Sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in a situation where a certain relationship in your life becomes toxic. This can be a romantic relationship, a friendship, a relationship with work or family or a client. Eventually, you will become faced with toxicity/negativity and it’s important to know how to protect your energy.
There is a term, specifically for people, who siphon away our energy source.They are called energy (or emotional) vampires. This article from MindBodyGreen offers some examples,
They could be a clingy relative, a bully coworker, or a bossy neighbor, for example. You’ll know when you come in contact with an emotional vampire, because instead of feeling positive, energized, and happy after you’ve spent time together, you feel wiped out. These people are not healthy to be around.
Below are a few steps I use to protect my energy from being touched by the toxicity of emotional vampires.
Boundaries protect our energy source. It is so important to set boundaries for ourselves, especially when dealing with energy vampires, because they don’t have any. They will barge right into our life without any consideration of the upheaval they’re causing. They aren’t bad people, they just cannot recognize (or are unaware of) the affect their actions & words have on others. So, it is our job to set boundaries for ourselves and know when they’re being crossed. Know the limit of what you’re willing to take from someone else. For example, I refuse to let others make me feel guilty. I see others who feel guilty try to unload that burden on me, and I won’t have it. That is a boundary I have put in place and I am vigilant in protecting it.
This is important when you’re trying to set and keep boundaries. You have to know, without doubt, who and what you are. Know your triggers, know your strengths, know your weaknesses. That way, if someone tries to make you feel a certain emotion, you will be able to recognize that as foreign energy. That’s to say, if one minute you’re feeling calm and happy and then suddenly you feel drained and exhausted, you’ll be able to very quickly recognize that something else has entered your energy field. If you already have a firm understanding of what’s going on inside yourself and are constantly checking in, you will know yourself very well. So, when someone else is trying to shake you up, you can tell right away that it has nothing to do with you.
The way people treat you has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. That is why I find it important to remember that we must be gentle with someone we recognize as an energy vampire. By protecting ourselves through boundaries and solid self-awareness, we are able to then see what’s really going on. When someone is bringing toxic energy into your life it is because they are experiencing toxic energy in their own life and are trying to get rid of it. So be gentle with that person. Be kind. Show empathy for what they might be going through, regardless if they let you know what that is. Because more often than not, they don’t even know what it is. They aren’t taking the time to evaluate where the toxicity is coming from because they’re too busy trying to get rid of it.
This is a tough one. Forgiving someone who has brought toxicity to your life without taking any responsibility for it. However, like I mentioned above, they’re usually unaware of what they’re doing. They don’t have the systems in place to recognize toxicity, evaluate it and deal with it. Because the truth is, we all have toxicity in our life. It finds its way to us. But some of us are better equipped to deal with it. And dealing with it means facing it, feeling it, putting in the time & effort to work through and remove it. That is a job some people refuse to undertake. For whatever reason. And it is not our responsibility to prove to them that they have work to do. Our only responsibly is to forgive them for any toxicity they may have brought into our lives and be grateful that we have the tools to quickly clean it out.
Finally, we must release this person. And by this, I don’t mean to burn a bridge or cut them out of our lives. What I mean is we must release the hold they have over us as well as the responsibility we feel to take care of them. Because, at the end of the day, anyone who has the ability to negatively affect our energy source is taking up space they don’t deserve. So we must love them from a distance. Stop taking on their burdens, stop feeding in to their toxic dialogue, stop apologizing to them. Love them, be gentle with them, show empathy…but ultimately let them go. You cannot help someone who isn’t ready to be helped. You can’t fix their life and you certainly can’t remove their toxicity. That is a solo job each of us must do on our own.
For more ways to find & keep happy energy in your life, make sure to join my online community My Brand Of Happy.