Sunday, September 9, 2007

Deflecting Negativity

This weekend was great - I celebrated my wedding anniversary, had an amazing dinner at the best French restaurant ever, and enjoyed a baseball game with the spouse. But this blog isn't about my lovely experiences. Heck, what else are blogs good for if not to vent?

I have worked very hard to keep people who give off "bad vibes" out of my life. In fact, I lecture my friends about staying away from these types of people on a regular basis. It's amazing what draw and lure these sorts of people have, though. I have one "friend" in particular who fits the bill. She is rarely in my life (none of you who are reading this are this friend! duh!) and has very little influence on me.

But I admit it - I am drawn to her like a bee to honey. Her drama is infectious. Perhaps because I do my best to keep all drama out of my when someone has so much of it it's just too much to look away from. Sort of like my addiction to or Everyone's trash is so much better than my very quiet life.

This week I shared dinner with her. I went into the affair chanting to myself, "I will not let her effect my state of being." But as the conservation wore on, I found myself complaining about things I don't normally complain about, and listening to her gossip with nodding approval. When I left her, I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why did I feel so bad about seeing someone who is supposedly my friend? What is it about her that makes me feel worthless?

I asked my spouse what he thought and he said he doesn't think he would be friends with her because she's selfish. My best friend, who has met her, also said she's bad news. Which is why I limit my meetings with her to one or two a year. She is somewhat of a colleague so for it's important we hang out. But on the same hand, I also don't want to look like her "best friend" because I think other people see her in the same light. One of my other best friends on campus avoids her like the plague, and she is someone I hold in high regard.

So what did I learn from this week's dinner date? That I need to be a stronger person and not get sucked into other people's dirt. It's so very hard to say to someone "look, let's talk about positive stuff" when they're in the middle of bitching about their financial situation or coworker. It's not that I mind if my best friends are complaining about these topics...but with her, everything is so one-sided. Part of me also thinks that I need to cut her out of my life completely without making it obvious (ie saying I have other commitments if she asks me out).

But I won't. Why? Because I also need to learn to deal with people like her...because in my field, that's how the majority of people act. I simply need to hover above all the drama and learn to deflect negativity. To walk out of dinner dates like that unscathed. I need to toughen up! So here's to yet another 2007 resolution that hopefully I can keep.

1 comment:

Phoenix said...

It's tough not to get sucked into the vacuum of somebody's negative energy. I may or may not have spelled vacuum incorrectly. I'm tired. But the point does require strength, and discipline, to hold your own energy and stick to it, if that makes sense. You are a very empathic person, so maybe it comes easier for you to get caught up with what's going on with other people. This is a huge strength of yours -- but treat it with respect, and don't reward just anyone with it. It sounds like this colleague doesn't deserve it -- and I call that conservation of energy, pure and simple. She doesn't deserve any energy from you that you would put forth about her drama, and she obviously doesn't have any interest in changing her life for the better. Stay strong, girl. I support you. :)