Posts Tagged ‘positive thinking’

Don’t Waste Your Time on People Who Don’t Deserve It

Friday, August 9th, 2013

In high school, I was the type of person who took on friendships as projects. I found people who were broken in some way, and I tried to piece them back together again. It never ended well. They always developed these enormous expectations, like I was supposed to focus all of my attention on them and only them, forsaking every other relationship I had just to make them feel better about themselves.

I wasted a lot of time on those people, thinking if I just gave them a little bit more of what they wanted, they would feel better and stop being so clingy. It didn’t work; it usually just made them more angry when I wasn’t available for them, to the point where they would get hostile and try to tear me down.

Looking back now, I know how unhealthy those friendships were for me, and how much damage they did in the long run. Those people were selfish, thinking they were entitled to 100% of me just because I gave them the kind of attention no one else did. But, of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I didn’t think that way at the time. Even when I did realize things were getting out of hand and tried to cut it off, we were stuck in the same high school and the same town together. They found ways to continue trying to reel me in after I had explicitly told them to back off and leave me alone.

This isn’t something that’s particularly unique to my life. We all do it in some form or another. We all waste our time on people who, in the back part of our minds we try so hard to ignore, we know don’t deserve it. People who make us feel bad about who we are and the things we want to do in life. Everyone encounters it in some form or another, mostly when you’re young and impressionable and don’t know any better yet.

College presents a unique opportunity for these situations: you can cut someone out of your life, and never really have to worry about again. I’m sure that sounds cruel and cold, but i’m not suggesting you go on a Facebook cleaning rampage of anyone who ever looked at you kind of funny. It’s just that, in my opinion, your life should be filled with people who make you feel better about yourself, and who support you fully in whatever endeavors you choose to undertake. Surrounding yourself with negativity and unpleasantness is never going to make you a happier, better person, and isn’t that sort of the bottom line in life?

I don’t like cutting people out of my life. I have given quite a few second and third chances to people, but even I have my limits. The truth of the matter is, there are some people who just don’t deserve your time and attention. There’s no point in wasting your time on people who, for lack of a better word, suck. The way I look at it is, if a relationship isn’t an improvement on my life without it, it’s not one I want to put time and effort into.

No one is entitled to you. You are a special snowflake, and the people you have in your life should think so, too.


Alex Ritter, NYU.

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Positive Programming

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

In my last article I talked about the influence of my parents’ education on my education choices. Though aware for some time how much they influenced me, the totality of that influence didn’t sink in until I wrote “Going Your Own Way“. I discovered, despite all of the effort I had put in to deprogramming myself from making choices simply to stay on my parents good side, I have a long way to go in becoming my own person.
Being stuck in your parents belief systems can happen for any number of reasons. First, you can be born into a very strict family and have parents who believe there is only one “right” way of seeing the world and only one way life must be approached. Second, you could have parents, like mine, who push you to do your best in school while neglecting the encouragement of yourself as an individual, especially when you disagree with them. Third, you might have  grown up in a family where there is little or no access to outside opinions or viewpoints, or had parents that only encourage you to follow in their footsteps. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should get you thinking. What beliefs do you act out, even when they don’t benefit you?
Today, make a list of every action you performed. At the end of the day, go over the list see if you can uncover your motivation for each action. What made you hold the door (or not) for the person behind you? What made you opt for a fast cheap lunch instead of something a little more expensive, but healthier? Don’t get too bogged down in details; this is just a quick list of your actions and motivations. Star any actions or attitudes you want to change or remove from your life. Move down the page quickly–don’t let this exercise turn into a guilt trip. You are simply taking the time to feel the stirrings of your true self as you quickly pick out what you don’t like to do or think. After going over the list, put it an an envelope marked “My Road to Improvement.”

You have now planted the idea in your mind that your subconscious actions and attitudes can and should change for the better. Although there are certain things you can’t avoid, like studying for that big test, you at least know there are other aspects of yourself you can control. Pull out your list during the weekend or any day in which you have set aside personal time (if you haven’t, pick a date and time now!). This is important, because although you might want to rush into your leisure activities, dedicating even a little of your free time towards self-improvement will make you more feel much more positive overall. In this way, you show yourself how important your mental and emotional well-being is.

Take a look at the actions you have starred. What makes you dislike performing those actions? Choose one and write at least a paragraph on where the habit comes from and why you’d like it to change. Be honest but gentle with yourself; now is not the time to be critical. If you notice your impulse to perform the action comes from a source outside yourself you don’t agree with, write another paragraph about how to turn the old idea into a more positive form of motivation.

For example, if you’ve discovered you purchase items you don’t need because you are unhappy, write about how you think you began this practice. Again, be honest. Any action performed to shift attention away from an unhappy situation instead of dealing with it should be resolved immediately. End your paragraph(s) with an affirmative statement: “Whenever I feel upset about a situation I cannot fully control, I will work on resolving my feelings on the issue.” Remember, this is an affirmation, no “can’ts, won’ts, or don’ts” should be allowed in your statement. Practice being more positive with yourself everyday and record your progress; your habits and thinking will change much faster with positive encouragement.

Think big!

There are many aspects of college life which would benefit from using positive affirmations. Start each morning with at least one affirmation about how productive and promising of a student you are. For added emphasis, state your affirmation(s) while looking into a mirror. This will help solidify the ties between the statement your making and yourself. Vary your routine and seek out new positive experiences. Get inspired at stores like Namaste which offer an eclectic array of books on self-improvement.

Evelyn Oluwole

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