One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How do I deal with the negative people in my life?”
When we start this transformational journey and we get clear about our vision and where we want to go, it’s really common to start to notice the negativity around us. We notice conversations that we would’ve engaged in before just aren’t in alignment anymore. As we shift our perception and awareness, we hang out with friends that we used to love being around, but now we are becoming more and more aware of the negative conversations.
We can’t change anyone else, only ourselves, but here are tools on how to manage the people around you, and more importantly your own mindset when you’re around those people, so that that experience becomes much more positive.
Start to pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re around certain people. I had a friend where we were friends for many years, and as I started this work, I started to realize that every time I’m leaving our gatherings or our get-togethers, I feel exhausted and drained. I started to become more aware of that feeling, and I got curious. Is this a person I want in my life? Is this who I want to spend my time with?
Start to become more aware of the people in your life that lift you up. Do you have someone in your life, where you hang up the phone feeling so inspired and excited, and you’ve got more energy afterwards than you had before? Then we have those relationships where it feels like it drains your energy. Maybe you’re dreading going into that conversation, or to that dinner. Pay attention to that and honour that part of you, because that is feedback to help you get more clear about your vision and who you do want in your life.
Start to get really clear about the conversations you do want to be having, the types of people that you want to be hanging out with, what you would be doing, and you can start to paint that picture or form the vision of who you do want in your life.
What about the relationships in your life that we can’t step away from? This could be a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor, where you’re kind of stuck with them. How do you manage that negativity? One of the things that I suggest is working with yourself to really generate a state of compassion. Knowing that every single person on this planet today is doing the best they can at their level of awareness, based on their experiences, based on their history, based on their knowledge, based on many many different things. They’re doing the best they can. It’s really easy to have compassion for somebody that we meet very briefly, we can sum it up that they’re probably having a bad day. It’s much tougher to generate that level of compassion with somebody we know a little bit more intimately and have a history with.
Work with yourself to really see that infinite part of their nature. I love the word “Namaste” because Namaste means “the power within me, or the light within me, sees and recognizes the light within you.” It’s removing the personality and really connecting at that spiritual level or that soul level. So when we can start to see people through that lens of that inner being, that inner light, knowing that they’re doing the best they can at their level of awareness, it helps us to shift to compassion. When we’re in compassion, it’s much easier to be inside of that energy, because it removes the resentment, judgment, blocks, or the need to be defensive.
I had a client who had a really difficult uncle and every time they would get together, it would become very full of conflict and very adversarial, and she was noticing this negativity. I invited her to really recognize that he’s doing the best he can, he is a spiritual being having a human experience. Her uncle didn’t change at all – but what changed within her is seeing him through a new lens. She was able to generate a state of compassion, where she wasn’t as triggered. She didn’t engage like she used to, and the relationship started to change.
The other thing that happens with people in our life, is as we’re doing our own inner work, showing up as our best selves, doing it imperfectly, we raise our vibration. We raise our emotional state and how we’re showing up in the world. What happens with those negative people is they’re no longer a match for where we’re at, and oftentimes what happens is they start to fall away. They gradually start to call less, they show up less, there’s less conflict because they know you’re not going to engage with it. You’ve raised your state of mind and state of being in such a way that they’re no longer a match to it. They can’t connect to it.
Often what happens is you get clear about your vision of the relationships you want, and you match that. You start to attract new people into your life, new friendships, new connections that are more in alignment with who you’re being and what it is that you would love.
Those old ones often naturally fall away, or where there was once conflict, that dissipates into more of a neutrality. It doesn’t mean that we want to go hang out with those people and invest our time with them, but it’s much easier when we’re in those environments if you’ve got that difficult person in your life.
Start these practices now. We can’t change them. What we have a choice about how we’re going to show up. So show up as your best self, and here is to you living a life you love.