People with fibromyalgia face many obstacles.
We live with fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain and other symptoms. We work to find ways to manage this syndrome. We seek coping mechanisms. Many fibro patients have overlook the importance of who and what we surround ourselves with.
- This can have a dramatic affect on how we cope.
Conserving energy is an important part to coping with “Fibro Fatigue”. It takes far more energy to deal with negative people. Energy when you don’t have any left to expend.
Let’s look at who we surround ourselves with and the effects on our lives.
People You Should Remove from Your Life
- You have to cut the “downers” the negative people
- You have to cut out the “distractors”
- You have to get rid of “people who play the victim”
- You have to stay away from “know-it-alls”
- You have to dump the “drama queens/kings”
Good and Bad Behavior Is Contagious
One study found that emotions circulate through interpersonal relationships just like the flu virus.
These patterns can actually be tracked statistically just like the flu virus.
- Each positive person you surround yourself with increases your chances of being positive by eleven percent.
- Each negative person you let into your life more than doubles your chances of being negative.
Understanding Why This Happens
A mirror neuron is a cell in your brain that fires both when you act and when you observe another person acting. Interacting with other people engages your mirror neuron system.
This brain mechanism causes you to copy other people whether you want to or not. If you spend enough time with anyone, no matter who it is, you will start to mimic their behavior.
This means you need to start cutting negative people out of your life right now.
Here is a short 2 minute video
explaining mirror neurons
Here are five types of people
to start avoiding now!
# 1 The “Downer”
Some people can walk into a room and light it up. Other people walk into a room and kill it.
- Downers Are Those That Kill Positive Energy
They are those people who seem to have a dark cloud following them wherever they go. These people are unlucky, negative and always depressed.
Don’t feel bad for these people. Odds are:
They like being miserable
They like the attention it gives them
You must drop unhappy people from your life. Why?
Because your happiness and your physical health depends on it. Research shows that being exposed to negative people pulls away neurons in your hippocampus. This is the part of your brain that is responsible for problem solving. This means that negative people literally rot your brain
Stop hanging out with people who suck away your energy
#2 Avoid Distracting People
Distractors come in a variety of flavors
- There are those annoying people who drive you nuts.
- People who make you focus on them instead of focusing on yourself and your mission.
Distractors are also those people that are truly amazing or really hot or incredibly brilliant.]
- Those people who catch your eye for one reason or another.
- Distractors make you forget about your goals and everything that you’ve set out to do in life.
A lot of promising futures
have been sacrificed to these distractors.
Some people drop out of school or quit a job they love, just to be closer to a distracting person. This allows them stay in that distracting relationship.
Others get hooked on celebrity gossip or get rich quick schemes
- Everything that glitters is not always gold.
- Most shiny things are just distractions and this can include people.
Don’t let any person make you forget that you are amazing – and that you have something amazing to offer the world.
#3 Stay Away from People Who Play the Victim
Don’t know how to identify a victim?
Here’s what you look for:
- Look for people who preach self-sacrifice
- Look for people who try to make you feel guilty for your strengths
- Look for people who try to make you feel guilty for your accomplishments
- Look for people who try to make you feel bad just because they are feeling bad
- Masters of positioning themselves on the moral high ground
- Using obligation to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do.
- People who like to make you feel responsible for their happiness.
No one is responsible for someone else’s happiness
#4 Stay away from know-it-alls
Know-it-alls are those people who will never let you live down past mistakes. They bring you down by using the psychological phenomenons of “Imposter Syndrome” and “Negativity Bias.”
Imposter Syndrome is describe as the inability to internalize your own accomplishments. It’s that voice in your head that creeps up every now and then telling you that you’re a phony and it’s only a matter of time until people find out.
Negativity Bias on the other hand refers to your brains preference for negative information over positive information.
- Never allow anyone to make you feel bad about yourself.
- Don’t let some” Know-it-All” use these techniques against you.
- Focus on where you are now. Not on your past mistakes.
#5 Refuse to be around drama queens.
Drama queens/kings are those people who love conflict. They are addicted to drama and to winning arguments no matter the cost. Even if there’s nothing to be won. Drama queens love drama for the sake of drama.
- They don’t want to win or find a solution they just want the drama.
- Their minds are simple and their lives are boring.
- The only way they can fill a sense of purpose in life is by creating drama.
- Don’t let these people suck you into their drama.
Any time you spend trying to correct or even understand a drama queen is a waste of time. You are better off ignoring these people period.
What is the most important thing about you? What is the most important thing about your life, your relationships, and the next thing you do?
If you can answer these questions with conviction, purpose, and passion, and if your behavior is consistent with your answers, then your life, no doubt, feels completely genuine. You are one of the fortunate few who continually grow, learn, produce, create, and care. You never question your own value or anyone else’s. You routinely regulate negative emotions by investing interest and creating value in the world around you.
Those less fortunate have to think long and hard to answer the most crucial questions of their lives and often become appalled at how little their behavior reflects what they deeply believe to be important. The negative emotions that we blame on stress, bad days, excess weight, society, coworkers, neighbors, and family come largely from ignoring or violating what is most important to us.
