One of the most important sources of pessimism
in anyone's life is negative people. You may tell someone your
goal, and either by their face or tone of voice or what they
say, you're left with the feeling that your dreams are pipe dreams
and you're never going to make it. Or they just put you in a
bad mood because they talk about negative things (or talk about
positive things from a pessimistic or cynical viewpoint).
All people who bring you down are not created
equal. They can be distinguished by their intentions.
One kind of person who brings you down,
and probably the kind you've run into most, only brings you down
because they themselves are down (because their thoughts are
habitually pessimistic). They don't really intend to bring you
down. It brings you down to be around them only because emotions
are contagious. The first thing to try with these people is to
convince them to give up their pessimistic ways. Learn the material
Yourself very well, and then teach it to them. If they don't
want to hear it, the next best thing you can do is talk to them
very little, and when you do, be vague. Read more about that
Another kind of person who brings you down
is an emotional manipulator. They try to control you by changing
your emotions in whatever way will help them accomplish their
purposes. If it helps them to make you happy, they'll make you
happy. If it helps them to make you feel guilty, they'll do that.
Here's a good article on that. The best thing
you can do with these people is learn to recognize it, and avoid
them completely (or if you can't avoid them, talk to them very
little and be vague).
Another person who might bring you down
is someone who is jealous of your success or talent and doesn't
want you to succeed. As soon as you recognize this one, their
negativity won't take the wind out of your sails anymore. Somehow
the negative feeling is balanced out because jealousy is a kind
of compliment. And you will sometimes feel compassion for them.
And another kind of person, luckily a very
small percentage of people, are sociopaths. Only about one to
four percent of the population are sociopaths (meaning they don't
have normal feelings of empathy for others). The only way to
win with them is to get them out of your life completely, even
if they are family members. Read
more about sociopaths here.
In the quest to rid yourself of unnecessary
negative emotions, in your ongoing quest to feel lots of healthy,
positive emotions, this is an important topic. People who bring
you down are the most significant source of negative feelings
and pessimistic beliefs you have. You might have more input from
media sources, but personal relationships have more influence.
You may not have someone in your life right
now who brings you down. I hope you don't. But if you do, take
it seriously. Try to figure out what their intentions are,
and decide how to deal with them. Do not let them continue to
bring you down. Their influence can make you more pessimistic
So take care of it and then concentrate
your time and attention on the relationships that bring you up.