Why does other people’s negativity rub off on me?
I used to have this problem as well. It took me a while to figure it out, but thanks to meditation, I was able to both understand why the problem exists and what to do about it.
A common fallacy people make is to believe that they actually absorb others’ negativity. That’s not how it works. The reason why we feel negative around certain people is because we have that very negativity within us. It’s important to recognize that the negativity is already there, it’s just waiting to be activated when the conditions are right. Certain ‘negative’ people are that condition.
Before meditation, I was very susceptible to other people’s negative state of mind, and often let me get dragged down by it. It could be enough to enter a grocery shop where people were stressed in order to feel stressed and depressed myself. I used to think that this was essentially a good thing. I liked to tell myself that I was particularly emphatic or sensitive, a person with extraordinary abilities to sympathize with others. However, that was not the case. Being easily affected by other people’s moods has very little to do with empathy. Empathy means that you actually care for others, not just sense or pick up on their state of mind.
So, the real reason why we get bogged down by other people’s negativity is because we are negative ourselves. Inside our mind, there is a negative thought-mass that gets activated when the conditions are right. Consequently, if it were possible to get rid of this negative thought-mass, our mind would not be affected because it doesn’t hold any negativity of its own.
How to get rid of negative people from your life
When we meditate, we can release our negative mind and naturally transform into a positive mind. When we do this, negative people disappear from our life.
It works like this:
Let’s say that I always go into an ego-battle with a particular person and that causes me to feel negative or upset afterwards. Or perhaps I always get disappointed in myself because I start to think and talk in the same way a negative person does. Or maybe I feel hopeless and dark inside after having been around someone with a negative outlook on life.
In case I blame the circumstances and do nothing to change my mind, there will be no progress. Even if I would move to another country, negative people will keep popping up in my life and make me feel the same way as before. This happens because I experience life from within my negative mind. Negative people are only symptoms of my negativity, not the cause of it.
Conversely, if I get rid of my negativity, I will act differently. I will no longer go into ego battles, I will not become disappointed in myself or feel hopeless or dark. This means that the pattern will not repeat itself. Since my mind has changed, the dynamics of life will have changed as well; I will interact differently with the world and both my inner and outer life will reflect this change.
The actual result of getting rid of negativity may vary from person to person and relationship to relationship. In one case, a certain relationship might improve and become more positive and accepting. In another situation, there will no longer be any negative energy binding the relationship together, and it will naturally dissolve. However it happens, the result will be that negative relationships vanish from your life.
Changing the mind opens up to new courses of action and a new destiny
When I mention the aforementioned to people, some argue that it is an oversimplification. They say that there are cases where you can’t do anything about a person in your life, for example an abusive parent or a controlling partner.
However, even in those situations the relationship will change if you change your mind. You might, for example, get the inner strength to decisively end a dysfunctional relationship, which you have held on to due to fear of being lonely. Or perhaps you stop caring about the other person’s bullying or negative remarks, in which case their power over you disappears and the dynamic of the relationship changes to a more balanced one. In yet another situation, you might finally realize that your situation can only be solved if you muster the courage to contact the police or other relevant authorities in order to remove the person from your life. These are all just examples, the point is that you will now be open to a new course of action since you are no longer trapped in a negative, limiting, and fearful way of thinking.
By changing our minds, we change our destiny. Life always gives us valuable lessons so that we can grow. The encounter with negative people is such a lesson. This lesson will repeat itself until we’ve learnt what we need to learn, i.e. that we have let go of our own negativity rather than pointing fingers at others. When the lesson is learnt, the situation will stop repeating, and life will be renewed.
Meditation is the way to achieve permanent change
So how can we change? Meditation is the answer, and we have to do it regularly and over time. By meditating, we empty our mind. As we empty our mind of negative thoughts and feelings, it gradually returns to its original form, which is peaceful and naturally positive.
The original mind is accepting and wise. With this mind we navigate through life similarly to how water flows, effortlessly and gracefully. Solutions present themselves in a beautiful and gentle way. The original mind doesn’t dwell on negative thoughts or tune into’ or get hung up on the negativity of others. Sure, we can sense and relate to other people’s negative minds, but we don’t suffer. We are at peace.
I encourage everyone to find a meditation center that helps you to let go of your mind. These days, it’s very easy to meditate. It can be done online with the help of professional guides. Take it seriously, commit for the long term, and watch how your life changes for the better.
Take a minute and check out the video below.
Best of luck!