We all know them. We probably still have them lurking in the shadows of our life, crouching low, waiting there to suddenly spring up and steal our joy in our most awesome of moments! Those people who have to have the last word, the ones who need to ‘add on’ their opinion or add in an undertone full of sarcasm to any sentence you try to speak. Yep, the Energy Vampires. When they finish talking, you feel like walking...preferably away... or closer so you could slap them. They make you feel drained, exhausted or irritable after every meeting! It's like they suck the joy right out of life!
Well, I’ve learned some key slaying tools in Perspective to battle these predators of delight. They’ve proven effective with myself and others who were in desperate need of an exterminator for their constant, pesky energy zappers.
The first weapon in my arsenal of ‘Perspective’, is taking away the power of their last word or add-ons; decreasing the impact of their words to your mind and giving back a quick hit of positivity. “Kill them with kindness,” as they say. For each negative remark, counter it with a kind statement. For each push down, lift someone up. Let them lose the power of their words by showing your kindness and lack of reaction to their barbed comments. More often than not, an Energy Vampire loses interest when there’s no reaction to draw power from. They can even lose some of their power over you as well as others when you step up your positivity and act purposely with kindness.
Every negative comment you hear or have said to you, you rebound each and every time with a positive comment. It doesn’t even have to be on the same subject. Just saying out loud a positive comment about the weather, someone's clothing choices, or happy events coming can fix the atmosphere that the Energy Vampire has darkened. These beings thrive on negativity, but we don’t have to let them do it near us. In fact, when you repeatedly use positivity to combat negativity, it becomes a habit and you end up with a more positive perspective! You may even put the humanity back into the Energy Vampire, slaying their darker perspectives with the sunniness of your own!
The second weapon of choice is “The Selective Hearing” switch. Yep you got it! Arm yourself with the mental switch of, “Nanananana! I can’t hear you!” Then, when they throw out a barbed phrase, you can hear the potential positive points and twist the meaning into something uplifting. Ignore their sarcasm and give a response intentionally obtuse to their negativity, they may roll their eyes at what they perceive to be nonsense, however they’ll catch on eventually and realize you won’t join in on their jeering attitude.
Show that you’ll choose happiness over hostility anytime.
Lastly, sometimes it is necessary to create space or absence form the Energy Vampire in your life. It’s not always an easy choice, especially if you are related to one of the negative people. In some cases however, absence can cure a toxic environment and can increase our health. When we are around negativity too often, we become too drained. Sometimes we become as they are without even realizing it! There are times when you can’t wait to share your joy or good news, and instead you receive a painful blow and feel all your excitement sucked away from you by their need to find something- anything- possibly wrong with what you’ve tried to share. In these cases, when you feel like you’re not good enough, could never be enough, it helps to take a step back and realize that you will never be happy with yourself with these irrational expectations; the environment has turned toxic. So, for the safety of your mental health as well as physical well being, distance must be gained.
If complete absence is not possible, or in the long run you decide it would be too painful, you should try for space with a stronger shield of tolerance; armed with your weapons of positive perspective. Some people we truly love, yet they hurt us more than any other can. Sometimes it takes realising there can be no change in this person and if we want happiness, we will have to focus on changing ourselves. By doing this, we will be able to survive and grow in the darkness by finding our own light. From experience, I know this to be the toughest battle of all. But it can be done.
Happiness does not magically appear. Happiness must be worked for and found with our earnest intent to be happy.
Look for positivity in comedy, hobbies, and accomplishments. Our most desperate sense to protect ourselves emotionally will emerge, causing us to want to hunt for the things that make us feel better, let in light, and help us get between the negative moments we know will come. Each time you are pulled down, each time they deal you a blow of negativity, that's when you must get back up. Stand ready, hold your shield of tolerance close, and then go seek your positivity so that you will be re-armed and ready for the next potential battle. Each one of us, deserves happiness, the love of others, and an emotional safe place that can be made by us.
Perspectives can be contagious. A negative one can make you into an unpleasant being like an Energy Vampire to someone else. However, a positive one can not only lighten your day, or it can also lighten the day of those around you.