Easily Influenced By Negativity of Others

I’m finding it really hard to maintain my inner peace and balance around negative people and circumstances, and it’s particularly hard right now with the whole political divide thing – people are downright mean right now!  My question is, how do I stop being so affected by the negative energy of those around me?

Sarah, Wisconsin

Hi Sarah,

The answer to your question lies in your own alignment and connection with yourself, as well as where you are focusing your attention.  In short, when our attention is placed within, nothing “without” or outside of us can harm us.  This isn’t just spiritual fluff, talk to any person who consciously practices and makes going within a priority, they’ll tell you they are a lot less influenced by the thoughts, words and actions of others.  And when you allow yourself to spend more time paying attention to the negativity around you, reading about it, listening to people who complain a lot or are negative, etc. more than you are focusing on going within yourself, yes, inner peace and balance does indeed become jeopardized.  There are many approaches to this, as you can imagine, but I’m going to offer you the most direct and effective one that I am aware of, and that is to: a) engage in daily practices and surround yourself with people and resources that support and are in alignment with who you really are, and b) be very aware (and honest) about where you’re allowing your attention to be placed.

The daily practices part is huge – if you are not giving yourself this gift already, I urge you to do so immediately.  Miraculous things come from this alone.  Meditating, journaling, practicing daily gratitude, yoga, etc. are all wonderful ways to “go within” and connect with who you really are.  But the real magic of this lies not in what you are doing but in the commitment, consistency and discipline of engaging in these practices each and every single day.  I wake up before my husband and daughter each day, and trust me I am not a morning person, just so I can make sure I get my practices in.  I do this because I see how it impacts the flow of the rest of my day, as well as how I show up in it and how I interact with others.  And when I don’t do it, or skip a day or two, I feel it.  In other words, I notice I am more easily influenced by others and find it more difficult to maintain a sense of peace and balance.

Also, get into the habit of asking yourself if where you are currently placing your attention is serving you.  And if it’s not, consciously choose to shift your focus.  I know there has been a lot of disagreement and negativity on facebook, for example, so much so that people are even “un-friending” those who hold different political viewpoints.  If you’re reading these posts and are noticing that it doesn’t feel good to read them, it’s in fact messing with your bliss, then simply stop reading them.  It really can be that simple.

Try these two things, Sarah, and I bet you will begin to see a difference immediately.  Good luck and enjoy!


(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching, www.gowithincoaching.com, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling.  She can be reached at Nova@theglobalconversation.com. )

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