For instance, when the most important thing about driving is to get to a destination as quickly as possible, people tend to drive aggressively. They devalue their own emotional well being, not to mention their safety and that of every person – every child – in every car they pass. They ignore both the general warning of their emotional discomfort – to value more – and the specific message – develop solutions to any problems that being late might cause. If they blame their discomfort on other drivers, the design of the highway, the boss, getting up late, or their “own stupidity,” their discomfort gets worse. Their emotions can no longer guide their behavior to conform to what is most important to them. Instead, they seem to be vehicles of punishment, unfairly controlled by situations or other people. The result is a sense of powerlessness that impairs thinking, performance, interest, and concentration. They will work less efficiently, become exhausted more easily, and be less than sweet to their kids when they get home.
Small and Important
When it comes to staying true to the most important things to and about you, it’s the small emotions that matter. The great passions of life, which seem to have the most significance, never spring from flat emotional landscapes. They rise and fall like waves on a continuous stream of small, unconscious emotions.
The primary function of the stream of emotions is the same in humans as in all mammals, to motivate and energize behavior on the most fundamental level of “approach, avoid, attack.” By habit and default, this unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions greatly influences what you will see, think, feel, and do next. If it flows from what is most important to and about you, your life will get better. If not, it will get worse.
The unconscious motivation of behavior is usually different from goals and intentions. For instance, Rick had a “communication problem” with his teenage daughter. He described a terrible altercation that began with his “harsh but right” reproach: “This is the third time I’ve asked you to clean your room!” His goal in this interaction, of course, was to get her to clean her room. His intention was to let her know that he was upset because she hadn’t. But the motivation that energized his behavior was attack, i.e., make her feel bad for not cleaning her room. Her emotional response, of course, was defensive. After some mutual name-calling (hers under her breath), she cleaned her room, in submission and humiliation, which she numbed with resentment. In fact, this is why she “forgot” to clean it in the first place.
Rick had begun to misinterpret the normal distractedness of a young teenager as a personal affront to him. Feeling disrespected, he attacked. After only a couple repetitions of this dance, his daughter associated cleaning her room with submission and humiliation. It turns out that the human brain will do almost anything to avoid thinking about submissive and humiliating behavior. Rick’s daughter naturally sought more interesting things to occupy her mind, which made her more likely to “forget” to clean her room. The more often she forgot, the more he attacked, and the more he fooled himself with the “rightness” of his goals and intentions.
Motivations are basic, simple, and straightforward. Goals and intentions are always complicated and often self-deceptive. In any given interaction, people respond emotionally to basic approach, avoid, attack motivations, not to goals and intentions.
Rick’s problem with his daughter was about importance, not “communication.” The most important thing, he later decided, was to teach her cooperation and respect. Attack motivations can evoke submission and fear, along with the resentment that goes with them, but never cooperation and respect.
Rick thought that his new “insight” of what was most important would change everything between him and his daughter. As it turned out, he did behave differently toward her, when he was conscious enough to remember his “insight,” usually after an episode of frustrated attacks. Conscious insight rarely influences, much less changes, the unconscious stream of small, everyday emotions. Whatever change you make is likely to last only as long as your attention lasts. Once routine sets in, the flow of the stream of returns to automatic pilot.
Most of what we do bypasses conscious thought and feelings. Only waves of larger emotions, like fear, anger, joy, or sadness bulge into awareness. Otherwise, the stream of unconscious small emotions makes a powerful force of habit that easily overrides the best of goals and intentions.
Lasting change usually requires emotional reconditioning, i.e., changing habits. For most of us, that is the only way to ensure that our streams of unconscious, everyday emotions flow from the most important things to and about us.
Religion is one of the two taboo subjects that many of us have been told, often at a young age, not to discuss if we wish to avoid offending anyone (the other is politics), yet sooner or later it often comes up in discussions. Many people feel a need to belong to some form of religion. I am not going to say that it is right or wrong to be part of any religion — indeed, that varies among individuals. Some people seem to be quite happy in their religion, and receive a great deal of comfort from their beliefs. Others seem to have no need for religion at all. Still others join a religion because they perceive it will bring some sort of benefit to them, be it financial, physical, or spiritual.
The main reason that religion is a “hot potato” subject is because some people feel it is their right, or their duty, to impose their religious beliefs on others. They believe that their beliefs are the correct ones, and that those who don’t believe as they do are wrong, or even evil. It’s actually not too dissimilar from the way a member of one political party might see it as their right or duty to convince others that their party is right, and the other party is evil. Those who don’t share those views generally don’t appreciate being told they are wrong!
At the heart of it, most traditional religion is based in part on fear. On a spiritual level, the fear is that you will not measure up to the expectations of deity, or some “higher power”. On a more pragmatic level, the fear is often that if you can’t force others to adopt your beliefs, they might impose their beliefs on you. Wars have been fought because of the underlying fear that we have to kill them before they kill us. It’s only in relatively recent times that a majority of people have started to understand that it’s possible for people of varying beliefs to coexist peacefully, and unfortunately there are still many people that don’t seem to understand this.
