations... Saying any more than the bare minimum will just add fuel to the fire.” — Gill Hasson writes while discussing persistently negative people

3. Making no emotional connection

Humans are emotionally vulnerable. Many of us get carried away by our emotions when it comes to politics or conspiracies. The speakers use emotionally tuned words to stir their audience and they succeed to a great extent.

If political arguments had an objective tone, we’d have more time to control our emotions.

The same happens in all realms of life. Emotional words make us prey to others’ problems.

Emotions fog rational thoughts. And so an emotional connection with a negative person is a drink of poison for yourself and for that person.

When we unconsciously show emotions (of sympathy, anger, discomfort, or pity) on our faces or in our words (or incline ourselves to their emotions), we feed their negative wolf even more.

There’s no way (for us) to make peace in someone’s life who is practically doing nothing to make peace in his life.

Solving everyone’s problems is beyond our control and so being attached to a person with a victim mindset, isn’t going to help any of us.

As in the book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Do, the author, Amy Morin wrote,

“Accepting that you can’t please everyone makes you stronger.”

Even a single step in making an emotional connection with such a person begins a journey to self-sabotage. Be wary of your emotions.

4. Show your light in your actions

Nobody wants to be manipulated, judged, or taught by others. A person with a negative mindset already has sufficient confusion. So, an attempt to knock positivity in someone by contradictory remarks will evoke even more negativity.

Instead, we have to manifest positivity through our actions. Because actions always speak louder than words.

I believe it’s difficult to remain positive all the time (even for people having a growth mindset) but positivity is luxurious. It has a beauty and attraction that shines in our lives.

The words laced with optimism affirm our positivity and evoke positivity in others as well. When our every tread would be gleaming with positivity, negative souls will have to think about gloomy clouds surrounding their world.

So, in the negative world, don’t tell about positivity, show your positive light.

Summarizing Lessons:

1. Set a time limit while talking to and thinking about them

2. Set unbreakable boundaries with them

3. Making no emotional connection with them

4. Show the light of your positivity in your actions

We all have our good and bad days. But positivity builds resilience in our lives. It shows us the silver linings around our dark clouds and thus helps in getting most out of our lives.

Helping and encouraging others adds more beauty to life but people with their fixed negative mindset can engulf our thoughts in negativity as well. So all we’ve to do is to spot these energy-draining souls. And keep ourselves from buying their negativity. As

“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.” – Mary Lou Retton




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Fiza Ameen

Fiza Ameen

A nyctophile, truth-seeker gravitating towards human nature| Writing is my way of unlearning the patterns.

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