I had a close friend who could never see the bright side of anything. If we go for a boat ride, his first remark would be “I am afraid the boat would topple down midway in the lake. It looks old”. When I take a flight to another city, he would ask “why do you travel in this airline. They have too many crashes. I wish you had chosen another”. Whenever he went for an interview he would tell me that he was sure the selection was predetermined and that the interview was just an eyewash. He always saw a ghost where there was none. Whenever he is around I easily get caught up with the negativity of his emotions that I become negative myself. He had no faith in the goodness of others and was always filled with suspicion .As a result his life became miserable. But he was a good man though a cynic. I had not the heart to turn him away. I have found his presence always killed whatever initiative I had.
When I spoke about this to my wife, she had only one answer.”You must distance yourself from this guy however much it is unpleasant and uncivil it may seem. Otherwise his negativity would impact on all your decisions. Negativity is contagious and you should give no room for it to catch you.” She was right as it is well nigh impossible to participate in negativity without absorbing some of that negativity in us. It was difficult to follow her advice but I took care not to be near him whenever I had important jobs to attend to or decisions to be taken. I also took care not to mention about such matters to him till I had accomplished them.
The message is simple.” If you don’t want fleas, don’t sleep with the dog”