People who’ve had near-death experiences (NDE’s) have stated that if they asked about religion during their NDE, they were told that the best religion is the one that brings you closest to God. Of course, a person that felt no need for religion probably wouldn’t ask that question in the first place. But there are no reports of anyone having a NDE and being told that they should belong to a specific religion or denomination!
If you don’t belong to any religion now, my advice to you would be to think long and hard, and do some research on the Internet, before you join. Very often, when people are trying to get you to join their religion, they will seem to love you to death and truly care about you, perhaps even more than anyone else in your life has ever cared for you. The problem is that such “love” is almost always both time-limited and conditional. Once you have joined their religion, they will move on to some other hot prospect that they are trying to get to join, and suddenly you’ll no longer feel like the center of their attention. But worse yet, their love may well be conditional on you believing the things they teach you (no matter how absurd, ridiculous, or even hateful), and behaving the way they want you to. If you should start to question any of their teachings, you become a “problem” to them, and you will find yourself talked to the way a disapproving parent might talk to a stepchild — or maybe even invited to leave.
If you are already involved in a religion, and you feel that you receive comfort and joy from it, and it encourages you to love others and help them when you can, then maybe the only real reason to consider leaving them is if they try to get you to do things that would hurt others. That could be anything from attempting to impose your beliefs on other people, to hating them because they are not part of your group, or don’t meet up with some standard of morality that your religion attempts to uphold. Those are the very things that have been responsible for starting bloody conflicts in past and recent times. Also, please be aware that some religions are all about power and money — specifically, how much of those they can take from their followers for the benefit of the leaders. If the leaders of the religion are constantly telling people to give money to their organization, while they are living the high life (with nice houses, fancy cars, luxurious vacations, and even air-conditioned doghouses for their pets), then they are using deception to steal from their followers. In a few high profile cases they have gotten in trouble and even spent time in prison for this, but that’s the exception rather than the rule — more often than not, the leaders get away with it and are never brought to justice.
However, even if that’s not the case, it might be a good idea to reflect upon why you belong to that religion from time to time. Think about what caused you to join in the first place. Were your parents members, and they forced you to attend, and it just became habit? Did you join because someone convinced you that you might go to some bad place when you die if you didn’t? Or did you perhaps join because you thought you had found a group of people that truly cared about you? Think about the reasons you joined, and then ask yourself, “If I had known then what I know now, would I still have joined?” And also, “Did I have any expectations of what would happen that have not yet been fulfilled?” In short, does your religion truly bring you closer to God, or your “higher power”, or the Universe, or whatever you consider to be the highest and most loving force in all of creation?
If not, perhaps it’s time to find a spiritual path that more completely resonates with you. People on the “wrong” path (which is to say, in the “wrong” religion) often feel quite unhappy and unfulfilled, and often live in fear that somehow they’ll be subjected to some form of eternal punishment (though they may be quite unwilling to admit such thoughts, even to themselves). They may not enjoy participating in their religion’s rituals, or attending the designated place of worship. They may find prayer or meditation boring, or even infuriating, because they don’t ever see any results (but the religion will say it’s their fault). While these things can happen even to people who haven’t strayed from their path, those who are on the “wrong” path often come to a point where they just can’t continue in their present religion. If they then find the right path for them, they often feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off their shoulders, and that all the fear and dread that they experienced previously fades away.
For some people, the “right” path for this lifetime may be to not be part of any organized religion. That doesn’t mean that they cannot engage in some form of spiritual practice, such as meditation or prayer. It only means that they do not feel any need to attend, or receive any benefit from attending, formal meetings or going to a designated place of worship. Everyone is different, and what one person may see as an absolute requirement to be true to their beliefs, another person may see as irrelevant or even nonsense. If you try to convert such a person to your beliefs, you’ll just anger them and frustrate yourself — or worse yet, you’ll convince them to join and then regret doing so, because they will be constantly annoying you whenever the religion doesn’t meet their expectations (after all, you got them into this, so you should be the one to hear their complaints!). Even the religions that encourage proselytizing (that is, attempting to induce someone to convert to one’s faith, according to Merriam-Webster) usually recognize that there are people who just cannot be converted, even if they portray such people in an unfavorable light.
I personally think we’d all get along a lot better if we could all “live and let live” when it comes to our religious beliefs. That doesn’t mean we have to condone hate, or abuse, or attempts to control others, but when those things are not an issue, it’s probably best to let people find their own path. Of course, if someone starts asking questions about your faith or beliefs, then perhaps that means that they are destined to share your path for at least part of their journey through this lifetime, and in that case you can certainly answer their questions and share your beliefs. But if it makes you uncomfortable to talk about what you believe, that may be another indication that you’re not on the right path, or that you’re not being true to yourself and what you really believe. Taking time to reflect on what you believe and why you believe it encourages spiritual growth, and shouldn’t be avoided.