“Cut negative people out of your life. The people you spend your time with influence your attitude and thoughts more than you think.”

We all have people in our lives, maybe even loved ones, who err on the side of negativity – you know, those who can find a problem for almost every solution and perpetually see the glass as half empty. But folks, I have to be honest – I heartily dislike the afore mentioned quote.

While I agree that we should work to eliminate negativity from our lives, I just cannot get on board with cutting people out based solely on their pessimistic tendencies. I mean, what if the pessimists are those you care the deepest about? And what if you are one of the only positive lights in their lives? If you cut them out, you are down a loved one and they have one more reason to be negative. I just don’t see the benefit.

The quote says, “The people you spend your time with influence your attitude and thoughts more than you think.” And I believe that if this is true of negativity, then the same must also be true of positivity. So instead of cutting pessimists out of my own life, I have resolved to be a positive influence in theirs – empower them with positivity, if you will.

I am not going to lie to you and say that I have never let a negative thought cross my mind, but I will say that I have always considered myself a glass-half-full kind of girl. And in my effort to empower with positivity, I am working to kick my optimism up a notch by focusing my energy on being genuinely kind, listening to understand, and playing devil’s advocate – but in a positive way.

So just how does one play devil’s advocate in a positive way? Well, I simply counter negative comments with positivity – you know, a reason why it will work, a compliment, or a word of encouragement.

I have secretly been implementing this idea of empowering with positivity for a little while now. And I have to say being kind – easy, listening to understand – easy, playing devil’s advocate for positivity – a bit of a challenge. It turns out that those predisposed to negativity really can come up with a problem for just about every solution. But, challenge accepted. Even if I have come up with nine reasons why something will work or offered nine encouraging words (or phrases) and the negativity still abounds – I am not deterred because 3×3=1. And one is better than none.

I promise – I’m not crazy.

I do know that mathematically speaking 3×3=9, but in terms of communication 3×3=1 because 3 messages delivered 3 times results in 1 time being heard. I learned this concept at a media training I attended a few months ago and have found it pretty effective in my quest to empower with positivity. Thus, I try to include as many positive inferences as I can into my conversations, increasing the likelihood that one of them will become the take home message.

In my humble opinion, cutting people out of our lives is not a valid solution to eliminating negativity, but empowering them with positivity – that is. I have already committed to being legitimately optimistic, seeing the half-full glass and helping others to see it too. Now, who’s with me?

Terryn Drieling

Hi, I’m Terryn. I grew up on a northeast Nebraska feed yard with pens of cattle as my backyard. That is where I fell in love with raising beef. So when I went off to college in the big city of Lincoln, NE, I focused my studies on animal science with the goal of one day becoming a feed yard manager. While at UNL, I met my never-boring, always-entertaining husband, Tom. After earning my degree in 2006, we moved out to the panhandle of Nebraska where I took a job on the animal health crew of a local feed yard. I loved my job, so-much-so that I would argue I never actually worked. Over the course of the next seven years Tom and I got married, welcomed a son and then a daughter, and I continued loving my life and career. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. But then, God inserted a plot twist into our story… And I am so thankful for His twist because I am happier than I have ever been doing things I never thought I’d do. I am now a stay-at-home-mom and ranch wife who has discovered new passions in photography and writing/blogging. Faith Family & Beef where I share my story as a wife, mother, lover of coffee, and dabbler in photography – living in the Nebraska Sandhills, bringing up a family while raising beef. Follow along on my blog: https://www.faithfamilyandbeef.com/