We all know those people. No matter how positive you are that day, they bring you down with their negative energy, complaining, or laying their problems on you. They’re unable to fully live in the present and carry baggage around with them constantly, hoping that by sharing that negative energy with you that somehow they can be released from it. And as much as you don’t want to let it affect your energy, somehow it always does. Our happiness, whether we like it or not, is easily determined by how others treat us. When the people around us have uplifting energy and appreciate us, it motivates us, inspires us, and makes us happier. But when those same people are in sour moods or unhappy in their own lives, their own resentment, anger, or depression can bring us down.
I’ve personally been there. Living in a house where my parents didn’t always get along, there was a lot of criticism and negativity in the air. With time, I’ve had to learn how to separate myself from that energy and move forward. Negativity sucks the energy out of us and our energy is VALUABLE. Our time is valuable. There are ways to move past it. Today, I’d like to give you some tools for dealing with toxic energy: why people carry it around with them, how to recognize it, why you might find yourself frequently surrounded by negative people, and what to do if you’re in a relationship with someone that brings you down.
Why are some people so negative?
Sometimes it can feel like entering a labyrinth to try to understand the deep-rooted problems of someone else. When someone we love and care about, or even someone we worth with, constantly brings negative energy with them and takes it out on us, it’s hard to understand why we can’t bring them out of their gray cloud or how to avoid their negativity. Over time, it can also start to erode our own confidence. We become forced subconsciously to adopt their mindset in order to understand them.
Many people are unaware of their own negativity because they lack self-awareness and they don’t feel valued. Sometimes it can be as easy as showcasing to that person that you value them in order to shift their negativity, but often it is more deep-rooted than that. Many people with negative energy are unable to sit with their own thoughts and confront their own emotions or problems. They seek to blame external factors – other people, their environment, what have you – on their own negative attitudes instead of taking responsibility for it. Perhaps they’ve had unresolved trauma in their lives or they suffer from depression or anxiety. Maybe their family dynamic was dysfunctional or they had past relationships that damaged them. Maybe they, too, have been surrounded by negative people which has influenced their own thinking — toxicity can be cyclical. On a deep level, they could also struggle with not loving themselves fully and struggle to develop their own self-esteem. What makes us human is that we can all relate to these issues and we all want to empathetic, which makes it harder to separate ourselves from the negativity of others.
The only way a negative person feels good is by sharing their feelings with someone else because through sharing, they hope to find greater clarity. It feels cathartic for them to complain about the things they want to resolve. What they don’t realize is that their friends, family, and colleagues cannot fully solve their trauma or problems – only they can do that for themselves. In fact, they don’t fully realize that by laying their negative energy on others, they actually pass on their toxic energy torch and make others feel bad, too.
How to detect negative energy in a person:
The key is recognizing that you’re being surrounded by negative energy in order to be able to not get caught in the cycle and absorb that negative energy. We need to surround ourselves with people that teach us something new and spark our curiosity, not with people that bring us down. Negative people carry around with them a deep sense of skepticism, judgmentalism, hopelessness, and pessimism. Imagine the friend that tells you you can’t do something because “it’s too competitive and you don’t have the experience” or the friend that constantly makes negative judgments about others like “he can never get anything done no matter how hard he tries” or “another stupid meeting, I hate my life.” It’s funny maybe the first time, but then it’s draining the millionth time. I even had a friend recently tell me that her friend told her it’s “too bad you’re getting a divorce because I don’t think you’ll ever find someone that loves you as much as him.” Talk about negative energy that can be kicked to the curb.
People with toxic energy can also be really manipulative. In their attempt to want to be seen and heard, they play a “woe is me” card and try to constantly get the sympathy of others. If they feel they can use their negativity to get the outcome they want, they won’t hesitate to use it. They will make you do things for them, be demanding, and have no shame in sucking that energy from you, so it’s up to you to be able to recognize when someone is being manipulative in order to protect yourself.
