Are you surrounded by negative ninnies? You know the type. Debbie and Dave Downer who always seem to be there reminding you of the black lining, the thunderclouds overhead, the glass half empty, the what-if-it-doesn’ts?

We are greatly impacted by those we surround ourselves. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So it’s in our best interest to ditch Debbie and Dave and replace them with Sally and Steve Sunshine. But what if you work with Debbie and Dave’s your brother? How can you minimise their impact?

Are they aware?: You don’t know what you don’t know. Perhaps D and D don’t realise they sound like a broken doom and gloom mix-tape. You can gently point this out to them. Debbie: ‘Why do I always get stuck doing all the hard work?’ Me: ‘Rainbows!’ No seriously, ‘I don’t think that’s true Debbie because we both do our fair share’. Dave: ‘ I’ll never afford to buy a house in this property market”. Me: ‘Sunshine!’ No seriously, ‘That’s not a helpful way to think Dave. I prefer to say, ‘there’s plenty of great houses for sale and I’m getting closer and closer to my dream one’. Just a simple ‘really?’, ‘why do you think that?’ or ‘please explain?’ can interrupt those tapes and make them a bit more self- aware.

Limit their exposure: You may not be able to avoid Debbie at work or Dave at the family dinner but you can limit the time you spend with them elsewhere. Go for a walk at lunch-time, put on some headphones at your desk and blast some funky tunes or try sitting at the kids table at your next family do. Spend time with positive pals instead, ones who will lift you up, cheerlead and support you; ‘You’re sexy, You’re cute. You’re popular to boot’.In lieu of positive pals, seek out virtual ones or listen to inspirational people like Tony Robbins and unleash the power within.

Limit your sharing: Stick to neutral topics like the weather, ‘dark clouds’ vs. ‘rainbows’! Avoid telling them any personal stuff for fear they’ll pour cold coffee all over it. Like about the holiday you’re planning (my friend went to Bali and hated it), your business idea (90% of businesses fail in the first 2 years) or new relationship (90% of relationships fail in the first 2 years). You don’t want that negativity creeping in. Protect yourself by imagining a force field of light surrounding you.

Be a shining beacon: They may not be ready to jump from Gloom Town to Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, but if you keep leading the way and shining like a beacon of hope they might start thinking, ‘maybe there is something to this positivity caper’ and examine their words and feelings. What do you think? Do you have Debbie and Dave downers in your life or are you surrounded by Steve and Sally Sunshines?

Love and light and poms poms xxx Yvette.

Bring it on cheer scene!