Negative People: Why You Don’t Need Them

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Negative People Why You Don't Need Them

Negative people have the potential to be downright toxic. Even the most positive people have trouble being around constant debbie downess – this is especially true if those negative nancies happen to be people you spend a lot of your time with AKA friends.

Friendships that only give you negative energy are friendships you don’t need. You deserve to surround yourself with relationships that encourage growth of the mind and spirit. If you have a friendship or relationship that prevents that growth or drags you down, you may be better off just ridding yourself of that relationship all together.

First, let’s cover why you don’t need those negative soul suckers in your life:

  • You are who you surround yourself with. This might sound a little weird but it’s kind of like that old saying ‘you are what you eat’. It’s been said that the person you become is influenced greatly by who you spend your time with. Look at the people you hang out with the most and you will find that you have a lot of similarities. This is because the more time you spend with people, the more of their habits, verbiage, etc. you pick up. If you’re hanging around a lot of negative people, chances are you’ll become more negative yourself.
  • Negativity will affect your energy level.  Being around negativity constantly can be a real energy sucker. I’m serious. Once you’ve spent a decent amount of time with someone listening to them only moan and complain about every little thing in their life, or even put you down on a regular basis, you’ll feel drained and depressed. Not only does this affect you for the time you spend around them, it will also affect you long-term by amping up your stress and anxiety levels.

  • Negative people take up valuable space. All those toxic friendships and negative relationships your wasting time and energy on? Yeah, you could be using that time and energy on someone more positive and deserving. Negative people take up space in your life – valuable space that a positive, more supportive person could be residing in. Time to clean up your real estate, my friend.

Next, let’s identify those negative little leeches:

  • How do they handle their problems? Do they constantly complain and dump on you – then do NOTHING to actually solve the problem? Do they completely disregard all your advice? Let me tell you, a person that consistently complains about the same things yet does nothing to change their situation is toxic. I’m not talking about the casual complainer who just needs an ear from time to time – we all have our moments where we need to vent about family, work, etc. You’ll know a toxic complainer when you meet one.
  • Do they shoot down my dreams, goals, or decisions? Do they make snide comments or do things that sabotage your goals/aspirations? Do they put you down? Or tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do something? For example: when I was in college, I put on a few pounds and decided I needed to make a lifestyle change. I started eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis, and quickly saw results. However, throughout that journey, I had a friend that constantly made comments such as ‘I don’t see a difference’, ‘It’s funny that I’m still skinnier than you’, or ‘What’s the point’. She would also make me cookies and cupcakes, even though she knew I was trying to make a lifestyle change. Unfortunately, friends like that aren’t friends at all. Anyone that tries to stop you from reaching your goals or discouraging you from going after your dreams is not a friend you want to have in your back pocket. Trust me.

  • Do they make an effort in our friendship? Do they refuse to call/text you first? Forget to invite you out or ask you to do things? If you find that the only times you talk or hang out are when you initiate it, it might be time to take a step back. A friendship should be give and take, 50/50. If you’re doing all the work and getting none of the reward, your friendship might be toxic.

And the most important question to ask yourself..

  • How do I feel after I hang out with this person? Do you leave them feeling depressed, doubtful, drained, or in any way negative? Do you dread seeing this person? Do they always take the last piece of pizza [unforgivable]?!?! If you answered yes to any of those, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship with that person and decide if they are really someone you want in your life.

If you’ve decided that someone is negative and you’re no longer interested in being friends, here are a few ways to let them go: 

  • Talk to them. Tell them exactly how you’re feeling and what has been bothering you – maybe they weren’t aware of how they were acting! Take the time to calmly communicate with them and make sure to come from a place of compassion and love. You won’t get anywhere if you attack them and start listing everything they’ve done wrong. By talking to your negative friend and bringing the problems to light, you will both be able to evaluate the friendship and see if it is worth saving. If communicating with them doesn’t work, simply tell them you need a break and then cut ties.

