Unhealthy vs. Healthy Relationships: Power of Positive Thinking

It’s no secret that we take on the attitudes of people we spend a lot of time with. From siblings and parents to coworkers to significant others, attitudes, opinions, beliefs, and emotions are easily exchanged back and forth. If you’re lucky, you’re surrounded by positive people; if not, you know how frustrating it can be to be surrounded by negativity and all that entails.

Finding yourself in a relationship of any type where negativity is the reigning attitude is tough. Read on to know what you can do to make things better.

Attitudes and Health

First, you should understand how attitudes can affect your health. A positive outlook on life can lead to higher life satisfaction which leads to better choices. A person who sees the best in the world and focuses on the beauty around them will treat each day as a gift and act accordingly. On the other hand, people with a more negative outlook may live life with less intention and will focus on short-term fixes for emotional needs, like food. They will also have more stress, which often leads to other health concerns.  Indeed, positive thinkers even have a lower chance of dying from pretty much all causes – 55% lower – and an astounding 23% lower chance of heart failure.

What Does a Negative Person Look Like?

When forming relationships and friendships, avoid negative people from the start. Here’s what to look for (and keep away from):

  • A negative person expects negative outcomes. Be careful if the person expresses pessimistic sentiments and expect the worst to happen in most situations.
  • A negative person blames others. For this person, it’s easier to put responsibility on others than to take it upon themselves, even when it is deserved. By diverting responsibility to others, they need not face their own negative expectations of themselves. In their mind “if this is my fault, I’ll only screw up more by trying to fix it. If it’s someone else’s fault, I can’t do anything about it.”
  • A negative person speaks negatively. Watch out for extreme gossip, especially of a critical nature. If they are talking this way about other people with you, they will certainly talk this way about you with other people. By judging others harshly, negative people may experience some relief from their own harsh self-judgment.
  • A negative person won’t progress in life. Because negative people expect negative outcomes, they may be afraid to make any changes in their life for fear that it won’t turn out well. Instead, they’ll make excuses for why they can’t make any moves forward.

Find a Positive Person

To form positive relationships, you need to find positive people. These are the type of people that will influence you for the better and encourage you to grow in your own life. Here’s what to look for.

  • A positive person will express gratitude. While most people will feel appreciative of something once in a while, a positive thinker will focus on what they have to be grateful for every day. Then, they will be quick to express that gratitude, whether to others or just to themselves. The important thing is that they see what they have and acknowledge how fortunate they are.
  • A positive person has empathy. Instead of simply pitying the less fortunate and comparing them with their own lives and situations, a positive person will strive to be compassionate and empathetic in their dealings with others. Instead of blaming others for their own misfortunes, a positive person tries to understand not the cause of the situation, but their reaction to it.
  • A positive person focuses on solutions. It is tempting to concentrate on the problem, but a positive person will seek out solutions instead. They engage a creative mind and ask others for help. They put the greater good above their own ego.
  • A positive person handles stress well. Everyone faces stressful situations. Positive people are not immune to bad things. However, a positive thinker will seek out ways to manage stress instead of succumbing to it. This includes meditation, prayer, mindfulness, physical exertion, etc.

A Healthy Relationship

Who you choose to spend time with is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Remember that your own health, happiness, and mental state will be affected by those around you. By choosing to surround yourself with positive people, you are choosing to become a positive person. This will lead to a happy and healthy relationship where both parties are satisfied. If you are a positive person yourself, do remember that it is not your job to fix a negative thinker. Indeed, each person is in charge of their own attitude, so it may be better to seek out a positive person than to anticipate “fixing” a negative one.