Along the lines of “choose happiness,” you may have seen the message “good vibes only,” or something along the lines of getting rid of negative people from your life.
But where do people who aren’t well fit into this?
To be clear, I’m not talking about people who are negative about you. If someone is putting you down, that’s a very different bunch of rutabagas. I’m talking about people with negative views about things to do with themselves.
It seems like a lot of this “good vibes only” idea is influenced by the law of attraction. It claims that negative thoughts vibrate at a certain frequency (there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever that this is true), and this magnetically attracts matching negative things to come your way from the universe (ditto on the no evidence). I, as a negative person, just might trick the universe out of sending someone the Good Vibrations that they want.
Who’s saying get rid of negative people?
Okay, getting back to business… Lifehack has an article by executive and life coach Shawn Doyle titled 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People. The author writes:
“I don’t know about you, but life, I believe, is short, and I really do not want to spend my time being around negative, crabby, grumpy or grouchy people. They tend to make life miserable and I want to live a life of happiness. I want to live a quality life by being with quality people. So one of the ways of doing that is to limit my contact with negative people and to increase my contact with positive people, to bring me joy and happiness.”
Quality people? Really? Isn’t that a bit eugenics-ish?
I found a “Grant rant” video by author, and person who appears to think he’s rather special, Grant Cardone. According to him, “the way to avoid negative and distractive people is to vibrate at a rate so fast, that you’re out in front of them.” I think that might be called having a seizure, but then what do I know? He also mentioned telling a cop who pulled him over for speeding that he was going so fast because “I’m trying to stay away from the crazies.” Dude has clearly never met someone who’s manic, or he’d realize there’s no outrunning the crazies.
There’s an article on Inc. titled How to Obliterate the Negative People in Your Life. The author opens by saying “I don’t believe in negative people.” That smooth opener is soon followed by: “It’s been my experience that the way to obliterate negative people in your life is to be the best version of yourself.” The first definition that Google shows for obliterate is “destroy utterly; wipe out.”
An article on Power of Positivity says: “Negative people are similar to black holes in outer space – appearing from nowhere while attempting to engulf everything else around them.” Maybe the black holes are byproducts of the obliteration process.
Negative & crazy? You’re looking at her
Now, I’m sure a fair bit of that was directed at people who are being negative about you. However, the idea of “negative people” (which the Inc. author says don’t exist but do exist) seems to cast a pretty wide net. I’m fairly sure I would count as a “negative person” for these assorted folks, and also as a “crazy”.
To be honest, I don’t think I want to be around the good vibes only people any more than they want to be around me. However, does Shawn Doyle get to decide who’s quality people and who’s not? I know a lot of crazy folks who’re very high quality, if those are the terms we’re talking in. I’d also say my own quality is just fine, thank you very much.
There are a lot of shitty things that happen in the world and happen to people. Mental illness can be one of those things. If people want to live on a happy island because they’re unable to find happiness within themselves and need to absorb it from others via osmosis, that’s fine. But we aren’t second-class or lower quality citizens just because we’re not farting glitter and sunbeams.
So, all [non-existent] vibrations are allowed.
You can find more posts about negativity and toxic positivity on the blog index.
There’s more on mental illness stigma on the Stop Stigma page.