We all know that we cannot change other people, but we can always change how we respond to them.

Children raised in an environment where criticism, pessimism, and negativity are common will end up having that mapped into their developing brains as typical behaviour. This may result in a patterned way of thinking and behaving, and it becomes how you respond to your environment.

When negativity is a habit, it becomes an automated response that consequently becomes an unconscious response to a situation.

If there is a specific person in your life who always points out the potential pitfalls of your positive plans, gently point it out. Learn to become comfortable sharing the way you feel without criticising others – ‘I feel overwhelmed when you say that but would love to hear your positive feedback instead’. 

Sometimes, an observation can help raise their awareness. After all, they may be negative so much that they do not even realize that they are doing it.

If someone always tells you about all the bad things going on in their lives, you might shift the conversation by going after the good – ‘Tell me what is exciting in your life right now?’.

For some people knowing that you can celebrate positive things together might be a new idea.

Learn to not entertain negative energy: people who feel that the world is an awful place will always point out the things that could go wrong. Whereas people who feel awful about themselves will always say negative things about other people.

Sometimes we need to establish healthy boundaries for our own mental health.

That may mean limiting your interactions with certain individuals. It could range from ending phone calls when they become overly negative, or it might involve ending a friendship altogether. You might decide you are better off keeping certain people at a distance. Tell them only the information you want them to have and limit your exposure to them.

On the other hand, positive people provide you with support, give you a listening ear when you need it most, and encourage the best out of every situation. Having positive friends decrease loneliness, improve your mood, increase self-esteem, and nourish your wellbeing.

Seek to cultivate the positive energy flowing in your life.