Who are the people that block your joy and make you feel stressed?
Re-evaluate relationships that are blocking your joy. Empaths and highly sensitive people are susceptible to feeling the energy of other people, especially negative energy. We can walk into a room and feel the tension. But, we often second-guess ourselves. Empaths like to give people the benefit of the doubt. We think to ourselves, “Look, she’s smiling and saying nice things. She’s okay.” However, our intuition, the signals in our body, say something different. Our heartrate quickens, our muscles tense and we breathe more shallow. Pretty soon, we begin to feel a headache, or nauseous. Maybe we feel tired.
I was so good at ignoring my body’s signals that I would totally dismiss those feelings. It would make me mad at myself for getting anxious and I would shame myself for being so weak. Sometimes, I would try to prepare ahead of time by taking ibuprofen or using essential oils for muscle tension. I didn’t understand why I felt anxious. Most of the time, the relative that made me anxious was perfectly lovely. He made me laugh and we had fun. But, still, I had that nervousness before and during our visits.
Now, I know why. My relative was judgmental and critical. He didn’t really say it outright. It was more in the anecdotal stories he told about other people or the way he judged other people in his life. I could feel that he was judging me negatively and I knew he was telling these same stories about me behind my back. I ignored it because I don’t like confrontation. If I ignored it, it would go away. (At least that’s what I thought.) But, it didn’t go away. It only got worse and our relationship ended in a giant betrayal.
What to do if a coworker, friend, neighbor or family member constantly ruins your happiness
- Love them from afar- I first heard Lisa Nichols say this on a podcast and it made me realize, I don’t have to spend a lot of time with people that aren’t supportive and let me be myself. I can see them on holidays or special occasions and be kind and gracious, but the rest of the time, I can distance myself.
- Set boundaries- Decide what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad. Calmly let the person know that you don’t like it when they do the thing that makes you upset. Let them know that you can’t be around them when they do that thing. ” It makes me upset when you criticize my marriage.” Give a consequence. “If you do it again I will have to leave.” Then, follow through.
- Take them out of your life- If a person knowingly continues to cross your boundaries, you may have to stop all contact, at least for a little while. If you have to choose between your mental health and pleasing the other person, choose you.
How to decide if someone in your life is blocking your joy
Sometimes empaths and highly sensitive people have gotten so good at ignoring their feelings, that you might think you’re the problem. You might deal with shame and feeling unworthy. But, if you are willing to learn, grow and change, you probably are not the problem.
1. How do you feel around this person? Name the feeling.
-resentful -stressed -tense
-angry -tired -judged
-anxious -rebellious -criticized
2. Do you behave in ways that are not normal to you?
-You say things you normally wouldn’t
-You get quiet
-You act childish, violent or angry (family members can especially trigger these)
3. Do the feelings stay with you long after you are with them?
-You take the feelings out on others
-You feel the residual tension for days
Get Support for your well-being
Re-evaluate relationships that are blocking your joy. If you need support setting boundaries and deciding what to do about the people that are blocking your joy, I offer one on one coaching and a group program. You can check those out here.
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