The Keys To Happiness Part 4: Positive People

By Zoe Taylor

One of the fastest roads to misery is the road traveled with people that put you down. If you surround yourself with people who love, understand, support you and respect you for who you are, then you’re going to be happy. Seems simple, doesn’t it? But it’s not always easy to let go of those who put you down, even though they’re a negative influence in your life.

So what do you do if you have cynical people in your life? There are a few things you can do to change this situation.

Talk to them
Sometimes the people in your life that are putting you down may not realise they are doing it. Although it seems like something you’d be aware of, you’d be surprised how many people are subconsciously filled with negativity and don’t realise they are projecting it onto others.


Take them out for a coffee and discuss your concerns with them. You’ll know straight away whether they knew about their bad attitude or not. If they’re extremely apologetic and vow to make an effort to stop putting you down, then you know they never meant to act that way in the first place. But if they become defensive, make excuses or even get angry, you know they were well aware of their behaviour and maybe even did it on purpose.

It’s important that you are gentle when you talk to them. Don’t be aggressive or accusatory, even if they are. If you stay calm, there’s no way they can truthfully say that you were harsh.

If they are apologetic, then there’s no need to take any more steps. You’ve made your friend aware of their actions and they’ll make a conscious effort to stop. If you start to notice the negativity returning, talk to them about it again, gently reminding them not to treat you with such pessimism.

If they become defensive and argumentative, unfortunately it’s time to let go.

Letting Go
So your friend was treating you badly on purpose. It’s time to start pulling away, because let’s face it – they aren’t much of a friend, are they? But how do you do this without stooping to their level and putting them down?

It’s simply put, but not always simply done. Start to develop boundaries and work up to telling them that you don’t think the friendship is working. It’s hard ending a friendship, there’s no denying that. You can start to feel guilty about it and maybe even second guess yourself. If this happens, think back to why you’re putting an end to the friendship in the first place. This person was hurting you. You tried to give them the chance to change their attitudes but they refused to listen and ended up causing you more stress.

As long as you’re gentle about it and you don’t purposefully cause them any pain, as difficult as it is, there’s nothing for you to feel guilty about. It’s time for you both to move on. And it’s time for you to fill your life with more positive people.

Don’t forget to come back here next week for the next instalment of ‘The Keys To Happiness’!

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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