We have all had to deal with at least one “negative” person in our lives. The constantly negative person can be one of the biggest threats to our own recovery.
I personally know a few people who are very pessimistic and cynical and they can drain our serenity and sense of well-being very quickly if we allow them to have that power over us.
It is particularly difficult if the negative person happens to be a close family member or friend. Negative people tend to think the worst about almost everything, and they either distrust or blame others for every bad thing that happens to them. These individuals can easily make situations they talk about seem much more dire than they really are – making mountains out of molehills as the saying goes. Their thinking is skewed – “black and white”, great or horrible (usually mostly horrible).
From my own experience I find people who look at life like this are emotionally draining, but when I was drinking, I could easily feed into it – I would find myself getting as depressed or angry as them, which was a great excuse to have another drink.
Now, in recovery, I realize the danger involved in allowing these type of people into my head. Bolstered with what I have learned through the 12-step program, I know that the world is not all good or all bad, so I am able to separate myself mentally if not physically from their negativity, and I don’t join in. I try to be compassionate and understanding – their view of the world comes from their own unhappiness and certainly can’t be taken as fact.
While it is not always possible to stay away from negative people, we can deal with them without threatening our own sobriety and serenity.