Behavior Is Contagious – Especially With Fibromyalgia

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

  1. You have to cut the “downers” the negative people
  2. You have to cut out the “distractors”
  3. You have to get rid of “people who play the victim”
  4. You have to stay away from “know-it-alls”
  5. You have to dump the “drama queens/kings”

Neuroscience 101
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

Victims are:

  • 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.

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5 Steps To Assertiveness and Setting Boundaries

The True Art Of Assertiveness

Step 1) Decide Where Your Boundaries Lie

How far is too far? What are you willing and unwilling to take from other people?

Set a limit in your mind and stick to it. This doesn’t have to mean you set no leeway, but internally draw a line and don’t let them cross it. You have to learn to say enough is enough to protect yourself. And when you do that, you also begin to respect yourself more.

We can cut people some slack in life, but please decide just how much you are willing to take.

Step 2) Know That Forgiveness Can Make The Situation Worse

Many of us like to think we have forgiving natures. And a bit of forgiveness here and there is wonderful and helps the world turn. But if you continually forgive someone their ongoing bad behaviour, they get much worse.

You see this happening in relationships all the time (including work relationships). If we constantly forgive and make allowances for bad behavior, it ceases to be ‘bad behaviour’ in the eyes of the person doing it.

Research found that people who exhibit aggressive behavior against their spouses were more likely to continue such behaviour if their partner was forgiving. The fact is, any form of human behavior can come to seem okay if it seems to be endorsed through forgiveness.

The buck needs to stop somewhere…but how do you clearly let someone know you will not accept bad behaviour?

Step 3) Remember ASSA

Whether you need to talk to a boundary-crossing colleague, a disrespectful partner, or a cantankerous neighbour, you’ll need a strategy. Assertiveness is a form of calm, clear communication, not a verbal assault.

So often when we feel upset with someone, we shout or scream; but they genuinely might not clearly get why we are upset. People can be super intelligent in all sorts of ways, but genuinely not understand why they have upset other people.

Don’t assume people can read your mind and must somehow just know that you are upset. Get used to telling it how you see it.

ASSA stands for:

Alert the person that you want to speak to them. For example: “I want to talk to you about the way you have yelled at me in front of other staff recently.” Notice there is no blaming or emotional language at this point.

State your grievance by telling the person what the problem is. “I’m not happy with you shouting at me.” Tell them why it’s a problem. “It makes me angry and I think it makes you look unprofessional in front of other staff and customers.”

Sell the benefits of them behaving better. “In future, if you have something to say to me, it’d be better for you to talk and not shout, and do so privately. This will make you seem more professional and improve my morale, as well.”

Agree. Seek agreement for doing things differently in future. “Can we agree that from now on, you will refrain from shouting and if you ever need to speak to me again, you do it away from other people?” If they agree, then remind them of their agreement if ever they renege on it. All you’ll ever have to do in future is remind them of what they agreed.

Notice how clear this communication is. You’ve neither passively put up with their behaviour nor been so emotional that they can counter-accuse you of being insulting, yelling, or losing your cool, which would actually side-step the issue.

This kind of communication can be a powerful corrective to bad behavior, creating the kind of environment in which it cannot easily grow and spread. Of course, they might not mend their ways, but at least you have given them a chance to behave better and brought the over-the-line stepping out into the open.

Step 4) Stay Calm

This is so important. When people over-step the mark, it’s natural to feel disgruntled or enraged. But assertive, clear communication requires presence of mind and for that we need calm. The moment we start launching insults or yelling or sobbing, we have left the realm of credibility.

Sure, it may not be surprising that bad behavior produces these responses within us, but now we have distracted the person from the issue of their behavior to how we are now reacting. It’s all very well to suggest you stay calm in a situation that requires assertiveness, but actually being calm takes practice.

It’s important to rehearse what you’re going to say to someone, but it’s just as vital to rehearse or prepare how you’re going to feel when you say it.

Step 5) Practice Honesty

We have all received a gift from a well-meaning relative and pretended to like it. Sometimes, being slightly less than in-your-face honest is the kind thing to do. But by being more assertive, you not only gain more respect for yourself and others, you can enjoy the greater freedom that comes from being more honest more of the time. Ultimately, it doesn’t help other people to live under the illusion that their behavior is okay when it really isn’t.

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