How to protect yourself from other people’s negativity

I had to take a break from writing these last two weeks for two reasons. One reason was a creative and effective motive – creating my website in order to promote my activity as a personal development mentor, and that did require tons of energy and patience! The other reason was not so motivating and clearly not helpful. I felt my energy level was dramatically down and I let myself be absorbed by other people’s negativity, which obviously doesn’t boost your self-esteem and inner power at all. At some point, I finally told myself, ‘Gosh, enough is enough, that is not your usual self and you must do something about it‘. Yes, but when you feel low and negativity has gone right through you, how do you bounce back and take YOUR energy back?

Well, I am back online, writing again, resuming my lovely habits, and taking back my positive energy. It has not been easy indeed. I needed to tap into my awfully low life battery, reminding myself what I’d love to do, how I’d love to interact, what I needed to do to feel positive again, and above all how to set the right boundaries again. As I have said many times, no progress is linear. There are ups and downs in any process and you may feel you are moving backwards at times. But as long as you keep in mind the specific goals you’ll feel proud and happy about when you achieve them, everything is possible and everything is in your hands. Stay focus!

Apart from staying focus, how can you picture yourself bouncing back when you feel you have fallen apart, surrounded by the negativity that has literally eaten you up, and an urgent need to ostracize yourself definitely? Here are a few tips that I have used for my own well-being.

1.Procrastinate for a little while

But not too long either… That first point may sound quite absurd or paradoxical. Actually, it means that you need to go through these negative feelings you have been absorbing. They are there, you have been immersed in them, either because you were the receptacle of other people’s projections or because you unconsciously let yourself be affected by them, like the desired trigger for questioning your current situation.

Either way, procrastinating will help you reflect on yourself, the situation you are in, this specific phase of your life, and why you were not able to protect yourself from this negativity – either coming from you or from others. This stage is crucial to lay the right foundation for the future you deserve. Of course, reflecting on yourself doesn’t mean ‘beating yourself up’, that would be harmful and unproductive, but pondering the future in a realistic and supportive way. You must be kind to yourself.

2. Identify what comes from you and what comes from others

Another important stage to understand the roots of this temporary uneasiness. You need to label and differentiate the feelings that have been triggered by someone else’s projections and have nothing to do with you, from those that have generated this anxiety within you. Your reaction may be due to feelings that were repressed deep down inside and thus coming from you. By identifying them, you will then be able to work on them and distance yourself from any negativity that has nothing to do with your own history.

3. Remember, you can’t save the world

That is especially true with empathetic and highly sensitive people. They are – and I know I am a member of this emotionally complicated club – like sponges soaking up other people’s vibes and emotions. Unfortunately, even though we would love to make the world a better place and we can indeed add some softness to this highly iniquitous world, we cannot save each and every human being or insect or animal living on earth. As soon as we accept this fate, we are more able to protect ourselves and disengage if needs be.

Besides, you should remind yourself that you can only help people who want to be helped. And that is another crucial point. If you sense a person is going down the wrong path, there is no point in wasting your energy on that person if he/she doesn’t want to get better. It has to come from that very person, not from you only.

4.Communicate your boundaries clearly

Setting healthy boundaries and communicate them clearly to people around you when you feel they may be crossed will avoid unnecessary drama. Either the person was not aware of your boundaries and did not realise he/she was going too far OR you may be dealing with a toxic person. If the person is toxic, there is a good chance he/she will retaliate and say that it’s all your fault and you are the one to blame for the ‘misunderstanding’. If the latter happens, you know what type of personality you are interacting with, how to stand your ground and distance yourself wisely.

5. Be kind to yourself and Boost your self-esteem

In order to boost your self-esteem, you must be kind to yourself. If you keep blaming yourself, rewinding your potential wrongs and chastising yourself, you will turn your positive self into a negative one. And this means offering a treat to those who have tried to belittle you either consciously or unconsciously. Don’t give them that pleasure and remind yourself you deserve the best of everything that life has to offer even when you feel low, even if negativity has gone through you! And if you’d like to read more tips on how to boost your self-esteem, have a look at my story “Boosting Self-Esteem, a crucial and gradual process”

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