intentional living

Ep 249: How to Not Absorb Others’ Negativity

January 12, 2022

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In today’s episode we’re talking about shifting negativity. Human beings have a negativity bias so we have to work to retrain ourselves. I’m not talking about toxic positivity but healthy positivity. There’s a difference! Today I’m giving you tips to help you get comfortable with positivity. Let’s dive in!



In this episode Allie discuss: 

  • Why humans are so negative 
  • Contagious negativity
  • When negativity is comfortable
  • The difference in toxic positivity and healthy positivity
  • Tips for getting comfortable with positivity

Mentioned in this Episode:


Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)

The Purpose Show Facebook Community

Declutter Like A Mother Book



We’re surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life, the no-time-for-myself life, the hard life. And while it can be hard and full of lots of showing up for others, the idea that being a mom means living a joyless, stale, or shit-show life all the time is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.

I’m Allie Casazza, and I’m about to make your life so much lighter. 

I’m the best-selling author of the book, Declutter Like A Mother, and the creator of several life-changing online programs that have enrolled tens of thousands of students. 

If you’ve been feeling chronically behind, if you wake up feeling exhausted for a day that hasn’t even started yet, if you constantly feel like you don’t have time for the things that really matter to you, I’ve got you. 

I went from being a completely overwhelmed, depressed, struggling mom of three babies and toddlers who, I’ll be honest with you, didn’t want to be a mom anymore because I felt like I was failing so hard at it every day.

Through a lot of figuring out, searching for help, inner work, and shifting how I was doing and being, I found that the less I had in my way, the more joy, focus, and purpose I brought into my life. We have to define what is in our way and what is actually worthy of our energy. 

I went from blogging about my journey to becoming the founder of a multi-million dollar online business, all based on helping women live better, lighter lives.

Join millions of listeners around the world for conversations that will lift your mood, focus your intention and raise your vibe week after week.

We talk motherhood, lifestyle, wellbeing, and simplifying everything from home to schedule to business. 

Listen, this is about not just waking up and reacting to our lives and letting the day run us, but setting the intention, taking ownership of every single day, and making life work for us, making it easier.

Friend, I am so glad you’re here! I’m Allie and you’re listening to The Purpose Show. 

Hey friends! Because it’s so important to me that I am able to authentically be myself and I want to speak the way that I normally speak here on my podcast, you’ll find the occasional curse word in my show. So if that bothers you or it’s not something that you want your kids to hear, grab your headphones. 

In the show you’ll also find some episodes with adult themes, just things that are a little bit too mature or hard to process for young ears. So, in general, headphones might be a good idea. I love you guys. I’m glad you’re here and enjoy this episode.



Hello, my love. I’m so glad that you’re here with me today. We are going to question some things, get expansive, get inspired, take in some new ideas and have some perspective shifts today. It’s going to be a good one, so get cozy and let’s dive into a conversation about negativity. 

The first thing I want to say is that human beings tend to be negative. We naturally gravitate toward the negative. 

Have you ever wondered why you can’t look away from a traffic accident? Why some people love murder mystery shows? Why we have this obsession as a culture with true crime dramas? 

We will get a million compliments but one mean look or negative comment about something that we’re wearing or doing and it’s the negative one that we obsess over. We don’t even really remember the positive ones too much, but we can remember every detail about the negative thing that was said.

This is because negativity is our go-to. Human beings have a negativity bias. It actually is a thing. 

You can Google it. There are some really interesting articles and research done on this. We naturally want to go toward the negative.

So we actually have to work to retrain ourselves. This is not about toxic positivity; we’ll talk about that later in this episode, but we really have to kind of train ourselves to deal with things in a way that ends up being positive. 

Most people are just negative. It’s our go-to. A lot of people speak negatively all the time. They experience negative and positive, but they tend to always focus on what’s gone wrong—the negative. 

This is definitely not an episode that I want you to take as me pointing the finger or think I’m saying that I never do this. I do this. It’s totally me. 

I legit have the best husband in the entire world and I’ll still be like, You just didn’t do enough today. I really needed you to replace the air vent and put my new rug out and you just didn’t. I’m just so upset. 

Literally, I can be so negative and focus on the negative instead of the positive. And I’m not really even talking about those types of things. I feel like most people can be positive and negative, but we just tend to be more negative. 

We tend to focus on the negative because of that negativity bias. It’s a real thing. It’s the way that our brains are wired. 

