Eliminate Negativity in Your Life and Be More Successful

Negativity is a slow-acting poison. When you allow negativity into your mind, your body is infected as if you have an insidious disease. It is toxic and needs to be addressed and removed. If not, it can destroy you, your marriage, your friendships, and your career. It’s a burden, like carrying a heavy anchor while trying to swim. It also adds stress to your life. I believe in positive thinking and the energy it brings to your life.

Nobody Likes a “Firkrimptor”

Sometimes, the perfect word for something doesn’t exist in English. Firkrimptor is one such example. It is a Yiddish word that best translates as a sourpuss, bad-tempered, or habitually sullen person.

I advise removing as many firkrimptors from your life as possible, even if they are relatives and longtime friends. “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”[1] Minimize your contacts and social interactions if you cannot completely disassociate from them. I have found that negativity is a self-sustaining cycle. It feeds on itself and attracts more negativity.  Break the cycle and become positive! Other people’s negativity brings you down psychologically, which can affect your attitude about life, relationships with others, and job performance. They also drain your energy and consume a disproportionate amount of your time.  Conversations with negative people become pity parties.

You may not be aware of it, but negative people can unintentionally ruin your day, week, and life. They may not intend to harm you, but it can happen through their actions, speech, and interactions with you. Negativity is a contagious disease, and you can catch it. Negative people are toxic and must be removed from your life as quickly as possible. They will fill you with their negative thoughts. If I had listened to those who told me why I shouldn’t publish a book, I would not have started the first one. (And I am glad I wrote it.) They never encourage you, especially when you need it, and they will not comfort you when hurt. They enjoy damaging your self-esteem. They are “drama kings” or “queens” and suck you into their dramas, whether you want to be there or not. They will stagnate your growth as a person who contributes to society, your family, and your church or synagogue.

The people who will hurt you the most and cause the most damage to your self-esteem, your life, and your career are more likely to be people you know (not real friends) and relatives. I expect adversaries that do not like me, to treat me poorly—and I can prepare for that or respond accordingly. But the hurt from someone I know and may have previously trusted is permanent.

To Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

My attitude and outlook on life improved dramatically when I decided to distance myself from certain friends and acquaintances who lived in a negative world: nothing was ever their fault or due to their own decisions; the world was out to get them; they had no control over their circumstances; they hated their jobs, their manager was unfair to them; they woke up sour and stayed that way throughout the day. When they encountered people, they treated them with suspicion, not friendliness. They treat store clerks and restaurant workers like servants. An old saying is that you are known by the “company you keep.” So, somebody may also judge you by your association with negative people.

Although some of these people may not mean harm to you or have any malicious intent, the reality is that they may unintentionally impair you, your family, and your success.

Negativity is toxic for many reasons:

  • it destroys your mental health,
  • it can make you physically sick,
  • it just brings the mood down for everyone else around you. Negativity can’t exist if you want to create a positive life. That doesn’t mean you can never have a bad thought, but for the most part, concentrating on the positives in life helps you attract more of the same. If you only focus on everything going wrong, you miss the beauty right before you.

Positive thinking can promote a healthy mindset, but negative thoughts can do the opposite. When you constantly entertain negativity, you seek experiences and people that reflect your mindset. Buddha’s quote, “What you think, you become,” applies here. Everything in life comes down to your mindset and how you approach obstacles.

You can minimize your time with those that are toxic and do not help you grow spiritually, intellectually, or emotionally. Instead, invest your time in associating with people who are encouraging, exude positive energy, and are fun to speak and be with. Some of these people may not be good friends now, but they may end up being after a while. You will be amazed how this simple alteration will change your life dramatically. Removing close, negative, or dysfunctional relatives from your life can be difficult, but it must be done. You are stuck with your relatives, but you must distance yourself from them as much as possible. Maybe you will see them during the holidays but not socialize with them at other times. And it is also difficult when your siblings or children are close with them or their children. Realize that you cannot change them; they will not change unless they want to. But rather than confronting a close relative or friend, I advise prioritizing your well-being over theirs. You also do not owe them an explanation—and not an apology. You do not need to speak further with them in person, via telephone, or text. Don’t feel guilty about it—they brought it on themselves. Take the time you would have spent with them and choose to spend it with more positive and supportive relatives and friends. They will appreciate your friendship and will not try to bring you down.

Like negativity, positivity is also contagious.  And these people see life as a beautiful place to live in, with all kinds of possibilities.

