“Some people are like clouds. When they disappear, the day becomes brighter” (Quotes by Unknown). Next you’ll see how to deal with negative or toxic people and protect your self worth from them.
By Fatima Ariadne
There is an easy way to detect an energy vampire. They’re like Dracula, or maybe like the Dementors, sucking out every inch of happiness from their nearby victims. Every time you come near them and they offer their “advice” to you, it’s as if you enter or are surrounded by dark cloud. If every time you’re around this particular person :
– He makes you feel negative about yourself, your life, your actions, or things in your life (one of them, or more).
– Your positivity was sucked out as if there’s an invisible vacuum cleaner siphoning your energy.
– He always puts you down and everything you do is wrong in his eyes, never right. Although you have already stay in the right track.
– He makes you think that “it’s better and safer to be ordinary” and “just follow the rules and routine” than to step outside the box.
Then chances are, you are near a vampire. They may not go around with fangs and dripping blood from the mouth. And they’re able to walk in daylight without melting.
Note that there is a difference between constructive criticism and vampire-style criticism. The former has a sound reasoning and offered with solution, and the latter is only designed to bring you down. If you ask the vampires “so what should I do instead?” they’re almost always can’t offer you a solution, or just create a dubious or baseless one.
Some people are “dining” on yourself by always acting sinister or negative ALL the time, and some just being negative in particular thing you do. And unfortunately, they can be your loved one or family members. But if this is the case, cutting ties and resorting to hatred is never the answer.
Reasons Why Some People Are Vampires – and How to Face Them
1) Shield You from the Negative Consequences of Your Choice
Sometimes people have the best intentions and have this protective alarm on. But most human beings are bound to this too : FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. How if you step out and fail? How if you are rejected? How if you get pain? How if you lose money? How if you get ripped off?
If people who throws you temporary negativity happens to be your loved one or family members, then know that they could have this kind of motivation. It’s only a form of caring. It doesn’t mean they want to leech on you, they just might want to protect you. And they will do it by telling you “it’s better to be safe and ordinary. Why go against the grain?”
The only way to convince them : DON’T TELL THEM. SHOW THEM. Even use their negativity to motivate yourself, to prove them they’re wrong.
For this kind of people, action will speak louder than words. Your spouse won’t let you starting a new business for fear of financial problem? Use this to motivate you to work better on this business, and show her this could be profitable. Your dad thinks writing fiction is wasting time? Then be a better fiction writer and get your work published. Your mum thinks that joining football club (soccer for you Americans ;)) can make your grade suffers? Show her you can be a damn good football player, but also butt-kicking in academic stuff. Without cheating, of course.
It’s all about proof, proof, proof.
2) Misery Loves Company
This is the second type of vampire, and most common.
Do you have people who constantly put you down and got nothing good to say about you? But here’s the thing : most people cares so much “why they’re saying this to me” without looking further at their background and asking : Are these vampires really deserve to say this? Do they even understand your struggles and where you come from? Are they in a position you’re pursuing at? And most importantly…..do they really offer you an insightful solution??
A highly successful financial blogger I once followed, said he often gets negative comments from people saying how his blog sucks and that he should go home to India instead of teaching public about money (actually his blog is one of the best out there), but without making solutions or input to fix that. When he checked some of these people’s background and websites (I dunno how he did that)….behold and lo, they happened to stuck with unfulfilling job, mortgage, or either have a really huge debt.
NOW BRACE YOURSELF!!!
When these vampires operate, what they do, is not about you, it’s just about them. People who constantly put you down, usually, secretly have an inferiority complex within themselves. Whether they realize it or not. And misery just loves company. Or maybe they’re just jealous, and it’s possible. They will put you down to make themselves appear superior, higher, smarter, and better. These people are basically just fooling themselves.
So basically, their actions putting down others are just mirroring their inner state about THEMSELVES. Maybe they have unfulfilled lives. Maybe people criticize or belittle him all the time and he thinks that you should get the same treatment too. Maybe you just happen to be in a position he badly wants all this time, but he cannot reach.
Next time when he happens to put you down, remember that he putting you down never implicates that he is better or in a higher position than you. On the contrary, it only projects his own insecurity! This kind of people can only drain you if you give yourself permission to swallow their words.
Avoid or break out from this kind of vampire and save your own energy. If they already store this agenda or have a negative intentions, nothing you can do will ever convince them.
3) Just Not In Tune With You
This is slightly similar with the vampire type #2, but the only difference is “they just don’t get it”. It’s more because of background difference, like generations gap, all clashing. Like a radio channel, they’re just not in tune with you. You are in channel A, and they are in channel Z.
For example, one of my friend has a father who always discouraged him from working in a job that demands highly mobile lifestyle. He’s highly successful, but somehow his father always misunderstands him. So I told him, “be patient with him. You two come from a different era and background. He lives in a countryside all his life, thinking that living a farming life with salary $50 a month is already fulfilling. But you, you graduate from university, working in the entirely different world from him. You must understand him”.
I don’t live in the West. But I heard the almost similar story with Muslim community in the west. There are some older generations with this thick back-home mentality on how muslims in the West should be and act like what they do in their homeland. And younger generations thinking these uncles are just too pie in the sky. Hmmm…..I won’t comment further about that.
How to Arm Yourself From Vampires
1) Supportive People Matters
You can arm yourself with positivity glowing from the inside. Like for example, reading self motivation books, or visualizing your goals over and over as if they have happened. But at times heart can be weary and fall. There is no way people can be positive all the time.
You heard it all the time : be careful who you choose to befriend with. There’s an Islamic parable that if you come near a perfume maker on his work you’ll go out bringing the fragrant of perfume. And if you come near a blacksmith on his work you’ll either catch his bad smell or fire sprinkles.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Have you ever heard the Law of Five? It is said that the 5 people who you spend the most time with (outside the family), or your 5 inner circle buddies, will shape your inner-being the most. Now evaluate this. Who are these 5 people around you, what are their traits, and how do they influence you or shape you?
These positive people can be from your mentor, pious people, wise people, successful people…Positive people can help you get up when you’re mentally fall, help you finding the hidden gem you never realize, and encourage you to better direction. So yes you can battle the vampires with your inner strength. But every battle consumes energy. So have positive people to recharge you back.
And once you find them, please don’t be a vampire to them! Don’t just come to them to complain or when you need them to do something for you, then disappear! That’s not friendship, that’s leeching. Give a value back, help them, be there when they need you…..then reap the reward.
2) Most People Doesn’t Really Give A Damn
It’s your life, not theirs. People don’t care so much about your own life. And even when we were resurrected after death we are alone. If you don’t follow your heart and your dreams, it will not be their lost, but your lost. It is you who will experience the pain, not them. And if you are successful, it is you who reap the rewards, not them. Now I don’t suggest you to be individualist. But it is your life : claim the whole responsibility of it. Control your own life, or let others control it. Your choice.