But sometimes there are just people who seemingly want to sit in the filth of their own negative experiences and negative thoughts. Do you know someone in your life that just can’t seem to be positive at all? 

They say misery loves company. I feel like when there are people like that, they really just bring everyone along for the ride. It’s so easy for me to absorb that mood, that vibe. And it lowers me. 

It brings me way down. And then I feel crappier and I’m joining in and being like Yeah, you’re right.That is so crappy. They shouldn’t be like this. 

I’m harping on someone or something because other people are being negative. And it makes me realize that I’ll join in and be like, Yeah! You should hear about this thing that happened to me and Brian.

You find yourself joining in the negativity. Then you leave and you have a bad taste in your mouth. Or I’ll get a pit in my stomach and feel like, Ugh, well everything sucks. 

I’ll be reflecting on it and think, Why did I get so negative? Why was I joining that conversation and feeling that way? I will reflect on the words that seeped out of my mouth and almost feel a little embarrassed. 

Have you ever felt that way? Like you were so negative? It’s just gross. It might be easy and it might be our go-to, but it’s not good for us. It’s not good to sit in the negative.

There are researchers in London that found repetitive negative thinking and focusing on the negative is linked to cognitive decline, a higher number of harmful protein deposits in the brain, and consequently people were at greater risk of dementia. 

If you have listened to the episodes that we’ve done on The Purpose Show with Dr. Caroline Leaf—she’s a neuroscientist and has been on the show a couple times—if you are familiar with her, what she says all the time makes sense: Negativity reaps negativity. 

You keep reaping what you’re sewing, what you’re planting, what you’re consuming, what you’re doing. The main themes in the brain are replicating themselves. It’s contagious in there. 

It keeps showing up. Negativity brings negative experiences. It’s this loop.

When I’m teaching business, I like to focus on mindset before we get into strategy. When I’m teaching that I often show a visual and talk about the cycle of experiences. 

You have a belief. There’s something that you believe that’s embedded in your subconscious mind. You’re not consciously believing that. It’s subconscious. 

From your beliefs form your thoughts. Then that forms your words and your actions. Your actions then create experiences. And from your experiences, you get your beliefs. 

It goes in a cycle like that—beliefs, to thoughts, to words and actions, to experiences. Then your experiences go back to forming your beliefs. To stop the cycle and get control of it you have to work on those deep subconscious beliefs. 

That’s what Dr. Caroline Leaf is always talking about. Your beliefs and your thoughts are like little trees in your brain. Some of them are rotten and not good for you. 

It brings all these problems and makes you sick, literally. It’s pretty wild to see the results of our thoughts. We know this. There are so many studies that have shown us this. 

I feel like the current generation is just really becoming awake to all of this stuff. I think we’re going through this really cool awakening. A lot of people are realizing the connection between what you’re thinking, what you’re believing, your life, the mind/body connection, and all that good stuff. 

To just read these studies and really see how it is affecting us, how you feel when you leave a really negative person or a really negative conversation. You feel it in your body. You just feel gross and off, right?

Some of the common effects of negativity in general include headaches, chest pains, fatigue, upset stomach, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, drastic changes in your metabolism—and the examples they gave here were overeating or undereating. So, this affects us. This affects us. 

We can have compassion for ourselves. We’re human beings. It’s natural to absorb what’s around you, the conversations that are around you, or to be negative. Maybe you’re the one initiating conversations that are negative all the time and you have that problem. 

We can have compassion for ourselves and know better/do better from there. We can also have compassion for other people that are stuck in negativity cycles. I can think of several relatives and close people in my life right now that every time I cross their path, every time I see them, they are harping on what’s going wrong, complaining about this, complaining about that.

Complaining about politics. Complaining about the news. Complaining that they don’t want to go to that restaurant for lunch because last time they were there, they messed their spaghetti. They are just constantly negative when there’s so much beauty around them, you know? And you just kind of feel that when you’re with them.



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We can have compassion for them because they have needs that they’re not meeting so they unconsciously want others to meet them for them. I feel like they get that from harping on what’s wrong so people can agree and validate them. It’s easy to talk about negative things. 

It can be socially awkward to talk about really positive things. You can even feel selfish for talking about what’s going right. But it’s very socially acceptable to be negative and that is because negativity is comfortable. 

Of course, we can have boundaries and turn the conversation around, but really it’s about protecting your own energy and shifting out of being comfortable with negativity, if you are comfortable with it. 