Now, I wake up positive daily and cannot wait to accomplish what I have set out for the day—or to enjoy myself. I get along better with other people, especially those with optimistic attitudes. I do not dwell in the kingdom of negativity. Gratitude should be your attitude.

The Negative MO

You can identify people in your life who seem to go from one misfortune to another, believing the world is out to get them. These negatively-natured people are never satisfied, whether with the food they ordered at the restaurant, the service from the wait staff, or the accommodations at hotels while on vacation. Moreover, they are likely to criticize your personal choices, whether it’s your home, your car, your lawn, your vacation trip, or the school you went to. Theirs is always better.

A very negative person will also react to other people’s good news with condescension or skepticism. These negative thoughts can undermine your confidence and self-esteem. In sales, if you have self-confidence, your prospects will sense it, and you are more likely to be successful.

Others may want to tell you or, more realistically, burden you with their problems, which may be nothing more than being unable to get a hairdresser appointment this week. But, again, this constant negativity is toxic to them and the people around them. It is incredibly draining to be subjected to the ongoing negativity of others, and their pessimistic outlook puts a damper on everything.

“As they say, it doesn’t matter much about your situation. Instead, it’s the attitude you have about your circumstances. A positive attitude can help you overcome any challenges. But negativity tends to drain your energy, rendering you powerless and stagnant. Studies have shown that a negative disposition can cause some of the world’s most common mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression. A U.K. study of more than 30,000 people, the largest of its kind, found that traumatic life events played more of a role in mental illness than even genetics or life circumstances.”[2]

Enrich your life by getting rid of the negativity in your life. As sales expert Zig Ziglar said, “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.”[3]

According to VITAL Worklife the Mental Health Foundation defines emotional health as “a positive state of wellbeing which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life.”[4] Be achieving triathlete, marathoner, or mountain climber believes he or she can complete the difficult physical and mental challenge, and that is largely why they succeed. If they didn’t think they could complete the task, would they even start, or would their efforts be “all-out?” Do you see how this can translate into your salespro’s selling approach?

Mike Ditka, the Hall of Fame football player and Super Bowl-winning coach, said, “If you have a bad attitude, it’s hard to do anything good. If you have a positive attitude and you’re willing to pay the price of work and discipline yourself, then you’ve got a chance.”[5]

You will live longer if you have positive social relationships!

Yes, it’s true. Here is another reason to remove negative people from your life. According to Bill Murphy, Jr. in Inc., “The longest-running longitudinal study in history found that good relationships were the most important factor in a long and happy life. Likewise, this study suggests having good relationships led to a 5% predicted effect on longevity.”[6] So, in addition to improving your attitude, it will result in you living a longer and happier life.

It would be best to try to identify and distance yourself from false or hypocritical people—those who may act as your friend when you are with or speaking with them. Still, they slander or say negative things about you behind your back. Your friends may report that they gossiped about you, or perhaps you caught them in a lie. These people are not your friends—and they never were. They only want to take from you, never give back. It is a one-sided relationship. They are very cunning and manipulative. They want to tell you what to do and how to behave, but they don’t follow the rules themselves. In many ways, I dislike hypocrites more than people who are mean and nasty to you. The hypocrites hide behind a false friendship. They want you to be there when they need you, but they are never there for you when you need them—many times they will deliberately avoid you. They walk all over you. And they often purposely try to make you feel bad. This is not a conundrum. End your relationship with them by just disassociating from them. Why hang on to them? You will have a much richer life by removing them from your life.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett advises, “Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours, and you’ll drift in that direction.” 2 You will be more energized.

In summary, your life will become more pleasant, your relationships with others will be better, and your success in sales will improve if you discard negativity and the negative people from your life as soon as possible. Do not make excuses, such as if they are a relative or you have known them for a long time. It doesn’t matter. They are like a tumor; the cure is removing it from your body to live a better life.


[1] https://themindsjournal.com/quotes/stay-away-from-negative-people/

[2] Science Proves That Negativity is Toxic (and How to Boost Positivity) (powerofpositivity.com) https://www.powerofpositivity.com/negativity-is-toxic-boost-positivity/


[4] https://insights.vitalworklife.com/blog/2016/01/02/wheel-of-well-being-emotional-dimension-definition

[5] https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/bears/ct-cb-chicago-bears-1985-super-bowl-ring-20200127-ir37jedl2zf2nmfqfesu6jjfha-story.html

[6] https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/want-to-live-20-years-longer-a-massive-new-study-of-719147-people-says-follow-these-8-habits.html

7 https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/warren-buffett-says-he-lives-by-3-leadership-rules-for-success.html