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29 Nov 2005

To Lee and others: Ridding your life of negative people
Ridding Our Lives Of Negative People
Negativity is a cancer that appears in many forms. Ridicule, guilt, prejudice, condescension, intimidation, and self-doubt are only a few of the ways negativity manifests itself. While some kinds of negativity come from within and cannot be easily controlled, most are caused by other people. I believe that everyone is entitled to rid themselves of these negative people in order to enjoy happier lives.
As teenagers, we often accept negative people into our lives because we are insecure and afraid of becoming the object of their wrath. We feel safer if we have them on our team. Also, we are intimidated because negative people seem to wield power. Indeed, the ability to disturb another person’s day, week, or life is a form of power.
Nowadays, we feel that we are mature enough to avoid such malignant influences in our lives. However, not all negative people are as overtly mean as they were in middle school. More common are people that merely reflect negativity, like the girl who insists on informing you anytime someone speaks badly about you, or the guy who only acts nice to you when you're alone with him. These people, while not affirmatively attacking you, are quietly chipping away at your mood and self-esteem; thus, they should be removed from your life.
How do you decide who to expel? What if a long-term friend, or even a parent, is the source of negativity that is causing you to be anxious or unhappy? How can we really avoid those who have permanent places in our lives?
To help answer this question, try to detach yourself from the world of the everyday and look at things in a larger sense. As human beings, we are given the freedom to hand-pick people that contribute to our well being and enrich our lives. We are not physically bound to anyone, and many of the people we interact with every day were not even our choices, but rather the product of our environments. We have no obligation to remain loyal to those who affect us adversely unless we place little value on our happiness.
Certainly, there are situations where it is difficult to implement this philosophy of purifying your social circle. Obligations must be filled. But I urge you to examine those obligations very carefully; compare the benefit you receive from them to the amount of negativity they bring into your life each day. Remember that you deserve to be happy, and you only get one chance to do so. The older you get, the harder it is to recognize and rid yourself of the sentiments that have set into your mind. Don't let negative people interfere with your most precious natural gift: the capacity to love life.

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01 Jan 0001

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