Negativity Kills Your Joy of Life

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Living with negative people is difficult.  Heck, even talking to negative people can cause you to feel like life isn’t worth living.  Especially with them.  For a while now, I’ve been trying to work on myself, change the things that I can and move forward with my own life.  However, when confronted consistently with someone whose goal is to make me feel less than, I find it difficult to remain positive.  I have no idea why this is happening, and I’ve decided that I am not going to spend any more time on wondering what I could have possibly done wrong to cause this abusive behavior.  Mostly because I am aware that it’s not just me that is suffering this abuse, and not one of the other people deserve it, either.  This is just who this person is.  Unfortunately, this is also a person who is a close family member that I apparently must live with.

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I wish I had wonderful advice to give anyone else who is in this situation, but I don’t.  I can tell you what it is that I’m doing to help cope.  First of all, I’ve been concentrating on improving myself.  I’ve been working on eating healthy, getting daily exercise, and working toward my goals.  I’ve also been working on decreasing my blood pressure by meditating as well as I can, (it’s a work in progress); practicing Yoga; and saying daily affirmations.  Self-worth is something that most of us have to work at, and right now my best way to help that is saying affirmations a couple of times a day.  In fact, I’ve found that the most positive thing I can do is to say them before I fall asleep.  That plants the positive in my mind so that it can work on my subconscious all night.  I’m working on saying them throughout the day, but I am not as consistent as I probably should be.   The other thing that I’ve been doing is to have as little reaction to the negative abuse as I can.  This is hard, but it helps.  If the negative person doesn’t get the reaction they desire, they will leave you alone.  If they don’t, my solution is to hide in the bathroom.

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If you are dealing with a highly negative person in your life, please let me know how you cope in the comments below.  This is a difficult way to live, and I would love to hear how you manage.

 

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The Effects of Constant Criticism

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I live with two people who are free with their criticism.  Some of this criticism includes such things as the way the spices are organized to the way I do my laundry.  If this was constructive criticism I wouldn’t be so upset.  However, it is not.  This is done specifically to make me feel “less than”. It takes a toll on a person, and I decided to do a little research into exactly what kind of effects this has on the person being criticized. One notable effect is that being constantly criticized can really affect your self-esteem and sense of self-worth.  This is true, since after I’ve been criticized I really feel sick, whether it’s a headache, upset stomach, or both.  Then I find that in the days following such an attack I just want to curl up in my bed, hide under the covers and do nothing.  It takes every ounce of energy I’ve got to continue on my path to change.

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When I looked up information on this subject, there was a lot of information regarding parents being overly critical of their children.   My parents were overly critical.  If I got a score of 100% correct, I was asked why I didn’t get 101%. When I graduated college with a double Major in four years, my Mother was upset that I didn’t also have a Minor.  My achievements were not recognized, only my “faults”.

So, I’m now struggling with this issue in my life, and either the attacks are getting worse, or I’m not dealing with the after-effects as well as in the past.  Being told to grow a thicker skin is not helpful, and not something I’d recommend to other people.  However, I try to look at the problems of the person who is attacking me.  As far as I’m concerned, the only reason they are attacking me has to do with them, not me.  If the criticism is valid, I look for the truths in it.  However, when the criticism is generally about how I do something, or say something, or in some cases just the very act of my being is the object of the criticism, then I try to remember that it’s not valid.   So, look into the critical statements, see if it’s valid and if it isn’t , consider the source.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-labermeier/negative-impact-of-criticism-_b_3829346.html

 

The Importance of Affirmations

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Because I have a negative person in my life that I can’t run away from, I’ve started saying affirmations in earnest.  This person has really eroded my sense of self-worth to a dangerous level.  At this time, the only way that I can “fight back” is to say affirmations several times a day.  By working on myself, I hope to dilute the effect that his words have on me.

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So, since I like to research things I thought that I’d find out if affirmations really do work, and if so how they work.  Anything to boost my belief system, right?  It turns out that affirmations help how we feel about ourselves on a subconscious level.  That subconscious level is where our belief systems “live”, if you will.    If we can change those beliefs, we can affect our thoughts about ourselves, and in turn affect our lives.

