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Monday, 2 February 2015

2 blogs: Why You Need To Leave Your Negative Friends Behind and How to Meet New Friends

 Photo taken by M'reen. Wind sock at Newmarket racecourses' airport.

Why You Need To Leave Your Negative Friends Behind

“Everybody isn’t your friend. Just because they hang around you and laugh with you doesn’t mean they’re for you. Just because they say they got your back, doesn’t mean they won’t stab you in it. People pretend well. Jealousy sometimes doesn’t live far. 
So know your circle. At the end of the day real situations expose fake people so pay attention.”
Trent Shelton (Former NFL Wide Receiver)

“Cutting negative people from my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means I respect me.”
Marilyn Monroe (Actress, The Seven Year Itch)

“You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.”
Joel Osteen (Author, You Can, You Will)

The only way to move forward in life is to leave your negative friends behind.
I ran into the emergency room like a maniac and told the first nurse I saw I was dying.
My heart was racing, I was light headed, and I couldn’t breathe. 
The nurse looked at me like I was an idiot, which somehow made me feel better.
I was legit freaking out. Twenty minutes earlier I was in a movie theatre
watching the second preview when my body started playing tricks. 
My face felt red hot and the room started spinning. I tried to play it cool for a minute but ended up snapping—I leapt over the dirty velvet chairs, jumped into my car, and drove to the hospital.
I thought I was having a heart attack.
The fact that my chest didn’t hurt and I could drive fine didn’t register.
The emergency room doctor told me I was having a panic attack caused by stress.
I went from feeling like I was dying to feeling like a 6-year old girl.
What kind of grown man has panic attacks?
M’reen, I’ve experienced this once for a few minutes – extremely frightening.

Friends Who Are Not Your Friends
I had just spent three days partying with my friends. But these friends weren’t really my friends. 
They were just a few guys I had been trying to impress for years.  
You know—those friends you have who don’t really like you. 
The kind who just tolerate you as long as you do what they do.
But, if you step away and do anything different, they cut you down.
I hate parties. The only reason I went was to make my friends happy.
Sure, it was my choice but it was a bad choice.
It was a choice based on obligation and wanting to fit in. 
I always felt obligated to do what my friends were doing. 
Like there was something invisible pulling me to the group.
My brain would fight the pull. But it would lose. Over and over again.
I was being pulled in a hundred other directions at work and home too.
I was trying to make my boss happy so I could get promoted.
I was trying to make my girlfriend happy so I could live in peace.
I was trying to make my family happy so I wouldn’t feel guilty. 
I felt like my entire life revolved around making other people happy
at the expense of my happiness. 
I thought I was handling the stress of all of this well. But I wasn’t.
Eventually it was too much and that’s when I had the panic attack.

Which Came First, Misery Or Miserable People? 
Your body and mind can only handle so much stress. You can only carry so much obligation. Obligation is like a rubber band. It can stretch and stretch but at a certain point it’s going to snap.
No matter how big, old, strong, or smart you are. Everyone has a snapping point. 
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
You may have heard other versions of this like “most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and die with their song still inside them.” Either way, Thoreau’s words ring true for many people. 
We often feel stuck and desperate in our lives.
We go through our days unconfident and unfocused. 
Maybe we read something offhand or watch a particular movie that fills us with energy.
But this energy quickly dissipates. It vanishes because we have nothing to channel it into.
Or, it’s snuffed out by the crowd of negative people we’ve somehow let into our lives.
The combination of being stretched thin by obligation and feeling stuck will ruin your life. 
Over time, your internal drive will die. 
Guilt and despair will take over.
Your misery will attract more miserable people until you find yourself asking, which came first? Misery? Or the miserable people?

