If you’ve stepped foot into the Mainstream Mindset space, you will know very well that NEGATIVE PEOPLE are a huge threat to your successful, abundant life.
In Barbara Ehrenreich’s iconic “Smile or Die”, she quotes J. P. Maroney- motivational speaker, entrepreneur, investor, etc:
“Negative People SUCK! That may sound harsh, but the fact is that negative people do suck. They suck the life out of people like you and me. They suck the energy and the life out of a good company, a good team, a good relationship… Avoid them at all cost.”
Now babes, there was a time when I would’ve been cheering this. I just need to own that before I move on. I spent some time deep in the belief (indoctrination?) that I was only responsible for myself, and that maintaining my positivity was my top priority in manifesting an abundant life etc etc. So if you’ve been caught up in that too at some point, I’m certainly not judging you.
I understood this “negative” to mean things like deliberately sabotaging of my happiness, needlessly dismissive of my dreams, etc, all of it flavoured with either malice or ignorance.
I now understand this “negative” to mean things like sad, angry, disappointed, frustrated, tired, jaded, context bringing, realistic, uncooperative, honest, marginalised or even, perhaps, just having needs.
You know who can be “negative” in this sense babes? Babies. Kids. Poorly people. Elderly people. People requiring care.
AND WHO DOES THE MAJORITY OF THE CARING… DRUMROLL PLEASE… YOU GUESSED IT- NOT FELLAS LIKE JP MARONEY- WOMEN.
This is from a BMJ article…
Women spend a disproportionate amount of their time carrying out three quarters of the world’s unpaid work: 11 billion hours a day. Globally women undertake three times more care and domestic work than men, with women in low and middle income countries devoting more time to unpaid work than women in high income countries, although income related differences within countries also exist.
And according to this piece from Oxfam
Women also make up over two thirds of the paid care workforce.
Across the globe, 42 percent of women cannot get jobs because they are responsible for all the caregiving, compared to just six percent of men.
Babes- if you are a caregiver, JUST CUT THOSE NEGATIVE DRAINING PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR LIFE, AND THRIVE!
Do not concern yourself with why they are unable or unwilling to give you that easy yes or encourage your delusions! Be wholly disinterested in their experiences and needs. It’s all about you maintaining a flawless vibration, etc.
Perhaps the biggest lolz come along when this kind of alpha bro patriarchal capitalism culture is layered with spiritual bypassing culture- then we are likely to hear something like “I am too much of an empath to be around people who have problems”, etc.
“Avoid negative people AT ALL COST”, we are advised. This is the guy by the way if you’re like “maybe he’s changed, Kezza!” He’s predictably on the Carnivore Diet and he retweeted this profound statement the other day from Russell Bronson (ClickFunnels guy who thinks Hitler was a thought leader- I kid you not, it’s in his book).
What is the ACTUAL cost then, of avoiding “negative” people- the cost to them, to us, to society, to our future?
Isolation, disconnection, erosion of empathy, actual death, hostility, trauma, exponentially growing expectations of self sufficiency.
And what becomes of you babes, when YOU are the negative person? In what ways might you feel ashamed to acknowledge your ‘bad’ feelings, complaints, or injustices you observe? And so when you employ this philosophy, you become trapped. You cannot become that which you have deemed unworthy of loving support. And so you must stay positive. As Barbara Ehrenreich suggests, Smile Or Die.
Individual advice with no regard for the communal consequences is rampant in the mainstream mindset space. It’s neoliberal nonsense that can deliver short term ‘wins’ for a price that is rarely acknowledged.
OF COURSE it’s a good idea to have some boundaries around your capacity to care for and hold space for others. Seeking healthy reciprocity in our relationships is sensible, and yet the flow of loving support may well and ebb and flow over time- we may need to take turns to give and receive. The more people we are in these relationships with, the better chance we have of being able to balance that for ourselves and one another, collectively.
I don’t believe that there are “negative people” just as I don’t believe there are “good people” or “competent people” or “kind people”. A developmental perspective says that there are simply people, behaving in ways that make complete sense given their experiences and circumstances.