Another important thing about affirmations is that they must be said in the “I”, and in the present.  One of my affirmations is “I am a worthy person.”  As you can see, it’s said both in the “I”, and also in the present.  Another important thing is that the affirmation must be positive.  No negative thinking, as that it what you are trying to change.  There is another way to making the affirmation work.  If you use an emotional word as part of your affirmation, this will help make the change that you want to make.  My parents often told me that I was “worthless”, so affirming that I have worth is an emotional statement for me.

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One of the most important things about saying affirmations is that you should say them at various times throughout the day.  I say mine five times, five times a day.  I also say them a few times while I’m lying in bed trying to go to sleep at night.  I have kept my list of affirmations to just five.  By keeping the number of affirmations short, I don’t feel like I’m spending too much time saying them.  For me this number seems to be just about right.

Do you use affirmations?  Have you found that they’ve helped you?  Let me know in the comments below.

Staying Positive When Life Isn’t

Keeping a positive attitude is something that I find difficulty doing. My husband is working out of state, and it seems that this is actually putting us in the red. Of course working out of state shouldn’t cost you money; however it looks as if the company he works for doesn’t want to pay him any extra for the extra money living away from home costs. Granted, we live pretty frugally. I make his lunch and snacks when he works from home; we don’t go out to eat very often (only if I can get a decent coupon). But still, should it cost you money to work out of state? Other people have left the company, probably due to these same conditions. Hopefully when he comes home this week, he can find out the answers to this question. He has also been away for three weeks at this point, when it was originally going to be just two weeks at a time.

Now, before you think that I can’t live without him, let me tell you that when our children were four and one years old he worked in Russia for months at a time. This went on for a number of years. So, I became pretty adapt at operating as a single mother – but there was money to pay the bills, and his expenses were all paid for. It’s the paying his own expenses that is the problem.

 

How can I stay positive? I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Obviously it can be quite difficult at times. How do other people who have a lot more problems than I do keep it positive? I really don’t know, but I’ve found that planning ahead, budgeting and having a plan B can help. My issue is when I feel that things are out of my control. I’ve done what I can, and now I’ve just got to wait and see what’s going to happen next. Have I said that I’m a control freak? I am. So, I’m taking deep breaths, checking out my expenses, and trying to stay calm and positive. Any other ideas?

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I don’t know if you are at all like me, but often my first reaction to something unexpected can be negative. As an example, when my husband brought home our Border Collie (as an unexpected surprise), my initial reaction was this: Oh no! at some point he’ll get old and die, and I won’t be able to live with even more pieces broken out of my heart flopping around in my chest. Talk about a negative reaction! Of course, anyone who has ever had a pet knows exactly what I’m talking about. But our dog is wonderful, and has been the source of countless episodes of hysterical laughter and lots of love. I wouldn’t want to be without him, he’s added so much to our family.

Being positive doesn’t come naturally to me. As the child who wasn’t exactly what my family was expecting, I’ve always had the feeling that whatever I do is the wrong thing. I’ve always been a little “off”. The clumsy one – I have a permanent lump on the end of my spine from falling down the stairs so many times; the one who had a hard time in school (until high school when my many learning disabilities were diagnosed – who knew a dyslexic could teach themselves to read at the age of four); and I just didn’t “fit” in with my birth family. I always thought that if I planned for the worst thing to happen, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise when it did. But, the only thing this did was create a negative force field around me. I wasn’t magically protected when bad things happened. I was still surprised just like everyone else.

Now, as part of changing my life, I’ve decided to try a little positivity. No, it doesn’t always work, and I struggle with it every day. But, I have found that living like this, looking for the positive in my life is much more preferable to looking at the negative. Not only do I feel better, I find I’ve gotten more control over what I do and what happens to me. So if you were to ask me if I like to be as positive as I can, I’ll answer yes! Just try it, and be surprised.