Stop Ignoring Reality, Start Getting Real
The case against keeping negative friends in your life is a strong one.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see how these people can destroy your dreams,
ruin your health, and turn you into an equally miserable person.
100% — Chances you will become more negative for each negative person you let into your life.
                In contrast, each positive person you let in your life increases your chances
                of becoming positive  by only 11%.
Double — Put another way, one negative friend doubles your chances of becoming unhappy.
50% — People who give in to worries and demands from negative relationships
             have a 50% increase in risk of dying early.
34% — Negative relationships boost heart disease risk by 34%.
Poverty — Negativity is linked to poverty and reduced brain activity.
Brain damage — Listening to a negative person for just 30 minutes peels away neurons
             in your hippocampus, the part of your brain that’s responsible for problem-solving.
Reduced creativity — People who work for a negative boss are far less creative
            than those who work for a positive boss.
Depression and anxiety — Complaining about your problems increases your risk of developing
            both clinical depression and anxiety.
Low self-esteem — Listening to or watching negative people interact lowers your self-esteem
           and makes you more neurotic.
Poor performance — Engaging with negative people prior to performance tests,
           rather than ignoring them, decreases test scores.
Increased pain — Negativity overrides effect of pain medication in surgery patients.
Loss of sleep — Negativity increases the effect of poor sleep on pain.
Early death — People who use negative emotional language have higher rates of mortality.

Negative friends will ruin your life. It’s not a question of if they will ruin your life,
it’s a question of when.
Study after study shows that negativity has a drastic impact on your physical, 
mental, and financial wellbeing. 
The only way to protect yourself against this
is to start being very deliberate with who you let into your life. 
Otherwise, you’ll never be anything more than average.
Don’t keep doing what you’re doing.
Don’t keep interacting with the same negative people
and ignoring the reality of what these people are doing to your life.
Instead, get real. Be honest with yourself about how much your negative friends are costing you. Then, make a strong decision to drop them.

Two Biggest Reasons To Drop Your Negative Friends
Friendship is important. Humans are social animals and interacting with people can
make you happier, healthier and more successful. But, these people have to be the right people.
There are over 7 billion individuals on the planet. 
Yet, we often let ourselves get obsessed with making just one or two individuals happy. 
We fight for the approval of a select few who will never like us and never treat us well instead of casting our nets back out to the masses to find positive people who will like us just the way we are. This is a mistake for two essential reasons.

1. Positive people will not come into your life until the negative people are gone.
Like attracts like. If you and your surroundings are positive, you will attract positive people
and things into your life. 
If, on the other hand, you are negative or if you allow negative people into your life,
you will repel positive people. Instead, you will draw negativity and pain toward you.
Self-reliance is critical to success but there’s only so much you can do on your own.
You only have two eyes and two ears. A strong network of positive and like minded people
will allow you to see and hear more. You’ll also be able to tap into more wisdom.
And as a result, you’ll never stay stuck.
Imagine what you could do if you had the right connections.
You have to make room for positive connections.
You’ll never be able to build a strong network of positive people
until you delete the negative people from your life. It’s a zero sum game.
Positivity and negativity can’t coexist in your life. You have to get rid of one to attract the other.

2. You will never do anything positive or meaningful with negative people in your life.
You cannot be a positive person with negative people in your life.
It’s a losing battle. Have you ever sat next to someone who yawned and felt the urge to yawn?
Have you ever found yourself repeating a particular phrase that someone close to you often says,
or getting a song stuck in your head that someone else was singing? 
Did you ever sit down to lunch at the office and overhear two people gossiping
and feel the urge to jump in and gossip too?
Mirror neurons in your brain cause you to automatically copy your surroundings.
Powerful psychological factors including group thinknegativity bias, and the chameleon effect 
drive you to fit in and replicate everything your five senses take in.
Research shows that people who are lied to are more likely to lie and cheat.
Similar research shows that having an obese friend increases your chances of becoming obese
by 171% and having a smoker in your family increases your chances of smoking by 61%.
But, people can make you better too. For example, studies show that having just one happy friend increases your chances of becoming happy by 15%. In fact, having just one friend of a friend
who is happy increases your chances of being happy by 10% and having one friend of a friend 
of a friend who is happy increases your chances of being happy by 6%.
There’s no escaping the fact that the people you let into your life will influence how you perceive life. 
They will also influence what you achieve in life. 
If you feel stuck in life and want to make a positive change, the single most important thing
you can do is drop negative friends, family members, colleagues, and negative people. 
Now you know what to do and why you need to do it. The only question left is how?

