Pamela Dirr
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How to Remain Positive When Surrounded by Negativity

You create your own happiness.

Everyone is entitled to happiness. Everyone is also entitled to go through difficult times. But what if people are making your life so miserable that you lose sight of your happiness? That’s when you have to tell yourself that you will overcome it. That’s when you have to tell yourself to think positive and focus on the good things that are in your life—even if other people try to convince you otherwise. It’s difficult, but it can be done. It’s important to remember that those who are criticizing you and trying to bring you down are probably just jealous of you because of all that you have already accomplished. They might be so miserable in their own life, that the only thing they know how to do is insult other people to try to make themselves feel better. But that doesn’t mean that you have to remain miserable.

I’ve been going through difficult times. People have deliberately criticized me and spoken down to me and tried to discourage me. These people were my friends, or so I thought. It really got to me because I don’t like when my friends insult me. Friends are supposed to build each other up; they’re no supposed to destroy each other. I felt like I was being destroyed. It became so depressing for me that I literally didn’t know what to do. I consider myself to be a pretty strong person, so I tried to tell myself that I could overcome it on my own. I reassured myself every day that everything would be ok, but it really wasn’t. So I found other people to turn to for support. I’m glad I did.

I found that I have friends in people I wouldn’t have normally thought of. I reached out them. I vented to them. They didn’t judge me. They actually let me talk and cry and express everything that I had been bottling up for months and months. They truly care about me and they hate seeing me so upset. I told them that I tried dealing with things on my own. They told me that I should have gone to them sooner and that they’ll always be there for me. Even if I don’t need advice and just need a shoulder to cry on and a hug, they’ll be there for me. That right there made me feel better. They were able to get me to see things differently and they helped me to realize that I’m not wrong in thinking the way that I do. They support me. I always feel better after talking to them. They reminded me that people who speak poorly of others and treat others poorly, aren’t worth my time and effort. They helped me to remember that I am a good person and that I don’t need negative people in my life. They helped me to start focusing on myself again and that it’s ok to be selfish every once in a while. So I did just that. It’s a slow process, but I’m taking things day by day.

I try to start each day on a positive note. When I wake up in the morning, I try to think at least one positive thing from the day before, and then I tell myself that today is going to be a good day. I think of the positive things that I have in my life. I think of the things that I want to accomplish that day. Even if I accomplish something small, like cleaning a room in my apartment, or going for a walk, or organizing my calendar—every little accomplishment is still an accomplishment. I also think of the people in my life who I know will always be there for me. They are the people who have proven to me time and time again that they have my back 100 percent. They are the people who, as soon as they see me, know if I need to vent and they let me.

I don’t know what I would have done without those people in my life. They helped me to get on the right thinking path again. I’m not at 100 percent yet, but I do know that I can’t allow others to minimize my worth. I focus on myself and what is best for me. I don’t allow my life to be dictated by what others think of me. I keep reminding myself that if someone wants to speak ill of me, then so be it and it’s probably because they’re miserable in their own life and needed to try to discourage someone else in order to try to make themselves feel better. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life so far, including this past year. People have insulted me for some of the things that I’ve done and won’t acknowledge certain things. I try to not let it bother me. I have people who are proud of me and want to see me make the most out of life. I thought I’d be at a different place in my life by now (I’m 42 years old, I’m single, and I don’t have any children), but things happen when they are supposed to. Everything falls into place when it’s supposed to and how it’s supposed to.

Even though I’m struggling financially right now, I’m grateful that I have two part time jobs. I still have a roof over my head, I still have my car, and I’m still able to put food on the table. I might not have much, but I value what I do have. It takes a lot to remain positive when there are outside sources trying to break you apart. It’s a daily struggle, but I make the most of it. I take one day at a time and focus on making myself happy. I know who my true friends are. I know who will always be there for me. Nothing else matters.

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