Building Healthy Relationships (Pt. 4)
Avoiding Negative Energy
What is negative energy? The answer to that question depends on religious and philosophical views. Whether one views positive/negative energy as a part of a metaphysical life source or a cognitive and behavioral choice, negative energy is powerful. It impacts the emotional and mental atmosphere in which it is present.
Characteristics of negative people include complaining, being judgmental, critical, rudeness, condescending, complacent, apathetic, gossiping, dishonest, and/or discouraging. While some would just dismiss negative energy as a part of one's personality, if analyzed thoroughly, it becomes evident that negative energy is actually a personality disorder. For some religious disciplines, it could even be considered sinful behavior and attitude. Whatever the view, negative people create toxic environments. Toxic environments are harmful, sometimes detrimental to its occupants.
1. Negative energy is harmful to one's physical health. "In a long-term study that followed more than 10,000 subjects for an average of 12.2 years, researchers discovered that subjects in negative relationships were at a greater risk for developing heart problems, including a fatal cardiac event, than counterparts whose close relationships were not negative." (Carter, 2011). Toxic relationships have been linked to heart problems, weight gain, inflammation, and weakened immune systems.
2. Negative energy is harmful to one's emotional health. Toxic people create demeaning, uncertain environments that is harmful to feelings of self-worth, pursuit of dreams, and emotional stability.
3. Negative energy is harmful ton one's cognitive health. "Negative attitudes can also affect your intelligence and ability to think — according to Dr. Travis Bradberry, negativity compromises the effectiveness of the neurons in the hippocampus — an important area of the brain responsible for reasoning and memory." (Kaplan, 2016). Just watch the difference in academic performance among children from toxic home environments and children from healthy home environments to see the impacts of negativity.
Some how does one avoid toxic relationships. First, don't get involved in one. If see warning signs, then run and burn the bridge. However, if already involved, it is important to escape and establish preventative measures. To make wise relationship choices:
- a.) one must understand them self. Know your attachment style and attraction vibes. If those pose a problem, seek help in taking control and creating healthy attractions and attachments.
- b.) Be honest and speak the truth. Do not sugar coat issues in order to preserve relationships. Speak the truth in love. Speak your feelings and ideas with respect to others, but do not compromise or allow others to mistreat you.
- c.) Recognize red flags and make the necessary adjustments.
- d.) Know that it is ok to walk away. Burn bridges if needed. Begin brand new and learn from mistakes.
- e.) Most importantly, set boundaries. Before going into any relationship, write down expectations, deal-breakers, and relationship philosophies. Articulate clearly those things to any potential relationship candidates, whether it be friends, romantic, and even family relationships.
When trying to get out of a toxic relationship, if it has become volatile, seek emotional and legal support.
Carter, Sherrie Bourg (2011). The hidden health hazards of toxic relationships. PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/high-octane-women/201108/the-hidden-health-hazards-toxic-relationships
Kaplan, Elle (2016). Why negative people are literally killing you (and how to protect your positivity). THE MISSION. Retrieved from: https://medium.com/the-mission/why-negative-people-are-literally-killing-you-and-how-to-obliterate-pessimism-from-your-life-eb85fadced87