  • Stop talking to them. Depending on the friendship and situation, it might just be better to cut ties right away. Avoid seeing them, stop answering their calls, etc. If you have mutual friends and this option is completely impossible, try limiting the time you spend with them. Hang out only in groups, cut calls short, whatever. Even though this sounds mean, you will feel so much better ridding yourself of such a toxic friend. Simply stop communicating and send them off with love and a prayer.

Staying friends with someone just because it is convenient or you feel like you have no other friends is no way to go through life. There are MILLIONS of beautiful souls out there, you just have put yourself out there and meet them. It is because there are so many wonderful potential friends in the world that I really want to encourage you to dump the toxic ones you currently have. Friendships come and go – it’s a sad, unfortunate fact. However, cleaning out the rotten friendships makes space for true and lasting friendships to take their place.

I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true. All relationships – friendships, romances, etc. – need to be give and take. You also need to enjoy the relationships you’re in. Once you’ve found a friend that you enjoy being around and genuinely connect with, you’ll be much happier.

As a side note, if you think your toxic friend needs to talk to someone, or that they are a risk to themselves or others, encourage them to get help. There are resources out there for people who are depressed and/or in need of someone to talk to.

Readers: How do you deal with toxic friends? Any advice for other readers? Are YOU the friend that steals that last piece of pizza [YOU MONSTER]?!?

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7 Ways to Boost Productivity at Work

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7 Ways to Boost Productivity at WorkWork can be overwhelming at times – I totally get it. However, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that you’re making the most of your time. Not only will this make you more productive at work, it will also reduce your stress levels substantially because you won’t feel like you’re scrambling last minute to get everything done.

So, without further ado – 7 Ways to Boost Productivity at Work:

1. Turn your phone off/silence it. If you’re on a roll and really beasting a project, nothing is going to break that concentration quite like the chime of your phone or ding of your email. So if you’re working on an important project – especially if that project has a deadline – mute your devices. Speaking of deadlines…

2. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. If you have a task or project you need completed, set a hard deadline for yourself. Even if your boss or manager hasn’t given you an exact completion date, set one for yourself. Project needs to be completed sometime next week? Cool, tell yourself that you’re going to have it done by 5PM on Wednesday. Having a deadline will force discipline.

3. Get a good night’s rest. A good day is almost always determined long before you get to work. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate and sludge around the office if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and relaxing morning. So get your beauty sleep, homey. That way you’ll have the energy you need to take the world by storm at work.

4. Clean up your office space. When you get to the office (or right before you leave), tidy up your office space and make sure your desk is clean. This is a great way to ensure you won’t fiddle with desk mess when you should be getting work done.

5. Take short breaks. Tell yourself that you’re going to work for 50 minutes straight and then take a 10 minute break to walk around the office, get water, etc. This is especially true if you work at a job where you’re mostly sedentary. Walking around and moving your joints will give your brain a break and also improve your health.

6. If you’re out of work, find some. If you find that you have a lot of time to kill at work because you finished a project early or business is slow, go find something to do! Get a head start on a project that is coming up, help a co-worker manage their workload, leave passive aggressive notes throughout the office, etc.

7. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. If you sit at your desk all day long, eating lunch there is a bad idea. Get out of the office and eat your lunch at a local park. If it’s blistering cold outside, go sit in the break room and snack on your food with a good book. Whatever you need to do. Just make sure you take a break from your desk for the duration of your lunch.

Readers: Anything to add? What helps you stay productive at work?

Things I Wish I Knew: College

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Things I Wish I Knew College

Fall is approaching very quickly, which means thousands of young adults will be flocking to their college campus of choice. Whether you’re going out of state, staying close to home, or even commuting – college has the potential to be one of the best time periods in yo’ life.

Although I [sadly] will not return to school this fall, I will happily pass on my infinite amount [AKA very limited amount] of wisdom. So let’s get started with a few things I wish I knew: college edition.

1. Freshman 15 is a thingBeing on your own in college is a great feeling, especially because you get to eat whenever and wherever you want [I can’t be the only one that was extremely excited about this, right?]. PLUS, because you’re on a college campus, almost every restaurant/bar is going to be open late during the school year.

