Have you ever sat in a room with someone who immediately drained your energy? I wish I could say that I have not but I have done this time and time again. It’s amazing that we each carry energy with us; some of us exude positive energy and then others of us carry negative energy from place to place. To keep your life in balance, try to identify those who bring you positive energy and those who most definitely bring you negative energy. If you emphasize the positive in your life and limit the negative, you will feel better and increase your positive energy!
I sat at a presentation a couple of months ago with a friend of mine. It was not a very good presentation but we listened and took notes. About halfway through the day, another lady joined our table. We both knew her and were not overly happy that she had selected our table. In
roughly two minutes, I watched my friend wilt. Her shoulders slumped and her facial expressions became tense. The newcomer to our table immediately started trying to include us in negative conversation. I kept my eyes on my friend because I could not believe the transformation in her body language. The new person’s negative energy had zapped hers in two minutes’ time. I was able to watch this transformation and thought about it for a long time. Why do people have the ability to zap our energy? Why do some people exude such negative energy over others? What can we do to prevent having this happen?
The first step to shifting your life to one that concentrates on keeping the energy around you positive is to start to identify people who bring negative energy into your life. When you meet a friend a the supermarket and talk for a minute, how do you feel? Do you feel energy or do you start to feel lethargic? Make a mental note and start a list of the people in your life. Decide who brings you positive energy and who brings you negative energy. The second step to breaking the negative energy pattern is to think about why certain people bring you positive energy and why certain people bring you negative energy. What is it about each person that affects you?
Is it something in your psyche that makes an interaction positive or negative? Or, is it something outside of you? You will need to understand who brings you negative energy so that you can figure out why this person affects you the way her or she does.
I once worked for a lady who was the meanest person I had ever met. When I received a call from her, I knew she was going to scold me. She told me once that I was too emotionally involved with my employees (I cared about them) and that I would fail as a leader because of this. I was amazed at that comment and thought about it often. She was intimidating and cruel to almost all of her employees; that was her general mode of operation. It took me several years to figure out that first of all, she carried a negative energy with her everywhere that she went. Secondly, she didn’t care about people very much, or so it seemed. I decided, eventually, that I would not work in that type of abusive situation again. She ended up retiring (thank goodness!) but before she did, I gathered my courage and sat down to talk to her. I asked her about her philosophy of
not caring about people. She started talking about a child she had lost. It was incredible how quickly the conversation shifted. In a few minutes time, I could see that she was a victim – of her life. And, she treated people meanly because she had worked many years to build a wall around
herself and her emotions. It was very sad. As we talked, I felt her negative energy lift from me. I saw her in a new light. I still didn’t want to be around her often; my body had learned to tense up when she was nearby. It is hard to unlearn that. However, I understood why she was so cruel. It helped.
I also had to analyze my response to her negative energy. Obviously, I did not believe in mistreating employees. I have spent most of my career learning ways to make employees feel good about themselves so that they will like their jobs and produce the best products. I also don’t do well with controlling people; that is one personality type that I do not like. My strength is has always been in working with the underdog. I like to help those in need. By understanding my boss more, I transformed her from controlling to needy. It helped me shift how I related to her; it also helped me build empathy for her. The negative energy began to lift. Later in my career, I encountered her again in more a peer work relationship. I did not feel her negative energy anymore. And, when she made one of her cruel comments, I could laugh directly at her and say, “Boy you haven’t changed! Are you always going to be so mean?” She’d laugh too. I feel sorry for her to this day. It’s very sad that she has to live with a wall around her. I’m glad my life is different! The negative energy has evaporated.
Now that I’m older, I can look back on that experience and see it for what it was. It taught me to
take the time to look at the relationships in my life. I had to question many of them and ask myself if they were positive or negative. Now, when I meet people or undertake a new job, I look critically at the people I work with – and I ask myself if they bring a positive or negative energy when they walk into the room. If they bring negative energy, I limit my time with them.
I don’t want to be surrounded by negative energy. The people that bring positive energy are the
ones that I want to be surrounded with most often during my day. If negativity is running my day, I will start running negative thoughts through my head. I want positive thoughts to consume my day!
In her book, The Core Balance Diet, Marcelle Pick talks about this, “Retraining the mind to let go of negative thoughts has its roots in cognitive therapy, which was first developed by Aaron T. Beck, Ph.D. At it’s best, learning how to think differently puts us on the right track to changing how we feel, which changes our biochemical state, which in turn changes our physiology. This is the mind-body connection at work – but be careful when it comes to dealing with the thinking mind. Often, we engage the intellect without moving on to integrating the spirit, the emotions, and the body.” (pp. 242)
The power of surrounding yourself with positive thinking and positive people cannot be underestimated. It’s just an incredibly important thing to do as you begin on a path of
total emotional and physical health. There is no way to underestimate the power of positive thinking. Begin to analyze your interactions with others. Be sure you stick with those
people that make you feel good about yourself so that it will rub off on you! You are your greatest asset!
Pick, Marcelle, The Core Balance Diet, Hay House, Inc., California and New York, pp. 242, 2009.