Dr. Lam is very passionate about his work and wants to hear what makes you excited about life, love, or your work. He believes that establishing a forum for you to express your positive energies will radiate to all those who are fortunate enough to read your entry.
I also loved Dr. Vince's comment on how the main 5 people we are surrounded by becomes a good indicator of who we are and who are going to become.
It got me thinking... what to do in our everyday's lives, considering that we are often surrounded *not* by those we would choose to be around but that we *have no option* than to be around?
By that I mean... I try to surround myself with positive people as much as possible (although had never thought of this issue the way Vince put it, and come to think of it, it seems to reflect reality so well that I am going to become even pickier of who I spend a lot of time around with ), but there are days or situations where I just can not "get rid" or stay away from people I do not like nor weant to learn ... anything!... about.
Even if we strive to get and/or stay in a job we like, even if we try to make the best of who belongs to the circle of our families and loved ones, we can not really shut down all negative people or negative influences in our lives, being realistic. Say, some of us have close relatives who are old and that we need to take care of, or coworkers that are very negative in an otherwise nice place or job, that we have to care for or deal with whether we like it or not. Whether it is a matter of a moral duty (say, taking care of an elderly who happens to be a negative person) or of circumstances (not being able to pick the coworker who is closest to us, and/or not hear what the person talks about to others, etc. etc.), we often spend most or many hours a day with people who do not belong to the world we want to be "in" and be influenced by.
How do you all deal with that? How do you counteract their negative influence?
I always try to remain mentally distant (or counteract with my own words or actions) the negativity in the conversations or actions of some people I have to be around. But I am not bullet-proof, and not all days I have the same strenght to not be influenced by their bad vibes, so to speak. Sometimes we need ourselves some "pick me up" talking or ambiance, and instead we feel weak or just can not do enough against their bad attitudes end up spending time against our will with these people who drag us down, against our own wish.
What do you do in those situations? What do you tell yourselves or what do you do to remain afloat and not be dragged down by them, especially on not-so-good days? (say, days where we had some real, actual misfortunes and/or where things happen that make it a bit harder than usual to keep a positive outlook on things).
What do you do, in general, to counteract the effects of the people who criticize, belittle, put "venom" in their words and actions... or, simply, are super negative and do not even bother to try to be a bit more positive?
Great questions. Without being a licensed psychologist, here is how I do it: 1. I never return a negative volley with a negative volley. That way the other person is stuck. If that person levels a slight against you and they see a) it didn't phase you, b) you did not retaliate, sooner or later that can't continue or they feel like an idiot for doing so (which they are for that matter). 2. I create such positive energy around me that the negative person will either leave or feel so uncomfortable around you that they can't stand it. You need to be the dominant force so that they are overwhelmed with your positive energy. They will not be able to stand around you very long without getting physically ill. If their DNA tells them to be a bastard and you are totally positive they will either stay clear of you innately or they will actually leave the company. I have had many staff that leave because they simply do NOT fit the core culture that I have established. I have had patients leave that do not fit what I stand for. I am okay with both of those things. 3. Minimize your contact with those individuals that you can't change. Then feed off other people that are positive. Even though we may not be able to change our full contacts of people we work with, we can minimize our exposure to them. We can also draw off the great energy of those who are truly "dominantly positive individuals". They are natural leaders. This may sound arrogant but this is why this website is here. I have built (actually you have built) a circle of community for people that are impassioned by life, are innately positive creatures, that have fun sharing with one another, that have a "good ego" (see my old blog) that means they have self worth, care about themselves (grooming, clothing, anti-aging), refuse to be a subscriber to the status quo, sick of fake plastic surgery and overdone looks, and are willing to be a crusader as a member of this distinct tribe. Whatever I have shared on this forum, disseminate that knowledge and wisdom throughout the vast Internet and make a difference. The energy that I am bonding now with you who are from South America, Vince from the UK, a patient I just finished doing a fat transfer this morning who flew in from Australia, is truly global and powerful! Believe that we can change ourselves and others! Okay, now I am getting a little over the top. Sorry! best, sml
I LOVED your answer. Such enthusiasm! I don't think it is over the top... actually, THAT's precisely what we need. People who are optmistic and think BIG without losing ground on reality. Your advice on how to deal with negative people was really, really good. Will put it into practice. Each of the tactics you mentioned (and the consequences of our attitudes, then) was well described and everything makes sense.
