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Overcoming Negative Influences

Overcoming Negative Influences

Negative influences have power. They have the ability to affect your self-confidence. They can make you question your self-worth. They can drain your happiness and derail your motivation.


Putting up with negative influences can leave you scarred emotionally through actions and words that tear you down. By learning how to deal with these negative influences, you can protect your self-worth and keep it from impeding your success.


Navigating the Unfair Influence of Critical Family Members


Family members are usually the ones who love you and want what’s best for you. Unfortunately, what they think is best for you doesn’t always translate well. Unlike peers, colleagues or some friends in your life, you don’t always have the option of just ending the relationship.


When your family is critical of you, your life or your goals, that doesn’t mean that you just have to take it on the chin. You don’t want to do that because the criticism will eventually affect you if it hasn’t already.


You don’t have to cut them off, but you can limit the amount of time that you spend with them. You can be too busy to visit or hang out. When you do get together, make the amount of time together less than it used to be.


Set boundaries. You need to have a line in the sand that you don’t allow family members to cross. When they do, you just have to speak up and say that’s not acceptable and you don’t appreciate it.


You can do this kindly and with love. It doesn’t have to involve drama. When the conversation turns to them criticizing you or what you do, don’t engage in a battle. No one “wins” when family argues.


Instead, you need to take control of the conversation. Immediately turn it around. You can do this by just responding with something like “huh” and then move right on to a different topic.


They will get the message. Realize that their way of behaving is who they are. Arguing with them or trying to change the way that they act is going to be fruitless. Don’t waste energy on that.


Instead, protect your vulnerable spots. These are the areas where family tends to pick at. The career you have, the changes you’re making, your personal goals, or dreams that you may have.


You may not be able to share certain parts of your life with family. If you have family members who have been critical there are some things you can do to stop it from affecting your self-worth.


Put the comments into perspective and label the negativity for what it is - an attempt from someone who loves you attempting to help. They don’t always realize how their criticism comes across.


To them, they think they’re being helpful while you feel like you’ve been stabbed in the back. Be kind to yourself when dealing with critical family members. Use positive affirmations to counteract the negativity. Immediately disregard the critical things they say and do. Don’t internalize it and let it affect you.


Create Boundaries with Friends Who Keep You Down


You might encounter friends who are negative influences. Sometimes these kinds of friends don’t realize the impact they’re having on your life but that doesn’t mean that you should put up with it.


For your sake, you need to deal with friends who may not be that good for you. Don’t absorb any negativity from them. It only hurts you. If they’re negative about everything in addition to you and what you hope to accomplish in life, you have to reject that negativity.


Because if you take it in, it will affect your thinking as well as your actions. And you don’t want that kind of input. You may have to put some space between you and that person. Or if you do opt to spend time with them, you may want to control the setting.


Engage in activities where they don’t have the opportunity to speak or behave in ways that are negativity. You can still care about a friend while limiting their chances of keeping you down their negativity.


But you may want to take a hard look at the friendship. If this person is someone who drains you of feeling positive about yourself and your life, it could be time to leave them behind.


Beware of friends who are constantly talking about everything wrong in their life, your life and the world in general. This kind of gloom and doom interaction affects your own outlook.


You’ll begin to see other people differently and it’ll change how you view the world. Not for the better, either. When you’re around a negative or critical person who keeps you down, you begin to reflect who they are.


Don’t try to analyze why these friends act the way that they do. Knowing the reason won’t change the end result. Your friends should be a circle of people who encourage you.


You want those who cheer for your successes and hurt with you when you experience problems. They should be people who leave you feeling better for having spent time with them rather than people who leave you feeling as if you’ve been wrung dry.


Stay positive no matter what comes from that friend. Negative friends who put you down feed off pessimism. They generally get annoyed with positive people. They don’t like to have their criticisms or negativity turned around into something uplifting.


It may be that they’ll drift away. If so, let it happen. That could be a sign that they were never meant to be in your life for the long haul. If you don’t want to lose this friend but they are someone who keeps you down, then it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk.


In a healthy friendship, you can be honest with the other person and they with you. If that can’t happen, you need to free yourself from that influence.


Understand How Media and Culture Have the Ability to Impact Your Decisions


It isn’t just family and friends that can impact your decisions. Media and culture also have that ability. You may believe that something is a certain way. Yet the media that you’re exposed to may consistently tell you that you’re wrong.


An example of this could be something like succeeding financially even without a college degree. If you’re continually exposed to media that tells you that your odds of success are minimal without a college degree, that most people don’t ever rise above their circumstances without it, then over time, you’re going to subconsciously adapt to that way of thinking.


You’re going to believe that you don’t have the power to change your life unless you get that degree. Media influence can make any false belief appear to be a true one simply by reiterating it over and over.


Another way media can impact your decisions is by downplaying your ability to make them. It can call into question your own intelligence and life experience. This happens when you’re exposed to information that touts only a certain group of people have the knowledge in any given area.


You’re taught that you couldn’t possibly learn all there is know about nutrition and how to change your health because you’re not a dietician, doctor, nutritional guru, etc. You’re not that smart is the message you get.


The media influences your decisions by getting you to make ones that aren’t necessarily in your best interest. They rely on emotion-based thinking to push you to make decisions that you wouldn’t normally make.


They do this by tapping into your fear that if you don’t act now, you’re always going to be stuck in your financial situation, your health situation, the relationship, the job and on and on.


Making decisions with your emotions leading the way is always the way to make a wrong decision that leads to regret. You have to stop and determine why you’re making the decisions that you are.


If you’re doing it because you’ve been influenced by some form of media, odds are that decision isn’t one you’d normally make. Culture can affect your decision making based on emotion, tradition or ingrained teachings.


Culture is where a person identifies themselves as belonging in society as well as the background of the individual. This affects the person’s beliefs in all areas of his life. It also has to do with where their values and customs are.


Culture also pertains to a person’s religion and attitude toward things like money, relationships and influences. Your culture impacts how you process information that influences your thinking.


You may make a decision based on your cultural belief system and not even realize that it was a negative influence steering your choice.


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