Relationships & Energy: Look for a Charge, Not a Drain

Filed in Who Supports Your Writing Dreams? by on June 8, 2011 • views: 417

Premature instinctsI was fortunate enough to talk with three people today who were full of energy and passion for what they do in life.

I love talking to people like that, because they charge me up. I feel like a new battery just out of the package and go after my own projects with twice the zip.

Going after our dreams and following the inner voice takes one thing above all others—energy.

I’m sure you already know that being around positive people brings you up, and negative people bring you down. But when was the last time you checked to see how many of each kind of interaction—positive and negative—you have on any given day?

The more positive ones, the more energy you’ll have. The more negative, the less energy—and the less you will believe in your own capabilities to make things happen.

How to Deal with People in Our Lives that Drain Our Energy?

Buoyed by my own jolt of feel-good interactions today, I start to wonder how I might have more like them, and less of the kind that make me feel like taking a nap.

Unfortunately, I have my share of those, too. There are certain people in my professional life that, no offense to them, have the energy of turtles, approaching everything they do in slow and deliberate manner.

I have others who are alligators, lying in wait like logs until something makes them mad and they open their mouths and hiss.

I notice myself bouncing into my interaction with them like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, then walking away with my head drooping between my knees like Eeyore.

We can’t change the people in our lives who drain us of energy. The responsibility lies square on our shoulders to figure out how to best deal with them in ways that are kind, but that don’t pull us down.

When You Can’t Avoid Them…

I did some research on this, because frankly, I have only one coping technique, and it’s not always the best: avoidance.

I simply try to stay away from people that leave me sleepy or irritated, but there are times when it’s just not possible.

If you work with the person, for instance, or if he/she is a member of your family, it can be difficult to always run the other direction when you see him/her approaching.

Here are three tips I found that may be helpful.

Encourage the positive.

Say you’re talking to one of those people who can’t say anything good. Everything is bad. You don’t have to be rude. Simply nod and say things like, “I see,” and “Hmm.”Keep your comments short.

If the person says something positive, however, shift gears and encourage him/her with questions and enthusiastic responses. Everyone likes to share a conversation.

If you refrain from engaging in negativity and provide only short, one-to-two word answers, the conversation will have to either die or take a new direction, both of which are preferable to staying in the negative.

Avoid the trigger topics.

If you have an Uncle Ned, for example, who’s usually a sweetheart but turns into a growling, complaining party pooper whenever he talks about politics, try to avoid that topic.

It may be difficult, as sometimes people actually enjoy spouting off about their favorite subjects.

Introduce a new topic—something you know your uncle feels positive about. Try a couple times. If that doesn’t work, try shifting the mood of the conversation. Get up and walk around. Suggest a different activity.

Anything to break up the gradual descent into the dirt.

Be aware of how much time you’re spending with the downers.

We humans are extremely adaptable. We get used to things really quickly. Unfortunately, that means you may have gotten used to being around those low-energy folks.

I’ve experienced this before—operating at half-power for so long that I forget what it feels like to really rev up the engine.

When was the last time you felt excited, bubbly, and enthusiastic about getting up the next day? Whom you’re interacting with on a regular basis could have a lot to do with that.

Finally, do what you can to meet new people and bring them into your circle of regular interactions. When you find those positive, passionate people, they make you feel like you can do anything—a definite must for anyone dedicated to following the inner voice.

© Luisafernandab2002 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

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