Last week, in Toxic People and Why You Should Stay Away from Them, I wrote about the kinds of people we should stay away from when we feel they are damaging our self-esteem. In this post, I will cover some ways to keep those people away from your heart and minimize their influence on your mind.
Negativity as a virus
The main difficulty we have with energy consumers is that we take their negative influence with us, even when they are not present physically. By taking it with us, we spread the bad vibes to other areas of our life and affect other people in our lives negatively.
Think of this negativity, as a virus that spreads and damages people’s self-esteem. To overcome the virus, you need to find its source and then, make sure it will not spread.
Some people are more sensitive to this “virus” and “catch” it quickly, but they are not aware that they are transmitting it to others. Mindfulness is always the answer.
Tip #1: Find the source
Every person who makes you feel worse about yourself feels badly about themselves. Once you understand why the person feels that way, your “immune system” grows stronger.
For example, if you understand that your brother told you that you would not be able to succeed in your new business (or job) because that is what he thinks of himself, the effect of his words on you decreases.
Tip #2: Be assertive
Assertiveness is a response that comes from confidence. You are assertive when you express your own needs without hurting others. Confidence is the best negativity repellant. Develop it!
Tip #3: Control your primitive brain
Often, when someone does something that makes us feel bad, we feel threatened and our primitive brain takes over. In this state, we can only choose fight, flight or freeze and we are as useless as the person “attacked” us.
Remember these are just words and they cannot really hurt you. Imagine that air is coming out of this persons’ mouth. Words have no value except the value we give it.
Tip #4: Do not retaliate
It is very tempting to do the exact same thing to the person who makes us feel bad, but this only creates more negativity. Think about it. The person who is making us feel small already feels small. If we make him feel smaller, it will not make us bigger. If that person could understand this, he would not have made us feel small in the first place, so do not go down to this road.
In fact, getting back at the other person only makes things worse.
Tip #5: Take a deep breath
When we breathe deeply, our brain does not think we are under threat. Usually, when we are under a real threat, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Therefore, breathing deeply is a good way to minimize the effect of the negativity around us.
Start by exhaling all the air from your chest and stomach. This gets rid of stale air and makes room for more fresh air. Then, fill your lungs with good, clean, refreshing air. To make the most of your breathing, imagine that you exhale negativity and inhale positivity.
Tip #6: Do not try to solve others’ problems
When we are in the presence of people in “negative mode”, we feel uncomfortable and try to change things by giving them advice or telling them how to lift their energy and their spirit.
If you do not want to “catch their virus”, do not try to lift their spirit and do not put yourself in charge of changing their mood. Let them be in their misery and just be there for them. No suggestions. Just ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?”
Some people feel better after they vent and when they find their own solutions, they feel empowered. I heard a nice phrase for it:
Marinate in the problem space
Tip #7: Do not try to change others
There is disrespect in the attempt to change people we consider negative. Their negativity is a result of things that happen in their life and they would have behaved differently if they could. They usually know that their negative behavior is not good for them, because they notice that other people keep away from them.
It is OK to avoid their company, but not OK to try to change them. Your perception of what is right or wrong is yours and may not apply to others.
Tip #8: Imagine moving the energy away
When you recognize there is bad energy coming towards you, move it with your hand as I you are redirecting a fly. This will send your brain a message that the bad energy has no effect on you.
Tip #9: Forgive
Forgiveness is a good way to let the negative feeling fade and allow the bad energy to dissipate. In the process, forgive yourself and forgive others for their behavior. When you forgive, you learn to accept the circumstances that have brought you and others to this mindset and this behavior.
Remember that there will always be people who drain energy from you and that they do not do it on purpose. They do what they do and you have to care for yourself so that the “virus” does not touch you and does not spread.
Whenever you can, spread love, light, caring, kindness and friendship!