We’ve all been around negative people at some point or another. Maybe they are constantly complaining, insulting others, or they have a pessimistic view on just about everything. Being in a room with someone like that can quickly drag you down or even ruin your day if you are not careful.
We may feel sympathy on a basic level, but Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s condition from their perspective. If you feel empathy for someone, you are placing yourself in their shoes. Suddenly their problems feel like they are your problems, which causes you to absorb the negativity of your environment. Unfortunately, there are negative people just about everywhere you go. So how do you make sure you do not absorb their energy?
1. Let Go of People Pleasing
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches” – Dita Von Teese. If someone is gossiping about you or complaining about you, don’t fixate on trying to make that person like you. You are not for everyone, and that is OK. Taking it personally and allowing it to effect your self-esteem will only drag you down into his or her negativity and make you energetically and emotionally dependent on that person’s opinion. We all have different personalities, likes and dislikes, which creates individuality. Love and respect yourself, and that will keep other people’s opinions from draining you.
2. Know When to Say “No.”
Being generous can be a great thing, but you need to be aware of when someone is taking advantage of your generosity. If a “friend” seems always to forget her wallet when you go out to eat, or friends frequently crash on your couch without an invitation, you need to be prepared to set boundaries and enforce them. This is your life, your body and your personal space. Think carefully about what kind of people you allow access into your life. There is nothing wrong with saying no when you need to. Set clear standards about what you expect from others before you allow them to have a place in your life.
3. Stop Draining Yourself to Mend Others
It is not your responsibility to fix other people’s problems, especially when they are more interested in complaining than actually finding a solution. Offering your support to someone in need or lending an ear to a friend who is struggling is commendable, but be aware of when your efforts are becoming redundant. Some people want to be pitied. The more attention you give to their problems, the less resolution there will be. Know when to walk away. Offer your sympathies and remove yourself from the situation. There is no reason to feel sorry or guilty for refusing to engage in someone else’s drama or self-pity.
4. Take Some Time for Yourself
Sometimes you just need some time away from other people. When you feel the energy around you is a little too chaotic, take a weekend, an afternoon or even an hour to yourself and go somewhere peaceful. Take a walk on the beach, sit on a park bench, stroll through a garden or get lost in a field. Focus on your breathing, be mindful of your surroundings and use the peace and quiet to replace the chaos in your life. When you get back to your daily routine, you will feel refreshed and less likely to absorb negative energy from others.
5. Know That You Are In Charge of You
You are 100% responsible for what you let influence your thoughts and emotions. It may be hard to tune out the negative opinions of others, especially if they are about you, but your own perception of yourself is stronger than anyone else’s. Once you choose to be accountable for your feelings, you free yourself from the influence of others and take control of the positivity in your life. Love yourself enough to say “no” when you need to and walk away from negative people and negative environments. You are responsible for your life! Stay happy, stay positive and remember that you control your happiness.