Stop Letting Pessimists In Your 'Inner Circle' Sabotage Your Happiness

Stop Letting Pessimists In Your 'Inner Circle' Sabotage Your Happiness

Your vulnerability and acceptance of your friends might be what's distracting you from your goals.

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I think we've all heard it at some stage in our lives. "You are the summation/total of your closest five friends." When we're younger, we like to act stronger and more independent than we are. But as adults, with limited more limited time and resources, so are our friends limited and expected to be a positive resource for us. However, our childhood naiveté can reintroduce itself into our adulthood friendships, where we let people's toxic attitudes and interactions with us slide because "oh that's just the way he/she is."

As adults, we must come to realize that our time is THE most valuable asset we own. Who we allow to have our time of day, especially over the course of a year, adds up significantly to our overall production and satisfaction. Yet, we get so defensive because we build up our "inner circle" of people and don't want to be critical of the people closest to us, likely because we think they will get offended or we will have to acknowledge our mistakes in letting toxic people affect us. Reality check time.

Those that get offended because you're calling them on their negativity are likely doing so out of a caricatured image they have of themselves. We call these people "realists." In life, there are pessimists and optimists. People posing as realists are pessimists because they're trying to rationalize their negative outlooks because of "reality," then brag about how "real" and world-aware they are. The only thing real about them? They are REALly living without any long-term goal and mind, lacking the vision and the passion to pursue anything other than instant gratification.

Does this sound oddly familiar? Odds are, you have one of these people in your inner circle. No, they aren't inherently bad people, but they simply believe that rationalizing their pessimism and telling you how to live your life. Why? Because they aren't satisfied with their own lives, so they find any opportunity they can to bring others down to their level, whether its for attention or distracting them from their grim reality.

Likely, these are also the people that complain just because it's a Monday. That's what pessimists do — they tell you that you're not supposed to be happy just because it's the first day of the work week, or that you can't branch out and try something new because it's risky or it will make you look dumb. Since we're keeping it real, you know what you should really do? Enjoy each day that you are given to work because you are able-bodied and know that you are in control of your own happiness. That's what separates optimists from pessimists. They don't give a damn if it's Monday or Friday. They own the day because they are humble.

The people you put closest to you are easily the largest influence on your personality aside from yourself. Your closest friends are also best at disguising their negativity as helpfulness because "they know you and know what's best for you." That's where you should smell the bullshit, and cut it. It is only you who is inside your mind 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You know your capabilities and limitations, thus you should be the one to make that judgment and not them.

If there is someone in your circle with the arrogance to proclaim with such negativity any such sentiments, they aren't worth it to have around, regardless of their social status or how much value you think they bring to you. There is no tradeoff for your self-esteem and positivity. The sooner you learn this, the sooner you will stop sabotaging your own happiness.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


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Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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