Protecting yourself from negative energy can be challenging and you may feel pressured to listen to their complaints because you don’t want to be seen as rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a compassionate ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional.
You can avoid this by setting limits.
A reaction is a hot, thoughtless, in-the-moment eruption of emotion that’s usually driven by your ego (as human beings, we’re more likely to react when we’re disconnected from our logical mind). It might last just a split second before your intuition kicks in and offers some perspective, or it might take over to the point that you act on it. When you feel angry or flustered after dealing with a negative person, that’s a sign you’ve reacted rather than responded mindfully.
Some people’s negative attitudes are triggered by specific, topics. If you find yourself in a similar conversational situation, and the person you’re talking with is stuck on a topic that’s bringing you down. Introduce a new topic to lighten the mood. Like funny memories, mutual friendships, personal success stories, and other kinds of happy news make for light conversation. Keep it to areas the person feels positive about.
Where and how you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you zero in on the problems you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you shift your focus toward actions that can improve your circumstances, you create a sense of self-efficacy that yields positive emotions and reduces stress.
People who manage their lives effectively are generally those who work internally i.e. those who know that success and well-being comes from within (internal locus of control). Negative people generally work externally i.e. blame others or outside events for everything that does or doesn’t happen.
When your sense of satisfaction and self-worth are derived from the opinions of others, you are no longer in control of your own happiness. When emotionally strong people feel good about something they’ve done, they don’t let anyone’s opinions take that feeling away from them.