Understanding Negative People



Have you ever experienced being around a negative person?  That co-worker who is so critical about other people? The pessimistic friend who sees all misery of life? An acquaintance who rants about everything that’s difficult, miserable, or unfair?  Oh, they tend to drain all the positive energy out of you.

One of the most beautiful and graceful women that ever lived is Audrey Hepburn (ehem, iba talaga ang level naming mga Audrey! Hahaha!) My friend Audrey Hepburn once said, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows.”

I was raised in a family who saw the beauty in me – who would sincerely compliment my strengths and show me the weaknesses that I need to work on. I was told that I don’t need to look like other women to be beautiful. That I don’t need to change the way I look to conform to the society’s definition of beauty.

The confidence that my family was able to build within me helped me not to succumb to peer pressure and not be affected by critical people. Of course I experienced receiving not-so-good comments from negative persons such as: “I don’t like the way she looks. I don’t want her shoes, her bags, her fashion statement.” My humanly reaction would be: “Kung ayaw nya edi wag siya tumingin! She is not even that beautiful and fashionable in the first place, who is she to judge me! (insert taray factor here)” but then I would tell myself (Be mature! Be mature!) then I would just brush it off and tell myself “I can’t please everybody. As long as I know that I am doing the right thing and am comfortable of myself, I’ll be okay”

Last night, I was reflecting why there are people who seemed to have boundless negative energy to criticize or put down other people. Then I remembered what my mom said to me when I was still a little girl: “Those critical people… they are the ones who have insecurities in life.”

In an article entitled “Insecurity and Defense Mechanisms”, Grace Kelly McConnell discussed the different defense mechanisms of insecure people:

The Critic

For instance… some people manifest their insecurity by being overly critical of others. Some people feel the need to put others down or to be overly demanding of others in order to make themselves look better. It’s as if they’re saying, “If I make this person look or feel like an idiot, then I will look and feel better by comparison.” People who feel small want to make other people feel just as small. People who have a healthy self-confidence want to make others feel confident, too.

The Flaunter

Some people manifest their insecurity by overcompensation. Some people feel the need to have the latest fad gadget, the most expensive car, the branded bags, the designer clothes, and the pieces of jewelry and they are ofthen the people with the greatest insecurities. It’s as if they’re saying, “I don’t think very highly of myself, so I want to have the best of everything so that other people will think highly of me.” A lack of self-confidence creates a void in your emotional being. By attempting to define yourself by the things you have, you show me you aren’t comfortable with yourself as a person and need something else to fill the void.

The Obsessive

Some people manifest their insecurity by obsession. I have seen this in numerous ways. Some men, when they feel emasculated by the women in their lives, develop an obsession with things that make them feel “manly”. Sports, violent video games, fast cars, guns, etc. Some women, when they feel insecure, develop and obsession with things that make them feel worthy, fashion and beauty endeavors are common ways women attempt to validate themselves. The obsession can often become a way for these people to prove to themselves that they are good enough. It’s as if they’re saying, “I don’t feel good about myself, but if I pour myself into this one thing, I will feel better.”

The Sarcastic

Some people manifest their insecurity by using sarcasm as a relationship barrier. Some people use sarcasm as a way to keep people at a distance, to keep people from getting too close. It’s mechanism that (supposedly) keeps insecure people from getting hurt. It’s as if they’re saying, “If I don’t let you get near me, you won’t see my flaws and you won’t reject me.”

The Attention-grabber

Some people manifest their insecurity by demanding attention from everyone around them. Some people aren’t happy unless they are in the spotlight and everyone in the room is focused to them. The attention-grabber often takes drastic measures to be the center of attention. They tend to be very likeable people, but they may brag a lot about themselves and their accomplishments. It’s as if they’re saying, “If I can get all these people to pay attention to me and think I’m worth something, I will feel reassured of my worth.”

All of these manifestations of insecurity are perfectly normal, but all of them are harmful to you and often to those around you. And so, some brief words to each of you.

To the critic…

Learn to focus on positives, in yourself and in others. Look for the good in other people, and check yourself when you start criticizing. Recognize your tendency to be critical, and stop to think about when you feel those tendencies and why.

To the flaunter…

Learn to focus on who you are rather than what you have. Nice things are nice, but don’t let things define you. You are more thanthings. You are a person, and your heart, your soul, your mind, your goals, your dreams, your relationships and your life are all a million times more important than the things you have. You want people to love you for you, not for your stuff. Recognize your tendency to fill your void with nice things, and think about when you feel those tendencies and why.

To the obsessive…

Learn to focus on the big picture rather than the individual things that you think will get you what you want. An obsession with one thing in life will not make you feel like a complete person. A complete, whole life is made up of a balance of many components. Recognize your tendency to obsess, and stop to think about when you feel those tendencies and why.

To the sarcastic…

Learn to focus on letting people see the real you rather than a pre-determined mask or barrier. Open yourself up. You may not get hurt if you don’t let people get close to you, but you also won’t be able to love and be loved. Take a chance. Recognize your tendency to use sarcasm to push people away, and stop to think about when you feel those tendencies and why.

To the attention-grabber…

Learn to focus on other people rather than on yourself. You may be surprised to find how much self-confidence can be gained by paying attention to others and not worrying about what they think of you. Recognize your tendency to draw attention to yourself, and stop to think about when you feel those tendencies and why.

Let me close this blog entry with this quote:

“The people who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.”

Positive vibes everyone!!!

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