Freshman 15. If you’re not careful, it’ll definitely happen to you.

Deliciously cheesy pizza at 4 in the morning? Bring it on. Taking advantage of the buffet style cafeteria on campus? I mean, you have to get your money’s worth, right? You’re telling me this beer is FREE? I’ll take another! HOLY ST. PATRICK, step away from 5 lb. burrito and chill out.

You can and WILL gain a bunch of weight within the first few weeks if you don’t 1) implement a regular exercise routine, 2) avoid eating fried foods on a regular basis, and 3) skip on the constant binge drinking.

If you get control of your health before it spins out of control, you’ll feel a lot better, have more energy, and be able to concentrate – something you’ll need when your mid-terms spring up. Speaking of..

2. Nobody will notice if you don’t show up to class. Okay, so this one is only partly true.. It really depends on the size of the class and whether it’s a discussion or lecture.

If it’s a large class [think 100+], they most likely won’t take attendance. This means that if you don’t show up for class all semester, no one will probably notice [that sounds so sad..]. That is, until your professor grades your final exam.

Even though the attendance policy is lax, you really only hurt yourself when you don’t show up for class. Most of the time, your professor will cover material that isn’t in the assigned readings and will DEFINITELY be on your exam.

So, even though they won’t notice if you skip class every day, you’ll do a whole lot better if you just show up. If you’re THAT tired, just go take a nap on the lawn or bench or something [homeless people and college students are often indistinguishable, I swear].

3. Don’t you DARE buy your books brand new, unless you ABSOLUTELY have to.

College textbooks are a total nightmare simply because they cost a fortune AND you’re required to purchase so many of them. You’re upset about that $15 parking ticket you just got? PFFT, talk to me when you’ve doled out $150 bucks for a book that you end up using only once during the semester.

PLUS, when it comes time to sell your books back to the store, they will only give you a small fraction of what you paid for it [a twenty dollar bill has never looked so sad].

Instead of buying books brand new at your campus bookstore, buy used books online and save that extra dough for something more entertaining. A few college textbook sites that I used:

half.ebay.com

chegg.com

Another pro tip: try to talk to people that have already taken the class to see if the books on the syllabus are even needed. Sometimes, professors will say a textbook is required and then only assign ONE chapter from it the entire semester [jerks]. Someone that has already taken the class will be able to point out the textbooks you really need and the ones you can probably pass on.

4. Making friends will never be easier. I’m serious. When you first get to school, EVERYONE is new and EVERYONE is looking for friends. This makes it extremely easy to strike up conversation with anyone around you.

Take advantage of this during the first few months you’re at school and get to know as many people as possible. Introduce yourself to the people in your dorm hall, chat it up with the people in your classes, talk to the people in the bathroom stalls next to you [don’t do that], etc.

Also, don’t be afraid to just ask someone out for a coffee or grub. In college, nobody will think it’s weird. I promise. After all, you’re all just trying to find a place to fit in at college. Everyone is in the same boat.

Your social life is a huge part of the college experience. Getting involved on campus in clubs, organizations, or athletics will help you meet new people and develop lasting friendships. Enjoy yourself and the friends you spend your time with—even if you’re not doing anything at all. College is about the people you meet, the experiences you go through, and the memories you make.

5. Explore every nook and cranny of your campus and surrounding city. This means not only checking out great restaurants and dive bars, but also taking the time to visit the museum, the art galleries, etc.

Try to visit places you’ve never been and take the time to try new things. Never had Indian food? Try it! Never been to a college football game? Go to one! Curious about the stars? Join the Astronomy Club!

Take the time to do everything and visit everywhere. It’s when you wander off to a weird art exhibit or explore your college town alone that you bump into versions of yourself you never could have imagined existed.. and that’s what college is for – finding out WHO you are!

If you don’t take anything away from this post, simply remember this: college is a time where you meet great people and become the person you were meant to be. So go out and enjoy yourself.

