“Should” You Avoid Negative People?

Should you avoid negative people? - "Good vibes only" painted in watercolours

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.

The idea of “good vibes only” seems to stem from the law of attraction. According to the LOA, 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 (gotta love Marky Mark!) that they want.

“Quality 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?

Keep the crazies away

I found a “Grant rant” video by author (and person who appears to think he’s rather special) Grant Cardone. He explains that “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 that crazies are way ahead of him speed-wise.

Obliterating nonexistent negative people in black holes?

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.” Dude, you just haven’t met me yet. That smooth intro 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.” I don’t think that word means what he wants it to mean; Google conveniently tells us that it means “destroy utterly; wipe out.” I think there would probably be criminal charges associated with that kind of thing.

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 process of obliterating nonexistent people? And I don’t know if the author has ever watched a science video on Youtube, or seen that image of a real-life black hole, but black holes don’t just appear out of nowhere.

Negative & crazy? 🙋‍♀️

Now, I’m sure a fair bit of that was directed at people who are being negative about/towards 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,” for that matter.

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 I think are 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 crazy folk aren’t second-class or lower-quality citizens just because we’re not farting glitter and sunbeams.

So, all [non-existent] vibrations are allowed.

The post Toxic Positivity: What It Is and Why It’s Not Helpful is the hub for all things toxic positivity-related on Mental Health @ Home.

45 thoughts on ““Should” You Avoid Negative People?”

  1. I love to say good vibes but just because I’m a hippie girl lol. Good vibes only not because we all deserve to be here. I’m also sometimes negative and some of my friend too but it’s okay because we can’t be happy all the time. I’m happy with letting fake friends and mean people go because they only make me feel worse about myself

  2. Yes, you are absolutely right. This is life. Our life inevitably comes with positivity and negativity. And this plays a part in our mental health. I admire people who are courageous enough to live one more day and more despite mental health challenges. It’s alright to cry when we really need to release something. If there’s someone to wipe the tears away, it’s a blessing. If no, it’s fine. Life still goes on.

  3. Farting glitter and sunbeams 😂 Good take. I believe those writers exude “toxic positivity”, and that just makes them shallow and probably their relationships superficial, and unable to tolerate the full spectrum of human emotions.

  4. When are that badly influenced by the people around you, it’s time to look in the mirror.

    1. Those ‘authors’ clearly ‘attract’ those ‘types’ of people. And therefore they are the ones with the problem.
    2. They are not mature enough to handle it. I mean, to outrun ‘them’ is a strange way of coping.

  5. this is a great post Ashley. When I am not having PMDD(PMS) I can (sometimes) be pretty happy, but during that time of severe pms its impossible for me to be happy, thats just the imbalance that I have, I do my best, but I’m human, for people to walk around all “fake positive” is BS, I bet those same people have their very bad days, months, years, etc. Its a form of dismissing anyone who is hurting. Its fake positive! an oxymoron…

    sometimes, its healthy to be negative. because life is hard and especially with mental illness!

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