How to Provide Support without Taking On the Negativity

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Have a friend or relative in need of your support? Sometimes providing emotional support to others can be tricky, especially for empaths and highly sensitive people. We can find ourselves on an emotional roller coaster ride with the person in need of our support.

And if we don’t stick to our boundaries, we find ourselves taking on the negative emotions of the other person. So what’s a healthy way to provide loving support without taking on negativity?

Practice the Law of Detachment.

Detachment is a loving gift we give not only to ourselves, but to others. Detachment with love is easier to practice when it comes to helping out casual friends. This is because we are not emotionally invested like how we would be with loved ones.

When detached, it’s easier to listen to other people being angry, judgemental, and worried without being affected. But if members of our close friends and family act the same way, it’s natural to get attached.

We sometimes take on their negative thought patterns and energy.

But we always have a choice. We all have free will to choose our response to other people’s moods and attitudes. At the end of the day, our choices help us create our own reality.

Detachment involves paying attention to our own energy before taking on someone else’s. When we are self-aware, we can see and hear negativity without becoming negative ourselves.

We don’t have to have a bad day just because the person we love is struggling. By simply holding space, we allow the other person to feel whatever they feel without interference.

Detaching with love allows us to let go our our expectations and need for control. In turn, we are better able to support others when we release our emotional hold over another person’s behavior and mood.

When practicing detachment, we acknowledge the risks to our own energetic well-being. We make choices to take care of ourselves in order to better help the situation.

Basically, put on our oxygen mask first before helping others put on theirs. By doing so, we can all make it through the turbulence.

Set energetic boundaries.

When we offer support to a person who is emotionally draining, we can put extra distance between ourselves and the situation by setting energetic boundaries. For instance, we can limit our contact with the person.

Setting energetic boundaries can also be done by simply setting our intention. We can say out loud or write down: “I release any energies that are not mine.”

Doing so allows us to detach from what we can’t control. More importantly, it helps you to accept that everything we feel is not always about us.

Build a high-vibe support system for yourself.

Sometimes, we are the ones needing support but our closest friends and family members just don’t get it. But when going through a huge life transition, it’s important to have a high-vibe support system for yourself.

Years ago, when I decided to leave my 9-5 job without another job lined up, I didn’t tell many people. I didn’t tell some of the people who were closest to me, including my parents. In fact, they didn’t even know I transitioned to part-time a full year prior to my decision.

When I resigned, I still kept my career decisions to a select number of friends and family. This went on for months until I transitioned well into the next chapter of my life.

It was a lonely and at times depressing journey.

How to Provide Support without Taking On the Negativity; provide support without taking on negativity, law of detachment, energetic boundaries

Yet, if I shared every thought and decision with people who do not resonate with my vision, it would have felt ten times lonelier.

I had a great support group nonetheless. But it was hard when that support group did not include people like my parents.

So why did I leave out some of my closest friends and family?

When it comes to milestone decisions, the people closest to you don’t always share your vision. They want what is best for you. In my case, it was job security and a way to cover the mortgage. But I was so miserable at my job that I knew job security wasn’t enough.

I couldn’t stand another day at the office. It drove me crazy to hear words of “encouragement” from those closest to me: “Stick it out, try to stay at least until you get another job, a job is just a job, no one has to love what they do”.

Such words of wisdom were all coming from a good place and well-intentioned. But it was adding so much extra weight to the overwhelm and frustration.

In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, it can get harder to hear your intuition.

Sometimes you focus all your energy on searching for answers outside when seeking validation from others. At the end of the day, you may have a collection of opinions but no clear solution.

I get it, it’s nice to have validation from people we love and respect. There may be moments when you just want someone to make the decision for you so you don’t have to blame yourself if things go south.

Who ought to be on your “board of directors”.

Selecting the right people to be part of your support group is not about choosing only those who will agree with everything you say or do.

It’s about selecting people who understand what you’re going through because they have gone through something similar. They are able to share their wisdom and lessons learned.

Your “board of directors” may include people who don’t have an emotional stake in your decisions. This can take the energetic pressure off of you.

Sometimes doing what is right for you feels conflicting.

Decisions around “white lies” can also be for the best, not just for you, but for others around you too. Otherwise, taking everyone on an emotional rollercoaster ride with you can be pretty exhausting for them.

For instance, one day I wanted to be a day trader, the next day, I wanted to teach yoga full-time. In between all of that, I was traveling the world and diving head first into the gig economy trying to figure it all out.

Supporting me each step of the way would have been emotionally depleting, especially for my friends and family members who are empaths.

Whether or not you are at a crossroads in your career or personal life, the solution to happiness has to come from within. It’s a challenging journey for good reason.

The reason why I even got to such a difficult crossroad was because I was doing what society expected of me. I placed too much weight on what friends and family would think. So it was time to get quiet and be internally guided.

Through the journey, I was able to create a clear action plan to financial freedom.

When it comes to manifesting financial breakthroughs, I knew I had to get clear on what I wanted in my work life and take inspired action in alignment with my soul purpose.

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How to Provide Support without Taking On the Negativity; provide support without taking on negativity, law of detachment, energetic boundaries