Attracting positive people into your life is ultimately an inside job. In other words, according to Judith Orloff, MD, bestselling author and assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, we attract positive friends by being positive ourselves. Orloff recommends that you define what positive and negative attitudes and behaviors are to you, and then seek to embody the positive attitudes and behaviors in your life.
Identify your strengths and project them outward. Orloff suggests that you routinely take the time to focus your "inner pep talk," choosing to highlight the best parts of yourself instead of focusing on your shortcomings. For instance, if you have a great sense of humor and are friendly toward others, keep these strengths at the forefront of your mind when meeting others. This practice gives you confidence, says Orloff, and helps to focus your energy in a positive direction. When you feel more positive, that positive feeling will show in your manner and other positive people are more likely to gravitate toward you.
Practice mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, can make you feel happier and nicer to people, say writers Dan Harris and Erin Brady in a 2011 ABC News article. Orloff agrees with this assertion, and adds that once you feel happier, the energy or "vibes" that you give off to others will shift as well, making positive people more responsive to you. You can practice meditation for 10 or 60 minutes -- whatever you're comfortable with -- as even a small amount of time spent in meditation each day has been found to be beneficial over time. When you take the time to center yourself and work to feel peace, you are more likely to extend that feeling to others.
Become more self-aware. Orloff recommends meditation, journaling or psychotherapy as a few ways to evaluate your negative thoughts and belief systems, and to begin to heal these aspects of yourself. Perfection is not the goal here -- the idea is to identify and address areas within that may be causing you to feel and project a negative outlook. Practice self-love along this journey, and incorporate humor into your life to keep your energy light and carefree. Like tends to attract like, so if you're aware of areas where you struggle, you can acknowledge them and work on them and still maintain a generally positive outlook, which is inviting to other positive people.
Practice generosity toward others. The idea that "what goes around comes around" suggests that your kind words and actions toward others will be returned to you. Perform random acts of kindness, such as letting others in front of you in traffic or at the grocery store. Pay the toll for someone driving behind you, or do some volunteer work. These acts of kindness will make you feel happier, which will help you attract more positive friends.