(This blog was originally posted on September 7, 2015)
|Image courtesy of Microsoft|
Every so often, we have to interact with somebody who holds very different beliefs than we do. In fact, this person seems so negative about absolutely everything that is suggested, we can’t wait to get as far away from this individual as we can, as fast as we can. Sometimes we even feel compelled to shoot back a few critical comments (in our defense) on the way out the door. To add insult to injury, we still sense that prickling cloud of negative energy swirling around this new environment long after we have achieved quite a bit of distance from the person. We wonder: Why did he say that? Why is she always so negative? Am I the only optimist left in the world?
The most effective defense against negativity is to simply not react to the criticism/insult or sarcastic comment. I know how hard this can be, especially when you must deal with that person on a regular basis (e.g., a colleague or family member). Remember: energy attracts like energy. When someone criticizes you in a non-constructive/mean way, the most effective way to defuse the negative situation is to smile and thank him or her for pointing “x” out to you. Then (politely) leave the conversation or room. If you cannot extricate yourself from the situation, imagine that the “criticism” or insult was spoken in a soft, gentle voice with loving words and try the following imagery exercises:
· Visualize, imagine, picture or pretend that you are wrapping delicate threads of protective energy around your body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. These threads are gold and silver light, thinner but stronger than anything that exists in the world. As they wrap around your body, you notice how relaxed you begin to feel; and the more relaxed you feel, the more patient and loving you are toward the person(s) who is hurting your feelings. With each deep breath you take, these strands of gold and silver light grow stronger and stronger and wind more tightly around your body to create an invisible shield that prevents any negative energy to attach itself to you. Each time you exhale, the negative energy bounces right off you and dissolves into the universe where it can no longer affect you or anyone else.
· Visualize, imagine, picture or pretend that you are surrounded by very powerful, invisible magnets. Usually, these magnets are used to attract positive energy and emotions and increase your self-confidence to motivate you as you pursue your goals. If/when you notice that you are surrounded by negativity or your subconscious mind gets stuck repeating a self-critical mental script, simply “reverse” those magnets to push the negative energy away from you.
There is no excuse for being rude or mean when you criticize someone. In an ideal world, a criticism is a teachable moment. Even if it is disappointing to learn that your brilliant idea has many flaws, if you correct those mistakes as suggested, your project could be great. Take a few deep breaths to tamp down that urge to protest in defense and give the other person the benefit of the doubt. No matter how the words came out or the tone of voice the person said it in, on second thoughts you may realize that he or she is speaking from personal experience and actually has your best interest at heart. And if this isn’t the case, feel confident and respect yourself to follow your original path to achieve your goal, your way.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy®, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/