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Negative people in recovery can take a lot out of us. If a newly sober person spends too much time around negative people, it can be hazardous to his sobriety.
There are many characteristics of negative people, one of them is to constantly criticize other people as well as the world. They can be passive aggressive or openly aggressive. Sometimes negative people are also angry and blame others. They are distrustful, pessimistic, and create drama for no reason. They enjoy pulling apart the achievements of others and resent other peoples successes. Many negative people are also self-centered.
Negativity can increase the chances of relapse. If a person in recovery has a negative outlook on life, it will lead to “stinking thinking.” This is a dangerous mindset because it may prevent him from welcoming new information. It can also lead to a negative self fulfilling prophecy. When he predicts bad things will happen, it may actually lead to it coming true. Negativity sucks the joy out of sobriety, and he may become a dry drunk. This is when a person no longer drinks, but still acts like an alcoholic or addict. The same bad behaviors are still present.
It’s important to move away from negativity within yourself, but it’s equally important to move away from negative people in your life. Spending too much time with a negative person is draining. Negativity can also spread like a cancer, it’s particularly dangerous for a person in early sobriety because you are more vulnerable. Negative people can be overly critical, and they can lower the self-esteem of those around them. Many people in early recovery are already dealing with low self-esteem, so further criticism can be dangerous. Negative people are not capable of offering support, so they cannot be trusted with your recovery.
If you have to be around a negative person, don’t join them in their critical opinions of people or the world. Try to keep the conversation light, if they begin making negative comments, try to change the subject. Try making positive statements, this may impact your conversation for the better. Sometimes not listening to negativity can save you from being pulled down. Think about the saying, “in one ear, out the other.” Or let it roll off you “like water off a ducks back.” Don’t let negativity poison you, shield yourself from it.
Negative people are not bad people, they are just dealing with their own demons. They may have suffered from trauma, or depression. If you need to disengage from a negative person, it’s best to do so with compassion.
Entering our holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is a great place to learn new coping strategies for dealing with life. There will always be negativity in life, and learning how to effectively deal with hard issues is what we teach here at our Florida based drug rehab facility. When you learn new coping strategies, protecting your sobriety is much easier.