When someone talks about another, our focus will automatically be directed towards that other person. And we will automatically project what it said about them onto them.
Because of this it’s easy to think negative about a third party when one of your friends talks negative about them. But the fact is that that negativity isn’t something that belongs to that other person, it’s part of your friends mindset. Something might have happened between them to initiate this negative view, or perhaps your friend interprets everything in a negative way no matter what happens.
The danger is that because of this, and because of the friendship you share, you might start looking at other people in a negative way too, when in reality there is nothing to substantiate this, other that your friend’s stories.
The sad thing is that your friend might not even realize doing it. When we’re unaware of the fact that what we see are merely interpretations, we will see them as reality. And in that state it honestly looks like it’s the other person that is negative, even when he or she has done nothing wrong, or sometimes even did something positive that contradicted our own negative view.
Make yourself become aware of the source of the negativity. Does it really originate with the one who is pointed at – sometimes it does – or does it belong to your friend. Instead of simply accepting what is said, consider the facts.
And consider this as an analogy: the dark tone of the characters in a story is just a role they unknowingly play, but the script that contains that dark tone is always written by the author.
Friendships consist of two thing: the bound itself (and how it makes us feel) and the repercussions of that bound (and how they make us feel). Both should feel good, and when one aspect doesn’t, the friendship isn’t a healthy one.
And it’s your primary objective, when it comes to your own well-being, that you bring positivity in your life. Helping our friends see the light should be your first priority in doing that. The fact that you “buy” their negative tales may be the reason they keep “selling” them. Open up and tell each other what you really think and wish for. Friendships might bloom because of this.
But, there is of course always the danger that what you say won’t be accepted and that you become another person they can point the blame at. You can attempt to help a friend, but only he or she can make the change. And when your friend truly has a negative mindset, what you say may feel as an attack. And as tough as it may sound, in the long run you’re better of without them. To find your positive path through life, sometimes you have to make the difficult decision to part ways with negative influences. Even though in the short term this will cause a lot of hurt.
But as long as you have done your part in trying to bring positivity into the friendship, it should strengthen you in your choice to find a different course. And as long as you keep walking in a positive direction, over time you will meet more and more people going the same way. And that’s when true friendships start to form. Those that both feel good and are healthy. Create for yourself the opportunity for this to happen. You’re worth it.
A philosophical dreamer with a passion for self-reflection and contemplating life. He’s serious about helping people with the insights he gathered, but playful in the way he communicates his wisdom. He left a career as environmental engineer behind, in favor of becoming a personal development coach and thought-provoking writer.