How To Deal With Negative Energy (Without Letting It Drag You Down)
Dealing with negativity around us is a part of the human experience. Getting versed in the many ways you can support yourself when the negativity of others around you comes into play will really help you stay in alignment, release the hold the negativity of others might have on you, and move forward as peaceful as possible.
Let’s dive into some ways you can support yourself when a partner, family member, work relationship, or friends start to bring negativity into your space.
Boundaries are an important part of taking care of yourself when others offer negative energy, thoughts, words, and actions into your sphere. Sometimes the boundary can look like walking away, not spending time with this person, or not allowing them into your physical space when they are in a negative state. We both know however that isn’t always possible (hint hint – that difficult co-worker or that aunt who is always trying to drag you down at family parties).
So here are some options when it’s time to draw a boundary.
Decide on your boundaries
Identify what you are and are not available for, first to yourself and then for the other person.
That might mean instead of a collaborative project with a co-worker consider saying let’s divide this up, I’ll work on this part and then hand it off to you for the second part.
With your partner that might mean when we deal with this specific topic it gets both of us heated, what if we were to write down our thoughts and needs and then come together so we can communicate more clearly and with compassion.
With a parent that might be looking past what they are “saying” and reminding yourself that they are offering these words with love behind it, then connecting with them. You can say something like, “I appreciate your [advice/thoughts/concerns] and I know it’s coming from a place of love however when you [say/do/act] that way it doesn’t support me in the way I desire to be supported, would you be open to trying it this way.” Then offer them a better way to communicate with you.
Create a firm boundary
If the person you are trying to work with instead of against, isn’t open to growth then you might need to move to a firmer boundary.
For instance, “Mom, I won’t be discussing this topic with you because I am focused on staying in a positive space and your comments aren’t supporting me in the way I need to be supported right now. When I finish my project/topic I will report back with what I decided. Thank you for respecting my boundaries.”
Taking your boundaries into your own hands is extremely important because only you get to decide how people treat and speak to you!
You get to draw the line and you get to hold others accountable by choosing your follow up actions and responses. We cannot change another person but we can change how, when, and what we allow into our lives.
Take a moment
Another great tip for supporting yourself when others are in a negative space is to take a moment before you respond.
When you give yourself a moment to take a deep breath and stop before you respond, you don’t lead with an emotional reaction. You stay in alignment when responding. Instead of following the knee jerk reaction your breath, and pause, allows your mindfulness to kick in, instead of charging forward on autopilot.
This moment of pause is an absolute game-changer! We have all had those experiences where something comes out of our mouths and two seconds later we wish we could have said it differently, or skipped saying it at all. You are in control of what you say, how you act, and what you believe so allow yourself that extra moment. That way you can say what you mean, act how you desire, and follow through on your true beliefs.
Another thing to consider when surrounded by negativity is that you do not have to join them. You can offer something else. Take the leadership role when it comes to conversations, topics, and the energy of the space.
You can refocus on solutions > problems, elevating topics > gossip, and you can steer the conversation to ideas > people. Stepping into the guiding force behind the energy of a space allows you to shift from negativity to positivity.
You can only change yourself. You cannot change someone else, but you can change the topic! You can offer something else to think about or chat about.
My favorite example of this is the almost constant gossip that goes on in a workspace. When your co-workers start to talk about other people you work with, try offering new topics. The juxtaposition of the energy of your topics vs the topic of gossip might not feel as “juicy” but it will definitely feel more positive. Be a trendsetter!
As I’m sure most of you have heard at this point, self-care is an important part of staying in alignment and keeping yourself positive. This is even more important when you are dealing with negativity around you.
You have to take care of yourself. Make sure you are including practices frequently that help you feel good and stay in alignment. That could be breathwork, meditation, reading a book, taking a bath, enjoying a healthy meal, connecting with a trusted friend, watering your plants, or lighting a favorite candle.
Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as easy as journaling out what doesn’t serve you from a long day and then releasing it as you cross it out.
Separate your feelings from others
We often take on the feelings of others. Some of us more than others.
Being an empath means that you can feel what others are feeling, you take on the physical and energetic emotions of others.
Are you an empath?
If so, separating your feelings from others might take a bit more focus because you can really feel the feelings of others.
When someone is grieving, angry, hurt, upset, etc you not only understand what they are going through but you truly feel it. Now this can serve you or it can hinder you, it’s all about how you work with it.
I encourage you to consider when this happens to you, how it makes you feel.
Do you have examples of times this has happened to you?
Has it worked in your favor ever?
What do you currently do when you feel this way / can you identify when it is happening
Questions to ask yourself when experiencing or considering that you might be an empath.
Is this mine?
Does this belong to me?
What is the source of this feeling?
Is this serving me?
What can you do to stop it, support it, and work with it consciously? When you make the realization that you are feeling someone else’s emotions, take a moment, stop, breathe, potentially place your hands on your heart or on the body and connect with yourself, sink back into your body and check in with your mind and your emotions. Think about your day so far, how are you feeling, call those feelings back up, welcome them back in. Then start to separate or pull out the other emotions.
I love to work with a visual representation of this. I ask myself and my clients, “How can you see/feel/process this?”
Here are some of my go-to visuals:
My emotions are one color piece and other’s emotions are other color pieces and I use visualization to separate their pieces from my own.
My emotions are one color/type crystal and other’s emotions are other color/type crystals and I use visualization to separate their pieces from my own.
My emotions are positive numbers on a spreadsheet and others are negative numbers. I use visualization to go through and delete the cells that are not mine.
I envision my aura and see blocks, dark spots, or fuzziness as other’s emotions, then I sweep what is not mine out of my aura.
Rain on the windshield
I can visualize others’ emotions as rain on the windshield of my life and I will flick on the wipers to clear my view.
Take some time to think about what imagery speaks to you. Then the next time you are taking on another’s emotions take that imagery and separate what is yours from what is theirs.
Practice this with gratitude and confident boundaries.
Negativity is a part of life; there will be those around us who radiate negative vibes and those negative vibes can bring us down or we can use these situations to become stronger in our alignment.
We can use these practices to support our own energy and make sure that we CHOOSE how we would like to think, feel, be, and act!