I was having a conversation with my younger brother on self-reliance and how to get rid of energy vampires, that is, energy suckers, in our lives. He remarked that I always seem to be strong and it's like I'm never affected by anything negative that goes on around me.
I was happy to hear this statement coming from him because it meant I am setting a good example to him. I also had to be honest with him because the truth is, I am human and I get affected by negativity; I've just mastered the art of managing it.
Just like allergies are managed, negative vibes can be managed too. We cannot always control what goes on in our environment but we can control how it affects us. I define an energy vampire as somebody who sucks my energy dry, leaving me exhausted or drained. This can be a friend, relative, a partner, or even a total stranger.
So how exactly do I deal with them? First, I have a strong support system. A place that I can vent at any time and not get judged. My mum and family have been my greatest support system yet. And they will not only listen, but also offer a solution. So, get a strong support system; if not family, a good friend that you can rely on or even a partner. Analyze what works for you.
Second, I have learned to work on my emotional intelligence. How so? At times I get attacked on social media by people that I don't know and I have never met. This used to strongly affect me and I would take time and respond to all of them. However, this did me no good and left me feeling drained and even second-guessing myself. I then trained myself to hit the ignore button. Immediately, I realize that a post has no good intention, I simply choose not to finish reading it, however tempting it may be.
Third, social media at times sucks the energy out of me without my knowledge. So, once in a while, I deactivate all my social media pages in what is referred to as social media detoxification. This gives me time to reflect, recalibrate and plan my life without any external interference.
Fourth, I have learned the benefit of being self-reliant and having a thick skin. This is something that I continue to work on every day. Being self-reliant means doing things and making decisions by myself, without needing other people to help me. I understand that no man is an island and this applies to me too. As mentioned earlier, I have a support system that I turn to when I reach my breaking point and they almost always come through for me.
To be self-reliant, you have to trust yourself. You have to accept yourself; glows, flaws and anything in between. And you have to do you as opposed to pleasing others.
Lastly, I try to invest in myself whenever I can. I read books, watch movies, learn cooking, do photoshoots, and what not. Basically things that make me a better person.
These are my ways of keeping myself sane; get what works for you, and focus on you.