There are people who can fill a space with light and there are people who can drain the light before it has a chance to shine.
Have you ever noticed how some people radiate positive energy? Others don’t. In fact some seem to dim a room with negative energy. Who do you prefer being in the room with. You can almost feel the energy in your body change when you’re around these positive people. Stop for a moment and think. How many people of the former do you know and hang around with. Don’t they also generate positive energy in you?
And when you are around sullen, withdrawn, and negative people, does that tend to rub off a little on you too – and put you in a bit of an attitude of “annoyance” as well? That may be a bit judgmental but that also seems to be the way it is.
Sometimes groups of people can keep you active and energized. According to Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones, being part of a harmonious group of like-minded people can contribute to a longer life. He cites as an example, the small intimate groups of Okinawan seniors who get together for conversation and tea. These are simply intimate groups of like minded people who join together for group activities. They don’t include toxic people in their group. They don’t necessarily discriminate, they just mingle with those they have an affinity with. Okinawa was one of the areas Buettner cited as having the most people who are over one hundred years old, and he suggests that being a part of small intimate groups is part of the recipe for active longevity.
Real life examples? Earlier this month, my wife and I went to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a week with her old college friends, a group of seven or so. Husbands had to leave after three days and the girls stayed for four more. They have a reunion every couple of years in various locations and they all have a ball together. They always have their reunion of old friends to look forward to and will for years to come. They are all in their very late sixties.
As I write this, my wife is off to the beach again, this time to Delaware where a group of retired teachers, seven or eight of them, are swapping stories and going shopping and generally having a great time in one another’s company. Some of them are in their mid-seventies and some are younger. They have been getting together, just for the sake of getting together, for years and will continue probably until there are none left. They all energize one another and feed off each other’s vitality.
Can you change other people from negative and toxic to happy, positive and enthusiastic about life. That’s not a topic for this post, but it is something to think about.
Positive people aren’t always happy, and negative people can be happy. We are all different as individuals, and as individuals, we can be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, changing back and forth between the two at different times. But this generally passes and our individual personalities show through most of the time.
Can people can change themselves through individual lifestyle changes? Studies have shown that when a person develops habits of exercise, good food and the other attributes of good health, they tend to happier and enjoy life more. Is that true in all cases? Of course not. That should be reason enough on it’s own to exercise and stay away from eating junk.
So what’s the takeaway here? Chances are, if the evidence is correct, that you’ll live a happier and longer life when you associate with like minded people who energize you and avoid the negative and toxic people who drain the energy from you. Obviously you can’t totally stay away from the grouches, but studies seem to show you’ll be happier and live longer when you do,
Thanks for reading.