How To Leave Your Negative Friends Behind
Like cigarettes, booze, and jelly donuts, most people know that negative friends are bad for them. 
They know that their lives would be better without negative people in it.
The problem is they don’t know how to get rid of these negative people.
The first step to getting rid of your negative friends is to realize that you are the problem,
not them. It’s your own weak decisions that are keeping these people in your life. 
The truth is you’re addicted to negative people. You’re addicted to the gossip,
to the cosy feeling of fitting in, and to the comfort of being accepted by familiar faces.
Perhaps you are using your negative friends as a crutch. 
You keep them around so that when you fail (or fail to try anything new),
you can blame your failures on your negative friends, not yourself. 
Or maybe you enjoy having negative people around who aren’t doing anything with their lives because it makes you feel better about your life.

Replace Bad People With A Good Plan
The second step to ditching your negative friends is making a strong decision to focus your life
on something new. You need to create a magnificent obsession for yourself. 
You need to focus your powers on a single purpose, something that fully absorbs you
and makes you feel alive again. 
If you don’t have any goals for yourself, you will never be able to quit negative people.
The only way to escape negative people is to replace them. 
Non-smokers quit smoking, not by giving up the habit, but by replacing it with a better habit.
In the same way, you need to replace your negative friends with something positive and incredible–something exciting that makes you jump out of bed in the morning. 
You need to create a plan for your life that will bring you happiness and success,
while attracting other happy and successful people into your life.
The time to get rid of your negative friends is now. Cut them loose.
Create a plan for something better. Don’t look back at what you’re leaving behind;
look forward to everything you can accomplish.
Look forward to the endless possibilities and opportunities in front of you.

Photo taken by M'reen, Supportive Friends in Hemel Hempstead. UK 

How to Meet New Friends
 Polly Campbell 

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with three people I adore. 
We had great conversation. Great laughs. 
And great views of the sun on the countryside. For about seven hours.
That’s a lot of time. But instead of feeling arduous or draining, the time flew by.
At the end of all that time together, I felt refreshed. I felt restored. I just plain felt better.
Such is the power of friendship.

Plenty of research proves that social support can ward of depression and increase optimism
and resilience – all good for our overall well-being. But the healthy and supportive relationships
also help us pursue our goals and even make healthier choices.
Now, scientists say, friendships can even inoculate us against the common cold.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who receive more hugs
are less likely to get sick. Hugs were a way to gauge social support.
People who received a lot of hugs, have more social support since we usually aren’t
(or better not be) grabbing hold of complete strangers. More hugs equal more social support.
More social support means less stress
and that means we are less susceptible to infection and colds, according to researchers.
Its clear solid relationships are an essential part, not only of a fun life, but a healthy one.
Yet the world changes at such a fast pace, it can be hard to maintain those connections.
People move, divorce, change jobs, and relationships fall away.
We also tend to communicate more via technology than keeping up the face-to-face interactions 
that buoy us. So, it’s time we work harder to care for the friendships we have.
And if you are missing those kinds of rock-solid relationships,
here are three ways to get back out there again and start building new friendships.
It takes a little energy and effort, but better health and well-being are the big pay-offs.

Three Ways to Meet New Friends

Move toward your talents and interests. Are you a good tennis player? Sign up for a league.
Do you like to write? Join a local writer’s group or put author readings on your calendar.
Are you good at organizing? Volunteer for a local group that does work you admire.
When you contribute your gifts to the world, you often run into others that share those talents.
This is a good foundation for friendship.  
It’s easier to start talking when you have something in common.

Notice the people along the way. Engage in life. Participate. Play. Have fun.
Do the activities you enjoy – but notice others along the way. Keep your head up. Say “hello.”
Be friendly, but patient. Friendships don’t start overnight.
Nor will you want to hang out with everyone you meet.
But when you are having fun, you exude positive energy and you are much more likely to encounter great people, and potential friends.  When you do, when you end up chatting, pay attention
to what they are sharing, show interest. Next time you two run into each other,
this gives you a natural entry point, something to ask about, if it feels appropriate.

Be authentic. Don’t blow smoke.
You don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of good, loving relationships so be yourself.
You won’t connect with everyone you meet – nor would you want to.
That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you – or them. So don’t blame or beat yourself up. Just be true, open, and do the things you enjoy and your true nature will shine through.
That will be enough to build friendships that matter.

Perhaps you’d like to check out my sister blogs:                this takes advantage of the experience and expertise of others.     describes the steps to reading in the way your mind prefers.          just for fun.
Advanced Reading Skills FaceBook group

To quote the Dr Seuss himself, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn; the more places you'll go.”

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