It is wonderful to see how many people prefer kindness to negativity. However, a friend wrote me stating something that is really important: if negative and destructive attitudes seem to be contagious, we need to know how to protect ourselves from the bad vibes.
To be honest, I’m a bit superstitious and I am always getting bracelets with red strings and the hand of Fatima (or Hamsa) to combat the evil eye. However, there are concrete actions we can take to avoid feeling affected by the negativity of others. I have always believed that the evil intentions of others can impact us, but only if we allow it to happen.
Here you have 5 ways to strengthen yourself so you can deal with negativity, without relying on amulets (which I do anyways):
- Accept that not everyone will like you or wish you the best: this is easier said than done, but it is very important not to waste time getting angry or questioning why there are people who seem to wish you the worst.
- Understand that negativity has everything to do with that person and not much to do with you: most people who live watching, criticizing and judging what others are doing or who feel envy for whatever reason, have their own issues. You’re not going to understand them so don’t even try. It’s better to stay away as much as possible.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations: this sounds too simple but it works. Believe in yourself, be kind and forgive your own mistakes.
- Find one thing about yourself that gives you pride, joy or a sense of achievement. Focus on that when you’re going through tough times. Reflect on your achievements, your values and those times in which you have proven your strength.
- When someone attacks you, try to refrain from catching the aggressiveness bug; whether at work or in a family setting, aggression keeps us from thinking rationally and puts us on the defensive. It is better to tell the other person that you can talk when things calm down a bit. Also, avoid getting caught in the spiral of hurtful comments that will only leave you with bitterness and pain. If you need to distance yourself, do it. The key is to avoid being reactive (and defensive) all the time.
I know how unrealistic it is to think that we can simply get away from all the negative, aggressive or toxic people who are part of our lives. If they are acquaintances, it is easy to distance yourself. When they are close relatives or colleagues that you need to work with, not so much. These situations require even more strength because we have to find a way to live with these people without allowing them to affect us. If you remember that their negativity has to do with their own issues and isn’t necessarily related to anything you have done or said, it will be easier ignore their words or actions.
Have you found effective ways to protect yourself from harmful and negative people? Please tell me!
En español: Cómo protegerte de la negatividad