What To Do When Someone Else Is Having A Meltdown
Recently, a reader asked me, “If you are in a room and someone is exuding negative energy, how can you avoid being affected by it without leaving the room?”
It’s a spiritual principle that other people are allowed to have their own thoughts, emotions, opinions, feelings and process.
As my tai chi teacher once said, “Other people get to do whatever they want – you just don’t want to be there when it happens!”
Sooner or later we find ourselves in the presence of a person who is having a meltdown. Here are a few suggestions of how to use energy medicine to handle the situation skillfully:
- Visualize a bubble around yourself. Fill the inside of the bubble with golden light – the most healing color. Visualize a mirror on the outside of the bubble. Silently affirm, “Nothing comes in and nothing goes out of my energy field except unconditional love.”
- People who are upset engage in a variety of energetic defenses. They may withdraw. They may send out unspoken barbs. They may radiate frustration, anger and negativity. They may also send out energetic tentacles to suck your energy. Or all the above! Before you can respond appropriately, you have to figure out what the other person is doing.
- If the person is withdrawing, allow the individual to go into their own experience. Allow the energy to pass you by. Don’t try to fix it, engage with it or comment on it. Just allow the person to feel whatever they are feeling.
- If the person is sending unspoken barbs towards you, you have a choice. One choice is to allow the energy to pass you by without responding. Another choice is to speak heart to heart. “How can I best love and support you right now?” is a very good question to ask at times like this. Heart to heart is always a great way to communicate, as we come from true compassion when we speak through our heart.
- If the person is simmering with anger, frustration or negativity, allow the other person to have their own space. Stay in your own center. This is easier to do if you visualize your own hara line – the main energy current in your body – connecting from the earth vertically through you all the way up to God. Stay grounded. Keep breathing and know that emotions are just energy in motion. Just because a person is upset in this moment doesn’t mean they will stay that way forever.
- If the person feels like they are sucking your energy, see if you can feel where they are drawing from in your own mind and body and visualize a screen between yourself and the person.
- If a person lets you know they are feeling wounded, you can reduce their pain and suffering by acknowledging how they are feeling or thinking. Many people are afraid to do so because they think they have to take personal responsibility. This is not the case. “I am sorry you are feeling (whatever emotion they have told you they are feeling). I am sorry you are thinking (whatever they are thinking). That must be really difficult right now.” Let the other person know you understand and care about how they feel or what they think. A good rule of thumb is that women’s deepest needs are for their feelings to be cared about. Men want their thoughts to be respected. When you acknowledge how other people feel and think, you defuse the energy and meet the other person’s basic needs.
- Set your intention not to get drawn into the other person’s drama. A great metaphor for this is to imagine that you are dealing with someone who has fallen into the river. If you fall in the river with them, you can’t be any help and then both of you are struggling. On the other hand, if you stay on the bank, you may be able to throw out a life line and pull them back to shore safely.
- Finally, send the other person love and light. You don’t need to see him or her as broken. In your own mind, see the other person as exactly where they need to be on their spiritual path in this moment. Bless them and bless their path.
Staying neutral while other people are upset is a gift both to yourself and others. When you stay in your own center, they have the opportunity quite literally to synchronize with your own personal heart-mind coherence. That is why learning how to maintain your own inner peace may be one of the greatest gifts you give yourself and the world at large.