Keep Negative People in Your Life…for a Little Bit

There’s a lot of talk out there about getting rid of negative people to live a happier life.  You know, the ones who drain you when you spend time with them.  While no one wants to have unpleasant experiences, you may be making a huge mistake.

The most difficult people in your life teach you the most about yourself.  If you don’t undo the stuff that made it okay for them to be in your life, you’ll attract another one just like them.  The question is this: “what part of you decided it was okay to be with them in the first place?”

When you are honest with yourself, you will see that you are re-creating interactions and contexts from your past. Interactions that you didn’t want, but they were very familiar to you.  Much like a woman who had an abusive father and repeatedly chooses abusive boyfriends, we are attracted to the dysfunctions we grew up in – they are “comfortable.”


There is a key distinction between agreement with someone’s behavior and acceptance of the facts that they are how they are. When you are in acceptance, you see a person with emotional limitations, and not how you think they should be. We don’t berate someone in a wheel chair for not being able to compete in the high jump and think that they should be able to jump. That would be absurd.

When you let go of the shoulds of others and realize that they are who they are right now, and that there’s nothing for you to do to change them (nor is it your responsibility), you can decide whether to keep them in your life or not in a practical, balanced way.

Once you’ve learned your lessons, and see where you have to grow, then you can peacefully kick them to the curb.


About Paul Strobl Paul Strobl, MBA, CPC

Paul Strobl, CPC, is a Master Life Coach and mentor for new coaches launching their practices. Originally from Houston, Texas, he has been location independent for over a decade. He currently resides in Plovdiv, Bulgaria with his wife, 7-year-old stepson and his rescue dog from Argentina.