By Bob Livingstone
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
People consumed with negative energy may have low self-esteem because they are abused or neglected. They may also be spoiled and used to having things go their way all the time. This sense of entitlement leads them to be overly sensitive to feelings of rejection if things don’t go their way. This hurt quickly leads to anger where they make fun of others or say bad stuff about them to their friends.
Those of us who encounter these folks with negative energy may get triggered by this angry/hateful/dramatic/ mindset. This person may remind us of others in our lives who have been abusive towards us. Therefore, we may sense the instant need to stop this creepy, scary, pervasive feeling as soon as possible because it feels so threatening to us. We may try to stop this feeling by going overboard in making friends with the negative energy person in order for her to not direct her venom at us. You may find yourself joining in the putting down your other friends in order to keep her from turning rage towards you.
Other ways of dealing with the negative energy person are to get into arguments with him or to go way out of your way to avoid him.
How can we deal with negative energy people?
• Tell them that you will not be friends with them until they stop saying nasty things about you and your friends
• See if you can engage them in a real discussion of how they really feel about themselves.
• If you are a child or a teen, reach out to your teacher and tell her that you are concerned about the person with negative energy and you would like her to get help to learn how to express herself.
• Encourage them to try some new activity and invite them to an activity that you enjoy.
• Understand how you are affected by this and try to be aware when you are being triggered and feel on the verge of impulsively reacting.
– Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.