1. Protect yourself from their negativity
To protect yourself, in your imagination surround yourself with a shield. Use whatever metaphor works for you (e.g., surround yourself with rays of white light, place a glass cone around you, wear a breastplate). Another thing that works well is to imagine the person is speaking in that garbled tone like the American cartoon character ‘Charlie Brown’s teacher’ – so you are paying attention to them but letting the specifics of anything they say affect you. Cross your ankles and your arms to keep their negative energy out of your energy field.
2. Be thankful
Remember that the way that person talks to you is the way they talk to themselves all day long. So, be thankful that you only have to hear it a few hours a week/month/year, etc. rather than every minute of everyday like they have to! Think about when that person won’t be on the Earth anymore, and try to appreciate what you can about them for now.
3. Keep yourself cool, calm, and collected
Use ‘cooling breath’ to calm you down. Breathe in through your mouth as if you are sipping through a straw, and out through your nose. Notice how it gives you an instant ‘chill’.
4. Kill them with kindness
If you’ve given up on trying to improve the situation but still need to interact with that person use this strategy: Kill them with kindness. Don’t engage with them, just be kind so you don’t inflame their destructive behavior. Try to be genuine, at least as much as possible!
5. Sort out “your stuff” from “their stuff”
Know that what they say tends to be about them, rather than about you. You don’t feel heard or understood because they are stuck in outdated perceptions or an old story about you. The way they see you reveals more about where they are stuck than about what is factually true about you.
If you have grown and now see yourself more favorably than they see you, view this tension as a disappointment you are missing out on a more mutually satisfying relationship rather than as them deliberately being frustrating or critical. The best thing you can do is what you are doing now: create a new family of people you feel connected to, seen by, and enjoy. Once you feel satisfied in your life you will feel less pressure on others to validate you, and you can try to ‘keep the best and leave the rest’ when it comes to this person.
To be less upset about others’ behavior in the future, your mantra is “Accept others’ level of evolution… and work on your own!”
One of my favorite quotes is by Gertrude Stein: “the best revenge is a good life”.
– Sharon Melnick
You can download your copy of my free report Sleep Under Stress: 19 ways to Get to Sleep and Wake up Rested at http://www.sharonmelnick.com/sleep