It might seem at first like it’s paradoxical that negative people can feel so entitled to be manipulative towards others in order to have their respect and love, and simultaneously lack self-confidence. But it is not a paradox. Negative people tend to operate from the belief that if only people realized what their worth was if only their environment were different or if others could behave how they wanted them to, then they could be happy. They don’t feel in control of their lives so they demand the love and respect of others in order to seek control. This is, in a way, a secret cry for help and a desire for love. It is easy to want to offer negative people that love, but ultimately you can never provide the ultimate bandaid to their problems.
Why you might be attracting a toxic person in relationships?
So you continually find yourself surrounded by toxic, negative energy in your relationships and you have no idea how to break the cycle. Do you find yourself continually being manipulated? Do you wake up in a good mood but then after you talk to this person you feel infinitely worse?
Negative people can be attracted to people that have lights that shine brightly and to people that will willingly listen to their problems. Toxic people can take the amazing qualities you have, like being a good listener or being generous, and spin them for their own advantage. Highly empathetic people tend to easily let negative energy into their lives because they want to be able to help the other person. But don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Create boundaries, decide how much time you want to allow the negative energy into your life, and protect yourself.
You may also be an extremely generous and kind person. You allow others to take up your time without making them feel bad about it. But negative people will cling to this generosity and love within you. They will be demanding of your time and controlling of it. Being able to establish a healthy boundary and to be able to recognize toxic energy will help you in the future to cope with their types of relationships. Knowing that it’s okay to be selfish and focus on your happiness more than on the problems of others is essential.
Another, less positive quality that you may have that could be attracting a toxic person, is that your self-esteem could be low. People tend to be attracted to people that have similar self-esteem to theirs – hence, those with low self-esteem are attracted to those with low self-esteem, which usually creates a toxic relationship because neither person has a firm ground on themselves. Negative energy then starts to be manifested and pushed back and forth. Ultimately we want to focus on loving ourselves the most we possibly can because until we do we cannot expect to be in a healthy interdependent relationship.
3 Tips for what to do if you are in a relationship with a negative person
1. Take personal responsibility for your own happiness despite the other person’s negativity.
The most important thing you can do is take responsibility for your own happiness, no matter what is going on in your life around you. You have to remember where you came from and stick firmly to that. A lot of negative people will try to push you down when you are driven or focused. That has nothing to do with you – and it’s important to hold your own integrity and not let the emotions of someone else dictate your own standards for yourself. Take the time and space away from this negative person if you need to. Change your environment, change your activities – make sure you are doing things that fulfill you. If YOU are not fulfilled and engaging in activities that don’t fulfill you from within, then you’re not going to have positive people in your life. People will try to bring you down if you let them, so don’t let that negative energy become yours.
2. Have maturity and compassion with them.
The most effective way to steer a negative towards positivity is by manifesting that positivity yourself. When we blame the person for their toxic energy, we don’t help them. We can be compassionate by not telling the other person to change their behavior, not lecturing them or preaching to them about their own toxicity, and not enabling them by allowing them to take up all of our energy. Understand what they are going through, set healthy boundaries, and create your own positivity within yourself. Sometimes people have to go through things in order to grow through them and become better versions of themselves.
3. Focus on yourself and say goodbye if you need to.
Surround yourself with people that offer you value in your life, so that means getting clear on what your values are. Ask yourself: does this person offer me value? If you’re able to see that they teach you something or inspire you, then you know you want to keep that person in your life. But if they’re not offering you anything, then it’s time to say goodbye to that negative person.
Remember that you have to fully appreciate yourself before you can appreciate others. A lot of times we think we can fix the problems of others, but this is how we allow toxicity into our lives. When it comes to handling negative energy, it can be challenging. You might have a friend or loved one that is going through a lot and not showing up for themselves, and bringing you down with them. You may recognize that you need to change something in your own life in order to be there for someone else. There is no shame in recognizing the right kind of selfishness if it is with good intention and with compassion. When someone doesn’t add value to your life, it’s time to focus on you.
P.S. If you would like to book a private coaching session with me or one of my coaches, please visit here: https://www.apolloniaponti.com/private-coaching/