You only get to be a college freshman once in your life [unless you fail.. but you know what I mean]. So have fun, be smart, and soak up every single minute. ‘Cause once you’re an adult and paying on your substantial amount of student debt, you’ll wish that it hadn’t passed by so quickly.

Readers: Any tips for incoming freshman? What do you miss about college?

7 Ways to Practice Gratitude

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7 Ways to Practice Gratitude

When we find ourselves in a rut, we often take to thinking about the wrongs in our life or even [*gasp*] spiraling in a whirlwind of negativity. Although it is important to be grateful everyday, it’s especially needed when we find ourselves down in the dumps. Thinking of things that you love and/or what you’re grateful for can put any negative situation into perspective [trust me, boo].

We need to be grateful as hell for all the wonder, victories, small moments and grace in our life. Why? Because life is beautiful and pizza exists. So to help you get your grateful vibes on, here are 7 ways to practice gratitude today:

1. Share your gratitude with others. If you know me, you’re probably aware that I LOVE asking “what are you grateful for today?” [’cause I’m nosey, duh]. Not only do I get to hear what my loved ones are grateful for, it also serves as a reminder to think about what I’m grateful for in my own life. So take a moment and share your gratitude with others. Ask them what they’re grateful for and share your own grateful list.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. Take note of one or two things your grateful for everyday. This is a fantastic way to practice gratitude because if you ever find yourself at a loss for words, you can look back at old entries for a little gratitude inspiration.

3. Say thanks with a RAK (random act of kindness). By doing someone a little act of kindness, you pass the good vibes and grateful feelings along [bonus for the good karma].

4. Thank the people that serve you. Okay, picture this: you’re eating lunch with a friend and are deeply engrossed in gossip. As you’re all like “Oh my gosh, Becky.. look at her butt“, your waiter/waitress has quietly filled your glass and disappeared without you even noticing.

Okay, yes, it’s their job to make sure you’re enjoying your meal, and a good server won’t disturb you.. But that doesn’t mean you can’t flash a quick smile and throw a “thank you” their way! PLUS, when you’re nice to your server, they’ll most likely return the favor and be nice to you [win win].

5. Appreciate the world and its beauty. Next time you step outside, put down the phone and just take a moment to soak up the fresh air. We live in a beautiful world and it’s a miracle that you are even alive! So step away from your twitter feed, enjoy the breeze on your face, and send out a little thanks to the universe for existing.

6. Get involved in a cause. Donate time, money, talent, whatevs. Just go out there and get involved in something you’re passionate about. No matter what you do, you’ll learn to appreciate the organization a little more and realize that there is always something to be grateful for.

7. Say ‘Thank You’ for the little things. Unless you’re a total jerk, you probably say “thank you” when a friend wishes you a happy birthday, your boss promotes you, or the delivery man brings you pizza – you know, the big things.

As easy as it is to say thanks for the big things in life, it’s imperative that you don’t forget to be grateful for the little things. We become accustomed to the small gestures and tiny moments. Stop taking them for granted, bro! Say”thank you” for a small, specific thing today (e.g., your significant other takes the trash out, your coworker turns your computer on for you, etc.).

Readers: How do you practice gratitude? What are you grateful for today?

Hey You!

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My dearest readers.. I apologize for being MIA and not posting as frequently as I’d like to. I want you to know.. It’s not you, it’s me.

HOWEVER, this is anything but a breakup. I just wanted to inform you that I will be posting more frequently from now on. You know why? [spoiler alert: I may or may not have just done something very adult-like].

Because I’m creating a schedule.

So bear with me just a little bit longer and we’ll have a BLAST next week.. Or maybe not. Maybe you’ll throw produce at me from your computer and I’m COMPLETELY okay with that because I’m in need of groceries.

For now, make sure to check back for ‘Links I Love Wednesday’ and a surprise post on Friday. If you really want to hear my weird daily ramblings, you can check me out on the Twitter machine –> @daeljo

ALSO, if you have any blog requests for specific topics, feel free to comment below.

