Every time you have a conversation or read an article about spiritual and emotional wellness, there is mention of positive and negative energies. What exactly are these seemingly charged energies in people and what do they have to do with our everyday lives?
Well, it is not a straight forward concept. It has to do with the energy an individual exudes. You can tell the kind of energy a person has by the feeling you get when you interact with them.
A person’s energy can be described as a combination of their mindset and thinking patterns, their dominant thoughts at the time, their past experiences and their perception of the world.
Positive and Negative Energies
People who radiate positive energy are kind, optimistic, compassionate, empathetic and enthusiastic about life in general. They exude positivity such that you feel uplifted by simply interacting with them. For some reason you feel safe and relaxed when you are around them.
Negative energy people are just the opposite. They appear to be perpetually angry, they complain a lot and are harshly judgmental. You get a strange heavy feeling when you are around them. You feel unhappy, insecure and tense around them.
You can carry whichever type of energy you choose. The difference is that some people are naturally inclined towards positive energy and rarely struggle to exude it. Other people are more inclined to negative energies. They have to work harder to keep their energy positive.
How to Identify Negative Energy in a Person
You can feel it
It’s like falling in love. When you know you know. Falling in love is probably not the first comparison you would make to detecting when someone you are interacting with has negative energy. The point is that it is something that you feel. The feeling is undeniable.
After just a few minutes of interaction, you get a bad feeling. You suddenly feel sad. People who carry this vibe often complain about the country, their lives, traffic just about anything.
If you listen to them intently, you may find yourself feeling fearful about the future, hopeless that the coming days will be better. Negative energy carriers could leave you wondering why there is any point in waking up tomorrow morning. The world is practically over.
They are disorganized
There is no science to explain it (yet) but for some reason people filled with negative energy tend to be extremely disorganized. You plan a meeting with Don, a co-worker who is known to spew negativity at every opportunity. Chances are that he will be late for the meeting. Aside from that he will most likely not have done what he promised to do two weeks ago.
Psychologists say the disorganized life of negative people is not only about poor time management. It also has to do with a don’t-care attitude. If the country’s economy is so terrible, it will collapse any time now, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not I get my reports out on time.
They are anti-change
Some personalities adapt to change better than others. Even then even those who are not as adaptable understand the importance to forge through change, and they do. Negative people will do anything to avoid changes in their lives. The irony is that they are constantly complaining about the current state of their lives. You would think they would welcome change with open arms.
That is not the case. Negative people don’t want change because they don’t believe that things can possibly get better. They don’t see the point in making any effort towards growth or development. As far as they are concerned, it can’t possibly happen.
Did you know it is possible to sabotage yourself? Just like another person can make efforts to make you fail at something, you can do it yourself too.
Negative people have little or no hope for a brighter future. They could consciously or subconsciously sabotage themselves in many ways.
Don, our negatively energized co-worker is actually a very talented software designer. When a more senior position in the department opens up, he is eligible to apply for it and stands a pretty good chance of getting the job thanks to his talent. However, he chooses not to apply for it. He says there is no point because the organza ton is not doing well and the boss doesn’t like him.
When someone else fills the position, he mumbles for weeks, saying he would have been a better fit than the successful candidate. Even if this is true, Don only has himself to blame. He didn’t make the effort to try and get the position which he probably would have exceled in.
Negative people often sabotage themselves and then blame other people for the less-than-desirable outcomes.
Abusive or violent behavior
If you have interacted with people with negative energy, you know that they often find themselves in arguments with people around them. It is as though they are eagerly waiting for someone to cross their path to release an almost violent explosion of anger on them.
It is Don who gets into verbal exchanges with a client’s receptionist because she asked him to wait a couple of minutes. Later in the week Don gets into a fist fight with the security guard because his key card is faulty. Wouldn’t a simple conversation have sufficed to sort that out, you wonder. Not according to Don.
Negative energy is like a volcano always waiting for an opportunity to erupt.
The average attention span of adults is somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. People with a lot of negative energy tend to have a lower than average attention span. Some may suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and others may display behavior linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
After walking in late for the meeting, Don, our negatively energized colleague interrupts the meeting to ask a question. It turns out to be a question which was explicitly answered two minutes ago. Wasn’t he listening? He was definitely in the room when that information was given.
A Word for People with Negative Energy
What if you had the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Don about his negative attitude and behavior? What would you say? Here are a few points to put across to help him work on it.
Identify the source
Quite often negative energy gets rubbed off on you by someone else. You end up carrying it as your own and letting it take root in your mind. Other times the energy comes from negative thoughts and attitudes in your own mind. You need to know the source to be able to deal with it appropriately.
Think of it as a huge bag of garbage handed to you by someone or a runny nose. If it is negative energy from someone else, comparable to the bag of garbage, you can make the decision to stop carrying it. You can wake up one morning and decide to place the bag on the ground and walk away. In essence you can deliberately refuse to let other people’s negativity get to you.
If the negativity emanates from your own mind, you can’t just walk away from it. The solution would be to identify the negative thoughts and learn to catch yourself when those thoughts try to take root in your mind. Instead make a pint to replace every negative thought with a positive one.
This technique takes a lot of practice but has proven effective for many people. This can be compared to the idea that it takes your own effort to blow your nose to clear it of everything that is in there.
Learn your triggers
It is only human to have negative thoughts and feelings every so often. Another effective way to deal with negative energy is to learn what makes your attitude change.
When you can identify what causes these feelings you can then make efforts to avoid them. If it is a person, there is no shame in walking the other way when you see them. Avoid interacting with them. If negative feelings seem to come up in you when you go to certain places, take care of yourself by avoiding those places.
It takes more than a bit of work to perfect this. When anger and anxiety is more than you can handle, try online aids like this one .I have found this kind of approach extremely useful since they are highly effective and don’t cost an arm and a leg.
People with negative energy are all around us. We have to find ways to identify them, smell them from a mile away in order to shield ourselves from picking up some of their energy.
Once you are able to identify them, it is easier to keep a healthy distance. If you cannot avoid them, develop immunity. When you do, it doesn’t matter what they say or do, you can easily shrug it off and smile.
Let’s not forget that ridding ourselves of negative energy not only helps us socially but also ensures we are physically healthy. Scientists have proven that people who consistently have negative thoughts and beliefs about their lives are more prone to disease.