7 Ways to Protect Yourself from Negativity
At some point in your life, you’ve encountered a negative person. It may be that you have a negative person in your life at this very moment, whether it be a spouse, family member, co-worker, friend or even a stranger. An encounter with a negative person can be emotionally taxing. These people can imprint their negativity onto you in such a way that may leave you feeling sad, angry, afraid, or completely drained of energy. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As there are many reasons behind a person’s negativity, there are also many ways to protect yourself from that negativity.
There is a well-known idea that our thoughts are responsible for creating our reality. The more I thought about this, the more I saw the actions of negative people in a much different light. I started to think that it isn’t the negativity of the people that are bringing me down and draining my energy, but rather how I allow their negativity to affect my life. What I found is, by not allowing the negativity of others to impact me, the less I experienced, because I no longer attracted it.
Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. It’s the negative person’s choice to be negative, just as it’s your choice of how you respond to the negative person. If someone says something negative to you, whether it be discouraging you on your goals and dreams, saying something disrespectful, or even making you feel less than what you really are, your first impulse may be to feel hurt, angry, or perhaps a sudden hatred toward that person. All of those are negative reactions, which subliminally enhances the negative person even more. Our bodies are reactors that radiate and transfer energy onto others. Even if we don’t verbally respond to the negative person, we still absorb their negativity into our psyche. Here are seven ways we can deflect the negativity and protect our own emotional well-being:
Use the Power of Affirmations
During a negative encounter, say to yourself, “I choose not to allow this person to impact me in a negative way.” Imagine a beautiful white light surrounding you as it creates a barrier to prevent the negativity from seeping through.
Know That You Are Not At Fault
If the negative person is making you feel discouraged or not worthy, know it’s no fault of your own. Usually, when one attacks our dreams, desires, goals, and ambitions, it’s a sign that they’re not where they want to be in their own lives. Instead of allowing them to transfer negativity onto you, try talking to them about why you want to pursue what you’re doing and even encourage them to reach for the stars, too.
Send a Loving Thought
We may have a random encounter with a stranger who has an unpleasant attitude or could’ve had a bad day and is taking it out on anyone they can. (Unfortunately, that person happens to be you.) Before engaging the person, imagine the beautiful white light barrier and silently use the affirmation, “I choose not to allow this person to impact me in a negative way.” This prevents absorbing the negativity the person is emitting.
Smile, be friendly, and stay calm. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to stabilize their mood. When the person is no longer in contact with you, silently send a loving thought to them hoping that their day will become better.
Think Something Positive
Often, an encounter with a negative person will leave lasting effects long after the initial encounter. Perhaps something happened with a person at the start of the day that really made you angry. As your day goes on, you keep thinking about it over and over again. You’re upset, and you can’t shake it from your mind. It’s these particular types of encounters that leave one feeling the most depleted of energy because the situation is on instant replay.
I’ve found the best solution is to shift the mind. If you keep dwelling on that negative moment, immediately think of something positive: something or someone that brings you joy, like a loved one, a pet, nature, a favorite movie or a hobby.
Trigger the Brain
Shift your train of thought by thinking about what happened in the last chapter of a book that you’re currently reading, or by mentally reciting the lines to a favorite song. This causes the brain to divert its attention and keeps the negative thoughts at bay.
Silence the Ego
You may feel the urge to fight or argue with the negative person. Perhaps you think that you’re right and they’re wrong, or you’ll feel better by standing your ground. It’s actually combat of the ego-mind: in most circumstances it only makes you feel worse, as all it does is fuels the fire for the other person. When they sense your anger, they feed off it by taking your energy. This gives them more power and leaves you feeling drained.
Withdrawing from an argument doesn’t make you weak, and you don’t need to prove you’re right. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?”
Simply say “I’m sorry you feel this way.” If possible, either walk away or leave the room. Once out of sight, silently send loving thoughts to the person. You don’t have to absorb their anger. Dismiss it and let it go. Usually, the argument will naturally dissipate.
If these practices sound too easy, it’s because they are! The human mind thinks that every solution needs to be complex in order for it to work. Far too much time is spent thinking and searching for the correct way to solve negativity (or anything in the world, for that matter), when in fact each of us is made up of the very ingredients of a solution.
That solution is love. Radiate love. Be love. Love is what ultimately heals us all.
There will always be negativity in the world. It’s the Yin and Yang of life. If someone doesn’t like or agree with something that you did or would like to do, then that’s their conflict, not yours. What they think is right may not be right for you, and everyone’s entitled to their own choice. No matter how negative the opinions of others are or how you may be perceived by them, know this: you’re a beautiful, magnificent being and you’re so loved – and that’s the absolute truth.
How Does an HSP Cope With All the Suffering in the World?
If you’re not familiar with the term HSP, please see the definition for “Highly Sensitive Person” from Dr. Elaine Aron.
With no simple answer, I’m afraid. I’ve pondered my own answer to this question for several years. The following Meditation of Hope and Love came to me during one of my own meditations a few years ago. I use it often…and lately, that means almost daily!
A Meditation of Hope and Love
Find a meditation time – at least 30 minutes, or longer, if possible. You know the criteria – quiet, uninterrupted time and space, preferably your own special place that may have candles or a special feeling of comfort and security for you.
Sit or lie down in a very comfortable position. (I prefer lying, with something light and soft to cover me.)
- Begin slow, deep breathing, focusing on blowing all your breath out – as if blowing out a candle.
- Breathe in deeply, through your nose, to a count of 8 or 10. Hold for a count of four.
- Breathe out, again as if blowing out a candle, to a count of ten.
You want to create a very deep cleansing breath. Notice: You might begin yawning, or drifting off to sleep. Go with whatever feels best for you. There is no ‘doing it wrong’ here. Just keep practicing until eventually you can complete the whole meditation. Now here comes the harder, yet important part.
Begin to allow your mind to go ahead and focus on all the things you have been concerned or worrying about. Like many of you, I have been close to tears each day as I hear about all the suffering in the world.
Lovingly ask each individual concern to patiently wait in line — assuring them they will all have a chance to be heard. In your relaxed state, begin to see each entity forming a line, waiting patiently. As they come up to be heard, assign them a name like Robin Williams, Gaza/Palenstine conflict, Nigerian girls or maybe for you it might be lost job, finances, or whatever else evolves as an appropriate and loving way to remember and honor your concerns.
As an HSP, these kinds of images tend to burrow deep into my inner world and I can begin to feel burdened, lethargic, and sometimes hopeless. Cognitively, I know there is really nothing I can (concretely) do about these tragedies, yet my yearnings for a better world keep my mind occupied.
Now comes the next step in your meditation.