I want you to think about that. If you are at lunch with somebody and you’re having a conversation that’s just turned really negative, if you were to just speak positively the entire time about good things that are going on in your life, good things that you remember about the other person’s life, and positive things about other people that you both know, would that be uncomfortable? 

Is the negativity comfortable for you? Is this kind of like your auto setting? 

This is something that I realized about myself a couple years ago. I realized that I was so comfortable with the negative. 

And you know what? I had compassion for myself, because while my life is beautiful—I have healthy kids, and I’ve always had a billion things to be grateful for—there was a time in my life where it seemed that no matter what I did or what I tried, my life just got continuously more difficult. 

I felt angry with God that this was being allowed in my life. I felt disappointed in myself. I felt confused. 

I was frustrated. I felt heartbroken over the circumstances that my family was in. Our life was very, very, very hard and dark things kept happening over and over again. 

And so, to be honest and compassionate with myself, when I was realizing this a couple years ago, I was comfortable with the negative because for a long time, in a way, that’s all I knew. And again, I’m not neglecting any of my blessings or privileges or any of the beautiful things that are in my life, but my life was generally negative.

There were a lot of negative things happening and I, at that time, didn’t take responsibility for how I create my reality. My thoughts were really just continuing the cycle. That belief/thought/action/experiences cycle of creating more negativity, I didn’t know.

I was fostering that and it was breeding this negative ground in my mind, in my life, and just echoing everywhere. But I was comfortable with that. As much as I desired good, I would’ve been very uncomfortable with consistent, positive things happening at that time. I was comfortable with the negative so I was falling back to the negative. 

I remember there was a conversation I was having with my dad when I was fairly new at starting my business. We had all of these great things happening. The year before we had had the viral blog post. 

I had been very smart, very strategic, in really creating that post to funnel directly to my business and I had kept riding that wave, strategizing, creating new leads, generating great content, really growing my audience and furthering my message. 

I had gotten some great PR on my own with no experience. I just had done some really great things. My dad was talking to me about it and was expressing shock and pride in me for everything that I had done.

And I said, Yeah, but you know it could all go away though. I don’t know how much money is really in this. 

That is not where I was at all. I had a goal. I was feeling so wealthy. I was making so much money. 

I knew exactly what I was going to do to keep it going. I had stayed up late at night for so many nights in a row, strategizing and being excited, but I was comfortable with being negative, so I focused on the negative that didn’t even exist because that was comfortable for me at that time. 

Ask yourself: Is this your auto setting? Are you comfortable with being negative? Is that where you naturally go to? 

Do you tend to focus on the negative when you speak to other people? Especially if it’s someone you’re really comfortable with like a spouse or partner? Do you find it very easy to join in on a negative conversation, pitch in and give your two cents? 

Do you find that when someone is speaking positively, you feel uncomfortable, annoyed, put off or judgemental of them? Or you just don’t know what to say back? This might mean that you are comfortable with negativity. 

It’s something that you can draw your attention to, decide to shift, and practice being more positive. And this isn’t about toxic positivity. Here’s what toxic positivity is: Toxic positivity is when you’re discrediting emotions, dismissing emotions, and forcing a positive outlook without dealing with what needs to be dealt with.

Healthy positivity is focusing on the good in general life, expecting positive outcomes, and having a healthy relationship with emotions, especially the dark ones. You’re dealing with them. You process them. 

You take care of yourself as you experience them. And then you move forward healthfully. There’s nothing toxic about it. It’s how we are supposed to handle our emotions. 

I’m going to wrap this up with some tips on how to get comfortable with the positive, because if you are like I was a few years ago and you are really comfortable with the negative, you expect hardship, you expect negative, and you’re uncomfortable being positive, or don’t know how to be positive, here are some things I want to say: 

First, bring more positivity into your life in small ways. Maybe do something happy for yourself, just for the hell of it every day or every week. Start to notice what’s positive, like your kid’s cute little bedhead when they come down the stairs for cereal in the morning. 

Notice positivity and bring more of it intentionally into your life in small ways. Maybe you get yourself your favorite treat next time you’re out on the way home from dropping the kids off at school. Maybe instead of taking a shower and getting ready for bed like normal, you run yourself a bath. Get yourself some new bath soaps and just soak for 20 minutes and bring some positivity into your life. 

And while you’re in that tub, make it a gratitude bath where you decide, I’m going to sit in here, meditate, and think on all the things that are positive in my life. Bring some intention to being positive. 