Getting a bit sidetracked, I guess two reasons why we (we as in "people", in general, not referring to you, me or anyone in particular) end up surrounded by negative people even though we might not want to are the following:
a) we don't trust ourselves enough. We often grow up associating the concept of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-assurance with pride (the bad type of it), obnoxiousness and selfishness. By fear of being seen as conceited or selfish, we put ourselves down, even our strenght to have an impact in other people. Modesty is ok. But not trusting one's strenght is not modesty: it's unhealthy low self-esteem, IMHO
b) we grow up bombarded by the messages: "please everyone" and we take rejection poorly. Most of us are taught or see in others examples of trying to keep people around at all costs. As if the more people we had in our lives, even if not the greatest people, the "better we are". I think reality is that people are happier when they accept that we don't have to like everyone nor be liked by everyone, and not take it personally. At least not take it as an indication of our failure in some way. Actually, being able to make people reject us can be a good thing: i.e. the case you pointed out, where someone with positive energy will likely not be liked by people who are negative, who will then leave or stay apart.
I just explained to my nurse Marla that I like particularly working more with women than men because they have oftentimes not been given in our society the power to exercise their good ego and oftentimes have a more limited bad ego than some of us guys. My entire staff is basically women because of that fact. I like allowing smart women to flourish in my organization and give them a chance to be real leaders for a change!
I have read this thread more than once. I very much appreciate the wisdom espoused here. One element I'd like to add: always be willing and courageous to look at YOURSELF. Sometimes it is NOT the other, sometimes it is YOU.
We are human and we are fallible. We must extend the same acceptance and understanding we wish for ourselves to others. We are called to do so. The shiniest, new person (or idea) in your life may not always be the best, though the luster is so alluring. The "old" is good, too.
I hope that makes the tiniest bit of sense to someone.
It's so late, but you know I can't resist trying to make sense. I just think we're often programmed to 'clean house', out with the old-in with the new. That can be good and it's essential. I very much agree that we take on, to a large extent, the demeanor, attitudes and ambitions of those with whom we closely associate. (I know that's one reason I am drawn to you--I would love to be someone like you, even though I know you are only human.) We are called to keep shining EVEN for those who seem not to be getting it, if you will. JMO, we lose if we're too inclined to toss people.
I think most of us (generally speaking) tend to associate the idea of a change with starting on a clean slate.... and we tend to associate the idea of our life as a clean slate with the idea of everything in our life being *different or new. * The thing is... it is good to "renew" and literally "change" the people and situations in our lives, but we could fall into the trap of thinking that everything in our life until then was not good enough or had to change. Some things in our present and past are worth keeping. Sometimes the "old is gold", indeed, we just have to learn to look in hindsight and see what in our life is an old=gold and at the same time we must remind ourselves that change does not always come from things actually being different, but from ourselves being different and looking sometimes at the very same old things we had under a new light.
At one point in my life (no point in making a long story), I wanted to make a clean cut with a recent painful past filled with disagreeable people, but I fell at first in the bad extreme of shutting down everything linked to that past life - I was forgetting that even in that awful time of my life, there were a few people it was a shame to leave behind and try to forget - even among a lot to "throw away", there was something to "keep", people worth keeping in my life. But I thought starting anew meant banishing everything from that past from my current life.
It has also happened to me to have a few people among my friends that I cared for but whose value or importance I had not fully acknowledged. It was when *I* changed that I could look at them and realize how much more interesting and good to have around than I had ever thought they were .
In order to renew ourselves and change our lives, I guess we must find a balance between throwing away the old and bad , getting out of our comfortable zone and trying new things and people (by the latter I mean surround ourselves by new people, because the expression "try" people sounds weird!)... and looking with new eyes what that we always had in our life should *remain*.
nah, i tend to be a night owl. I aim to get 9 hours a night! I used to rationalize that my most productive hours are from 11pm-4am, but to be honest i'm not sure anymore. Since I do most of my work from home I kind of get to set my own hours. I may experiment with waking up at 5am for a week or two and see what that does. I suppose I live on 'Asian Standard Time'