Have a great Monday, lovelies! I’ll see all y’all on Wednesday!

How to Pick Your Battles in Love

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How to Pick Your Battles in Love

Being in a relationship is a wonderful thing – you get to share your life with someone and together you get to make memories, experience life, and hopefully share in an adventure that is kick ass. Love is beautiful.

However, no relationship is perfect. Every couple has problems and conflict happens. Fortunately, most of these ‘problems’ aren’t very serious. If they were serious all the time, you most likely wouldn’t be with this person – right? [the correct answer to that is yes, BTW].

Couples – especially ones that have been together for an extended period of time – sometimes fight about the MOST STUPID things ever. Although you’ll most like laugh about these ridiculous little tiffs later on, I can guarantee that the little rumble won’t feel very funny when you’re actually experiencing it in real time.

So, these stupid fights. These could be about anything. Maybe your boo didn’t boil the water before he started to make the mac and cheese. Or maybe they made fun of your 3rd grade picture. Or maybe you saw your S.O. steal a few extra dollars from the Monopoly bank. Whatever.

The point is, a lot of these fights are stupid and can sometimes be spotted and stopped before they escalate. However, not all fights are going to be as easy to label as fighting about being a Monopoly cheater.

How to pick your battles in love.

Picking your battles in love takes patience and critical thinking. It means looking at the situation you’re in and really analyzing it. To hopefully help you evaluate whether it’s worth it to fight or not, here are a few questions I like to ask myself before I let loose the hounds of hell on my unsuspecting boo:

  1. How do I really feel about this? Take a moment to really look at your feelings and evaluate what you’re actually upset about. When you take a hard look at the situation and breathe for a second, you might realize that you’re not angry at your significant other.

Maybe you had a really crappy day at work and it seemed like nothing was going right. If you felt like crap all day, you might just be taking those negative feelings out on your S.O. If that’s the case, take a step back and chill out.

Go for a walk, take a hot bath, pat your head and rub your stomach, whatever you need to do. Just avoid fighting with your beau simply because you’ve had a crap day and need to use someone as a verbal punching bag.

2. Does this really affect my life? Maybe you’re annoyed that your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse doesn’t fold his or her socks in their sock drawer. Unless your socks are in the same drawer and it’s really inconveniencing you, let it go. 

There may be chaos in their dresser, but that chaos isn’t reaching out and turning your life into a mess. Better to just move on and focus on more important things.

3. Does this happen all the time? Is it a recurring thing or this is the first time it’s happened?

Lets say that your significant other is late for dinner one night. You’ve been waiting for awhile and you’re worrying like crazy. If they come home, explain why they’re late, and it’s not something that happens EVERY night – drop it.

However, if they are showing up late almost every time you have dinner together and/or offer no explanation as to why they are running behind, you should probably say something. Repeatedly disrespecting/hurting your feelings is much more serious and should be addressed.

4. Did they do it on purpose? Did your partner make an offhand comment about your outfit that unintentionally hurt your feelings? Or maybe they criticized your cooking without knowing you actually made it?

If there was no malicious intent behind it, just drop it. We all say stupid things, and some of us need medical assistance with how far we put our foot in our mouths. It happens.

If it really hurt your feelings (like maybe you worked all day on that meal), mention it to them. Most likely, they’ll apologize immediately and talk about how scrumptious your disgusting meal actually is.

DON’T go on the offense with them and attack them for their comment. Just chill, man.

So I’ve given you a few questions to ask yourself to assist you with picking your battles in love. However, I want to stress that these questions are what I have found to work for my relationship. If I’m about to take my boyfriend to Chinatown, I ask myself these questions and then decide whether a fight is actually worth it or just something stupid that can be brushed off.

These questions may work for you and they may not. You need to find what works best for your relationship, and the only way to do that is to go with your gut. If your gut is telling you to say something, no matter how stupid, you should mention it to your partner. Communication is the key to making a relationship work. 🙂

So readers: how do you decide if a fight is worth it? Do you have questions you ask yourself to help defuse a potential fight?

