What to do when you’re surrounded by negative people

aditi asks: I am surrounded by people filled with negative thoughts. It’s really difficult to recognize who’s real and who isn’t. I don’t have any questions about anything for you, Shirelle, but I just need to find someone to listen to me, and talk. How do I find the right person?

Hi aditi –


I certainly understand your plight.  If more people were less negative, I wouldn’t have this website!  The whole purpose of this site is to help defeat the negativity people carry around in their lives.  I’ve spent my whole life seeing people who I think are just wonderful having the worst attitudes toward themselves and others.  It’s really heartbreaking!


So one “person” you can talk with is me, and I’m glad you thought to do so.  But beyond my fine self, I really recommend two other things.

First, as I do so often here, I’ll recommend that you find a therapist or counselor.   Not that there’s anything wrong with you – you’re absolutely right about your needs – but those humans are professionally trained to be great listeners, and give “containment” to all the stuff you tell them.  Having someone like that in your life can help you keep from getting too alienated or isolated.  And you don’t want those to happen, because those would keep you from…

My Second Suggestion – which is to stay present in yourself, and be available, because there are people out there who feel just the way you do, who can become the best friends you’ve ever had.  The more comfortable you are in your own skin, the better chance that you’ll say something somewhere, or overhear someone else say something, and you two realize you’re of like minds.  And when that happens, the conversation can go on for days!

I don’t know your age, aditi, but what you’re experiencing is really normal, especially between ages 14 and 22.  If you’re in that age range, I can pretty much promise you that things will get better as you mature and get more comfortable with yourself.  But even if you’re younger or older, I promise there are people out there who are lonely and fed up with negativity too, and who would just love to be your friends.


Best of Luck,




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