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Jim's Gems: Guard Against Negativity

November 4, 2013
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The people we associate with can have a tremendous influence on our lives. That influence, however, can be positive or negative. Although we can’t always
totally avoid the negative influences we should be aware of their existence and guard against the damage.
 
Do you know someone who asks how you are, but obviously could care less about your answer? Do you know someone who says they care about you but belittles your efforts or puts you down? How does it make you feel?
 
If you are like most people, things like this hurt your feelings? Did you realize that if it happens enough, it could also damage your self-esteem. It is hard to maintain a high opinion of yourself when those who are closest to you are always (or frequently) trying to pull it down. More often than not the reason they do so in the first place is because of their own poor opinion of themselves, and not because there is anything wrong with you. However, when you are experiencing their judgments and criticisms, it can be hard to keep this in mind.
 
Obviously, if you have a choice, you want to stay away from these kinds of people--the ones who are always evaluating how you look, how well you do things, how moral you are, how witty you seem, and letting you know that you never quitemeasure up.
 
The best people to associate with are those who do three important things at the same time. (1) They act as a mirror that reflects your good points while acceptingyou just the way you are.  (2) They expect excellence from you and continually encourage you to use your full potential. (3) They are always there to cheer you on and support you in many ways.  Most of the time you don’t even have to ask. In other words, they see the good in you that sometimes you don't even see, and they tell you about it often.
 
These are the people who bring out the greatness in others and these are the people you want to make a regular part of your life. Who is that person in your life? Who is/are the person(s) who you need to avoid? Making the right choices with whom to associate will have a tremendous impact on your personal and professional lives.
 

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