3 Reasons Why You Should Be a Positive Thinker

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3 Reasons Why You Should Be A Positive Thinker

In the book “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman says “Ceaseless optimism about the future only makes for a greater shock when things go wrong; by fighting to maintain only positive beliefs about the future, the positive thinker ends up being less prepared, and more acutely distressed, when things eventually happen that he can’t persuade himself to believe are good.”

If I’m allowed to speak freely, I think this is complete and utter bullshit. I don’t believe that thinking positively makes you less prepared for catastrophic events or failure. Instead, positive thinking encourages you to recognize that failure/distress/chaos is temporary.

By looking on the bright side of a terrible situation, or simply encouraging yourself to think positively during a rough period, you’re simply telling yourself things will get better. There will always be a rainbow after the storm, so to speak.

It’d be crazy to think that you can be positive all the time. Everyone is going to have days where they feel down because negativity has creeped in. The important thing is to try to think positive on days like this. Don’t let the negative thoughts consume you and you’ll be just fine.

So, what exactly does positive thinking do for you? WELL, I’m delighted that you asked [cause you did. I know you did. RIGHT?].

3 Reasons Why You Should Be a Positive Thinker:

1. You’ll feel better. When your thoughts are positive, that positivity affects your mind, body and soul.

I know i’ve talked about the dreaded “spiraling” a couple of times.. That strange thing that happens when you start thinking something negative and that negative thought brings to mind another and another and another. 

When this happens, you oftentimes end up in a really dark frame of mind that can affect your sleep schedule, your concentration, your happiness, etc.

To avoid the dreaded spiraling and to keep yourself sleeping like a baby, try to keep the thoughts positive. Even if you’ve made a mistake or you are feeling really down on yourself, don’t give in to the negative thoughts.

If your friend came to you and told you about a mistake she made, would you say to her “Yeah, wow, you really are an idiot. I’d hate to have your life right now, suckahhh!” OF COURSE YOU WOULDN’T. [If you would say that, I think you should make an appointment to visit the doctor. I’m pretty sure they make pills for that.]

So why would you say those things to yourself?

If you make a mistake or screw up, talk yourself up and keep the thoughts positive. You’ll feel better, you’ll sleep fine, and your smile will be as genuine and beautiful as it has always been.

2. People will be attracted to you. Not just in a romantic way, but also professionally and socially.

Think about someone in your life that is consistently negative. Maybe they constantly complain about their spouse, job, lack of ice cream in the freezer, etc.

If you haven’t noticed, people who are always negative are total black holes when it comes to energy. They literally suck your good vibes and energy away. Oftentimes when you leave them you feel down or unhappy. You might also feel negative emotions and dread by simply thinking of them.

Most likely, you try to avoid this negative person as much as possible and find yourself complaining about their negativity whenever they are mentioned.

Unfortunately, they become such energy suckers by allowing negative thoughts to create negative feelings, moods, and behavior. They allow these black feelings to consume them and those black feelings leak out and affect people around them.

NOBODY wants to be around a black hole vibe-sucker. Trust me.

When you encourage positive thoughts, these thoughts affect your attitude and behavior. When your actions and attitude are positive, people will naturally gravitate towards you. Why? Because you’ll make them feel good! BOOM.

3. You’ll feel motivated to accomplish your goals.

There is a reason coaches give their players a pep talk before a big game. Motivational words and encouragement make the players feel like they can do anything – like beat their opponents!

So think of positive thinking like giving yourself a pep talk. If you think positively and encourage yourself to reach further and dream bigger, you’ll be more likely to! Tasks will be easier to fulfill and goals will be easier to accomplish. Why? Because you’re pumping yourself up and setting yourself up for success!

WOOHOO here’s to being a positive thinker!

3 Reasons Why You Should Be a Positive Thinkerr

Readers: Do you have your own reasons for being a positive thinker? How do you banish negativity? Isn’t the weather just SO DANG HOT today?!