Surround yourself with positive people. Start to notice your crowd. The people that live in your house, the people that you see, talk to, and text with, on a regular basis. And if you notice someone positive, reach out, become friends, send them a text and just say, I want to tell you that you’re a really positive person and I really appreciate that. I’m happy that I know you. 

You’re kind of putting it out there, right? You’re putting it out there in the universe that you’re like, Hey, I really appreciate positivity. I want to be more positive. I appreciate this positive person. More of that’s going to come back to you.

Listen to positive music. Music is so powerful. I have this weird thing where I wish in another life that I could be a music therapist. I think it’s the coolest job in the world. 

I read about it and study it a little bit randomly because I have this weird obsession with it. I think it’s beautiful. Music is energy. Music can shift and change you in an internal way that’s very deep and real. 

It’s beautiful. Listen to positive music. Don’t listen to music that’s really negative or brings you down or just makes you feel yucky. 

Practice gratitude right when you wake up. The way that I remember to do this is when I’m going to bed at night, I just say, Okay, tomorrow morning when I wake up, I’m going to say a few things that I’m grateful for. 

I’m kind of putting that in my mind when I’m going to sleep. Or you could put a post-it by your bed or whatever works for you. Right when you wake up, when your brain is fresh, just start listing things. Even just things that you see if you can’t think of anything else. 

I’m grateful for the decorations in my room. I’m grateful for the trees. I’m grateful for this breath in my lungs. I’m grateful for my health. I’m grateful for my clothes. I’m grateful for vitamins. I’m grateful for good food.

Gratitude journaling before bed. This is huge because when you are journaling and then you go to sleep, your subconscious is soaking everything up that you just read. That’s really, really helpful. Grab a journal and a pen and bust through some things that you’re grateful for before you go to sleep. 

The last thing that I want to suggest is to decide to be positive before you’re going into a situation or a conversation. Set the intention. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not afraid to be weird and just straight up tell people when I’m going to go somewhere with everyone, Hey, I’m gonna drive alone. I’ll meet you there. I literally just set the boundary, get in my car, and legit drive by myself somewhere even if everyone else is going in groups because I love to be alone and set the intention for what I’m heading into. 

I just decide, I am raising my vibe. I am not going to have negative conversations. I will not gossip or be a part of gossip. I’m going to seek to get to know the people that I’m going to eat with better.

I’ll think it through. What do I want to know about certain people? What can I ask? How can I show interest in their life? 

How can I love on them? How can I make them feel super appreciated, wanted, and that I want to spend time with them? How can I be positive? 

How can I hear people speak to me and be there for them in their struggles, but not let my own energy dip or take on the problems of others that are just not mine to carry? Just kind of shield myself really and get myself ready to be a light and be a help to the people that I’m going to hang out with. I am setting the intention for the meetup and not being available to anything that’s toxic or negative in a way that would bring me down. 

I make myself the best version of myself that I can be before I go into a conversation rather than just blindly going with everyone, showing up, hanging out, taking on everyone’s moods, taking on everyone’s stories, everyone’s energy, letting it bug me and fester, and then just numbing out with the TV when I get home and waking up feeling like I’m in a crappy mood and I don’t know why, when, of course I am. I took on all this negativity before and then I went to sleep. 

It’s about these little tweaks and setting an intention and getting a little bit more purposeful with yourself, your mood, your energy, and how you go into things and conversations. 

That’s it. That’s my little negativity rant. Something to think about. 

Please take a screenshot of this episode, tag me on Instagram, and drop what you learned from it, or if this shifted your perspective at all, I would love for you to share. It really helps me out. 

And thank you. I’m so grateful for you. I love you so much. Thanks for being here with me, guys.

If you would like a more behind-the-scenes view into my life, this lifestyle, regular life hacks, tips and more content that’s really going to create lightness in your social media feed, follow me on Instagram @allie_that’sme, or you can search Allie Casazza and it’s the one with the blue check mark. 

If this episode or any episode was helpful for you, please consider leaving me a review on Apple Podcast. It is literally the lifeblood for a podcaster, and it helps me so much. 

Thank you for tuning in. If you would like to learn more from me, how I can help you, how you can implement the things we talk about here on The Purpose Show, leaning more into making life simpler, better and more abundant in the best ways, head to There are free downloads, online programs and other resources to help you create the life you really want in a very deep dive style. 

I am always rooting for you, friend. I will see you next time. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show. 

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.


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