All of us have encountered a Sad Debby Downer in our lives. It can be easy to avoid this person or to withdraw yourself from their presence. However, what about situations when you cannot avoid them or take yourself physically from their presence?
Be careful in who you allow in your space. This is not just physically speaking but emotionally, mentally and psycho-spiritually. Why is it so important to guard your space? Remember a time when someone said something to you that just rubbed you the wrong way, or said something negative? Some words can stick to you like glue and seep into your energetic body. For some people, other people’s anger, sadness, or negativity or self-pity can take a while, sometimes minutes, hours or even a week to fade. What we want is to put a barrier between you and the other person’s issues and undesirable emotions even when you are around them.
Firstly, do not feel compassion. What?!!! Yes, she said it. Let us consider the definition of Compassion.
[kuh m-pash-uh n]
a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
There we have it! You are feeling passionate about the suffering of others. Passion can be interpreted as a “strong desire”.
What is the result of “feeling a deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune”? The result is that YOU end up feeling FOR them all the feelings of sympathy, sorrow, self-pity [even if well-justified if one can see it as such], sadness, negativity and all Debby-Downer emotions. Remember, emotions are simply energy in motion. E-motions are temporary and are fluid. They are not fixed nor permanent and we can control them.
Some may say that being empathetic and being an empath is a gift. What is that gift can sometimes serve as a curse? A curse to keep on feeling and taking on the emotions of others even when their emotions are negative and can serve to our own detriment. Empathizing can have undesirable impacts on us to the extent that we feel so much for the person that our own positivity and higher energetic level is lowered. How are we of any help to the other person or ourselves in that case? Perhaps in feeling their pain and taking on their negative emotions increases our ego and that we are a rescuer.
However if a person is in a place of self-pity, negativity and depression and you are feeling that for the person and sitting there empathizing with them then you also feel those same emotions even though you have not going through the same thing as them. Therefore, your energetic level will decrease or at least be shifted to feeling their reality which is in fact not your reality.
The solution she proposes? Do not take on the negative emotions of other people. Instead try to translate that negativity into positivity for that person. When they say something negative try to come back with something positive to say or to help them see through a more positive perspective. If you are encountering their negative emotions, you may block off those negative emotions however, having something positive to counteract that negativity which you are blocking off, is probably even more potent.
Henceforth, when dealing with someone who is sad and out- as Oprah said “Do not go there with them”. See things like perceived obstacles, hardships etc., as blessings in disguise. That work or career that “sucks” may be offering you an opportunity to change what you hate doing for a living. How can you get the job of your dreams if you just simmer in the job or career you hate? Maybe your sucky job provides you the time to plan for your next job or career move or even business. Did you have a burnout? Maybe it is time to re-evaluate your lifestyle, life balance and look at what is not working in your life [Example: over-burdening yourself, over-working, going too fast, impatience etc). This is a way to turn a negative situation into a positive one for yourself.
When you offer other people and yourself a solution, this may be a more productive way of lifting yourself up and out of situations and to help others out of their own situation. Offer a positive solution to a negative problem. Do not feel negative and even self-pity for yourself! Do not sit there and stay in negativity nor get others meddled in it nor do you get meddled with the negativity of others! Transform it into something that works good for you! Start viewing problems as things to overcome to become stronger, to turn it for your good!