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The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

How to Protect Yourself from Others’ Negative Energy

Since I so frequently write about narcissistic abuse, I know a common problem victims have is knowing how to cope with someone’s silent treatments, stone walling, brooding, pouting, outrage, judgementalism, negative implications, or other adverse energetic expressions.

Have you ever noticed how some people just enter a room and you can feel their energy? While some people have calming, soothing energy, others cause us to feel anxious and on edge.

This article addresses this problem.  In a nutshell, what you will be doing is setting boundaries. The following list suggests some of the boundaries you can set in order to protect yourself and preserve your sanity.

  1. Keep your own power. One of the problems that happens when you are around a person with negative energy is that you can easily give that person permission to “steal your joy,” or otherwise impact your own state of mind in a negative way. Make the decision to hold on to yourself and your power and refuse to let the negative person “own” you.
  2. Stay positive. Think positive. Be hopeful. Be grateful. Make a decision to find the good in your life and don’t allow another person’s miserableness to define you or your day in any way. Imagine yourself as the separate person you are and remind yourself that you are only responsible for your life, not anyone else’s.
  3. Ignore the perpetrator. This takes a concerted effort, as do all the suggestions in this article. Before you walk in to the situation with the person with negative energy, make the decision ahead of time that you will simply ignore him/her. Once you have made this decision it becomes easy. When you start falling prey to assuming you can have a conversation with the person remind yourself that you have already decided to ignore them.
  4. Give the “silent treatment.” This is similar to ignoring, yet a little more active than that. Usually it is considered rude to ignore other people by giving them the silent treatment. However, in light of coping with a difficult person, studies have shown that giving someone the silent treatment can be an easier way to interact with a difficult person than having an actual conversation. “It may be used as a way to offset feelings of fatigue or depletion associated with the expectation of an unpleasant interaction.” (The Body ODD, 2013)”Findings suggest that the silent treatment may be used as a strategy for conserving mental resources that would otherwise be exhausted by interacting with someone who is inherently aversive to be around.” (The Body ODD, 2013).
  5. Move to a different space. Because it is so often easy to absorb another person’s energy, I find it helpful to remove myself from the negative person’s “energy field.” If you are having difficulties remaining objective and non-affected by the offending person, simply move away from their atmosphere. Maybe you are an empath and you tend to absorb other people’s emotions rather easily. It’s good for you to realize this and protect yourself using any means necessary.
  6. Look away from the person. It is much easier to stay in your own space and protect yourself from negative people by pretending they’re not there. It’s easier to do this by not looking at the person. Remind yourself to look away if you catch yourself noticing that person.
  7. Use Imagery. Imagine yourself surrounded by a protective shield. Picture yourself with an aura of positive energy surrounding you and emanating outwards from you. Use your imagination to picture how you want to feel when you’re in the presence of a person who tends to drain the positivity right out of you.This process of imagery works because it is a form of practice. As with the concept of “practice makes perfect,” practicing in your mind how you want to see yourself, changes the way your mind thinks.
  8. Give the negative energy back. If you find yourself absorbing the negativity despite your best efforts use imagery as well to visualize yourself removing the negativity from yourself and placing it back on the other person where it belongs.To do this, stop and think for a minute how you feel and where you feel the negative emotions. Once you establish this imagery, picture yourself letting the negativity flow out of and off of you. See it being released into the atmosphere and flowing back to the source.

The bottom line is, your life is your responsibility. Once you can concretely come to that conclusion you can realize that you have choices and personal power to decide how others will affect you. If you don’t like the way you feel around certain people then it is 100 percent up to you to take care of yourself when you’re around them. The way they are may trigger you for some reason. Whether they are intentionally antagonizing you or not, it is your responsibility to take care of your own emotional needs.

 

Reference:

The Body Odd. (FEB 27 2013). How to deal with jerks: Give ‘em the silent treatment. By: NBC News. Retrieved from: https://www.nbcnews.com/healthmain/how-deal-jerks-give-em-silent-treatment-1C8580863

How to Protect Yourself from Others’ Negative Energy


Sharie Stines, Psy.D

Sharie Stines, Psy.D. is a recovery expert specializing in personality disorders, complex trauma and helping people overcome damage caused to their lives by addictions, abuse, trauma and dysfunctional relationships. Sharie is a counselor at LIfeline Counseling & Education Inc., in Southern California (www.lifelinecounselingservices.org). Lifeline Counseling is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) corporation. Sharie is also an abusive relationship recovery coach - therecoveryexpert.com

 


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APA Reference
Stines, S. (2020). How to Protect Yourself from Others’ Negative Energy. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 6, 2020, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/recovery-expert/2020/03/how-to-protect-yourself-from-others-negative-energy/