Negative people are like spiders. No matter how hard you try to block their entrance, one or two will eventually slip past. I'm terrified of spiders, so I notice them pretty quickly. (much screaming and panic dancing ensues shortly afterwards) negative people are another story. They tend to wiggle their way in and I don't even notice until I find myself channeling their behaviors or attitudes. I'm not saying that I'm not responsible for my own choices and actions. I most certainly am. Still, I think most people will incorporate the behaviors of those they spend time with. A fitting in mechanism.
Negativity is like a toxin that seeps in and poisons your system. It's also easier to deal with than blind optimism and forced cheerfulness. Those wear you out. Negative people are more subtle and it's easier to complain than it is to cheer. At least it seems that way at first. After awhile you notice the constant tiredness that comes from seeing things as half empty or gray and dismal. The depression that comes from constantly complaining and never finding joy in what lies around. Then you become the negative person who spreads the toxin to others. Worse yet, you attract other negative people who support and understand your behavior.
Life is too short for that.
At least there is hope. With spiders you can gently show them the door (knowing they will come back) stomp them, or poison them. It's the same with negative people. You can try to explain to them that you just can't deal with this right now. They will leave for awhile, but they will come back eventually. you can stomp them emotionally. this will keep them away, but proves to them that their point of view is correct. Everyone DOES suck. The last option is how I choose to handle them. Not an actual poison, even if it's tempting. By choosing not to engage in their behaviors and focusing on your own life you poison your relationship with them. Negative people don't like people who are happy and successful. It just makes them feel worse about themselves. Didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it. I learned that from Narc-Anon. I use it a lot in my daily life. If I did cause it or I can control it, then I will try to cure it. Otherwise I have to let it go and not dwell on it.
Now having said all this I won't try to convince you that I am the happy sunshiny bunny of love. I am most certainly not. I can be kinda bitchy and I'm sometimes too honest for my own good. (never ever ask me if that shirt/dress/whatever looks good. I will tell you) What I am is someone who doesn't usually complain just to hear myself whine. If I complain, I try to fix what I am complaining about. I am usually positive, I try to find something worthwhile in everything that happens. Usually. Lately I've been complaining to complain and that has to stop.
A good sign of bad behavior is when Dan and I fight more often. He's pretty easy going but given to really dumb behaviors. (book smarts, no common sense) When I find myself losing patience because he did something dumb, but it really makes no difference in the long run....then it's time to examine my own behaviors. We've been married 21 years. I can normally put up with his stuff *IF* I am ok with myself. I haven't been, so it's time to fix that. I didn't notice the spiders creeping in and happily joined them in the chorus of "this all sucks". Time for a new song.