Table of contents:
- What if you are the same person who has a strong empathy and who is forced (for example, at work) to regularly communicate with "vampires" / "toxic people"? How to avoid "emotional intoxication" or at least reduce it? Here are some guidelines
- 1. Minimize contact
- 2. Use intermediaries
- 3. Avoid triggers
- 4. Separate flies from cutlets
- 5. Find the pros
- 6. Adjust breathing and posture
- 7. Dissolve the situation
- 8. Rebalance
Video: 8 Ways To Emotionally Detoxify - Self-development
What if you are the same person who has a strong empathy and who is forced (for example, at work) to regularly communicate with "vampires" / "toxic people"? How to avoid "emotional intoxication" or at least reduce it? Here are some guidelines
1. Minimize contact
The less you associate with the "emotional vampire," the better. Even if you have to do this out of work, try to talk as little and as little as possible. Sometimes simple goal setting helps a lot, for example, instead of three meetings a day, limit yourself to two and instead of 15 minutes of conversation, try to keep within 10.
Try to shorten the communication time under any plausible excuse. Cite, for example, that you have an urgent job or that you have a next appointment. Artificially create a shortage of time when communicating with "vampires" - then there is a possibility that they will simply have to speak quickly and to the point. This does not always save them from non-verbal expression, but, perhaps, they simply do not have enough time for verbal "shower".
2. Use intermediaries
When dealing with emotional vampires, mediated communication is always better than direct communication. This means that if there is even the slightest opportunity, then instead of personal communication with such people, always choose communication by phone, using e-mail, chat on social networks or correspondence in instant messengers. Even communication on the phone (not to mention correspondence) significantly weakens the power of negative expression on the part of the "vampire". At least we don't see him, which means that his "body language" does not affect us.
Other people can be a good medium of indirect communication. It is possible that there are strong people among your loved ones or colleagues who have more emotional resistance to emotional contamination. These people can be used as "messengers" (who instead of you can communicate some news to a person to whom you are emotionally vulnerable), "intermediaries" or simply as a "support group".
Sometimes even the mere presence of such emotionally strong allies around you when you are communicating with an "emotional vampire" helps very well. With their support, you will be less susceptible to negative "emotional contagion."
3. Avoid triggers
If the "emotional vampire" is a neurotic person and his negative expression is a compulsive (obsessive, not consciously controlled) pattern of behavior, then he probably has established topics of conversation that trigger the toxic process. This is a "fix idea", "fad", "pet peeve". One has only to inadvertently touch on this topic, as the "vampire" can no longer be stopped.
For example, I had an acquaintance, an entrepreneur, whose "fad" was the obsession that there are no honest and decent people, and everyone is cheating and stealing. He was a prudent and sane person, but as soon as he inadvertently mentioned someone's decency, the interlocutor was immediately bombarded with an hour-long lecture full of bile about what bastards are all around. It is clear that after such a conversation, the mood was seriously and permanently ruined.
Stick to a very simple rule: if you know about the "fad" of the "emotional vampire" you know, don't provoke him! Avoid triggers whenever possible, and generally learn to gently change the topic of conversation if you notice that the other person is moving in a dangerous direction.
4. Separate flies from cutlets
In any communication there is a content side, but there is a formal one; there are facts and there are opinions; there is useful information, and there are "emotions not in the business." Communication with an "emotional vampire" is dangerous because he tries to pull your attention from the content of communication to the impression he makes (his assessments and opinions, "emotions are not relevant").
You can protect yourself from this if you focus in advance on the content side of communication. Give yourself a directive: “Flies separately, cutlets separately! I will filter everything, I will ignore emotional provocations, but I will not miss useful information! " Set a clear inner boundary that will allow you to stay rational, get yours out of the conversation and not get involved in someone else's negativity.
5. Find the pros
Communication with "emotional vampires" is dangerous because it can provoke an escalation of negative experiences. It can happen like this: you are communicating with a "vampire"; he loads you with some bad news that makes you upset; after a while you realize that you are angry with the person who ruined your mood; and then suddenly you find that you are annoyed with yourself because you fell for these "vampire things".
Generalization of negative emotions occurs, they spread and intensify, and as a result, everything around begins to be perceived in dark colors. How do you stop this escalation? It makes no sense to be angry with the "vampire", you better just forgive him. At least this: "Well, a sick person, why take offense at him ?!" Better yet, keep the "image of a good person" in your head.
Surely, after all, the "vampire" has some positive aspects of his personality, for sure there is some benefit to you from communicating with him. Find something you can be grateful for this person for and “let go” of the negative emotions associated with him. Forgive him and do not multiply resentment and anger.
If you nevertheless underwent emotional infection and realized this, then act in the same way in relation to yourself - forgive yourself, smile and promise not to step on this rake next time.
6. Adjust breathing and posture
If you feel that during a conversation with an "emotional vampire" you succumb to his expression and your mood deteriorates, focus on your bodily sensations. Are you tense or relaxed? How firm are you on your feet? How well do you feel the ground with your feet? Is your back straight? Are your shoulders extended? How do you breathe: deeply, evenly and calmly?
Negative emotions in communication are manifested as muscle stiffness (tightness, a desire to cringe, "cottoniness" in the body, etc.). The nature of our breathing also changes, it becomes more superficial and quickened. The easiest way to avoid "vampire infection" and regain control over your emotional state is to consciously self-regulate your breathing and posture. Breathe freely and deeply; better use "abdominal" (diaphragmatic) breathing. Try to relax tense areas of your body. Get into a more relaxed and comfortable posture that helps you feel stronger.
7. Dissolve the situation
This technique is used in psychodrama and role-playing training. For example, a person plays the role of some villain. After the scene is played, the person must “take off” the role, get rid of all the negative that could be brought into his personality by this role.
To do this, they usually offer to sit in a comfortable position, relax and calm down, breathe deeply for a couple of minutes, and then say loudly and clearly (better aloud, but if this is not possible, you can also silently): “The role is gone, but I stayed. I am no longer a villain, I am Vasya Ivanov again (substitute your name). I am me. I was, is and will be only Vasya, and no one else."
In a similar way, you can "remove" from yourself any negative emotions, especially those brought in from the outside. After talking with the "vampire", find a quiet place and take a couple of minutes to calm down a little. Then say something like: “This is not my negative, and I do not need it. He does not belong to me, and let him return to the one from whom he came. And I remain myself, calm, strong and happy without this negative. " Of course, this is a conditional formula, and you can customize the "spell" so that it is more effective for you.
No one is safe from collisions with "emotional vampires". Everyone has periods of emotional vulnerability, such as when we are very tired or have recently experienced grief. Even if you are a very strong person, "emotional contamination" can still happen.
It is important to understand that very few people succeed in “living positively” all the time, but maintaining a balance between negative emotions (your own and brought from outside) and positive experiences is simply necessary to maintain mental health.
Therefore, after dealing with "emotional vampires" or "toxic people" restore emotional balance! Treat yourself, switch to something positive. Find an activity in which you plunge headlong, forgetting about any troubles, feeling alive and filled with joy. And the more such happy moments in your life there will be, the stronger you will be and the more invulnerable to any "vampires"!
See also: On toxic emotions