Soul-Sucking Negativity

I’ve had a few great conversations with friends lately on jealous & negativity. We’ve discussed encounters with people who are discouraging, critical, and try to bring others down. I mentioned that I am occasionally jealous – who isn’t?! But it doesn’t make me feel any better to belittle or insult the person I’m jealous of.

A perfect example that’s easy to talk about – one of my neighbors has absolutely stunning hair. It’s truly something to behold. Thick, shiny, full, long. ZERO GRAYS! Zero frizz! And it frames a gorgeous face too.

I don’t entirely dislike my hair. I’m pretty lucky that it’s full and mostly healthy. Although I now have TONS of grays, so I have to stay on top of coloring it. It frizzes out like mad at times too.

So, yeah, I’d love to have her hair. But if I could snap my fingers and magically take it away from her –whether to take it for myself, or simply deprive her of it– I wouldn’t. It wouldn’t make me feel any better! And it doesn’t make me feel any better to draw attention to where else her life might be lacking.

Bringing others down just doesn’t make me feel good. Shit, I feel like a goody-two-shoes sometimes writing that, but it’s just true.

Ambivalent People

And the reason I’m writing all this is because I saw this video on “ambivalent people.”

In the video, Vanessa discusses how toxic, negative people are easier to deal with. We create strong boundaries and don’t socialize with them. We interact only to the extent we’re required to do so. But identifying ambivalent people is much trickier.

It boils down to the Q, “Is this person actually happy for you?”

Unfortunately, I can think of quite a few interactions where I have a high degree of doubt about that. In some cases, they make it obvious. Hey, at least you have to appreciate when someone who is a dick makes it clear!

In other cases, they parrot the responses dictated by polite society… but there’s no sincerity behind it. The type of person who wants to be viewed as polite, but doesn’t give a fuck about you. They are harder to spot, but even more important to steer clear of. And steering clear is more important… because you might accidentally let your guard down. You might be fooled into thinking they’re a friend, and then make yourself more vulnerable to hurt or betrayal.

Choose Friends Wisely

The more I reflect on relationships, the more I realize I’ve been aware of this for quite some time. And, importantly, I have allocated my time and mental energy accordingly. I don’t try hard to make friendships where it doesn’t come easily. There’s already too little time to invest in friendships that are truly positive and rewarding.


I paused the video and started writing this blog before she even mentioned, “Dream Killer Questions.” That topic had already popped in my head! LOL! Clearly, I get what she is saying.

There’s something simply tragic about people who enjoy destroying the dreams of others… taking the wind out of your sails… actively discouraging. I suppose considering how powerful it is to me to be encouraged, I find it particularly sad to witness others being discouraging. (Sure, I try to armor myself against it, but that is easier said than done.)

Why does it make you feel good to make someone else feel bad? How can you find joy in causing others suffering? Is being right and smarter that important that you enjoy it despite hurting others?

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One Response to Soul-Sucking Negativity

  1. Pingback: The Downside of Empathy Part 2 | Meg's Wellness Blog

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