Originally published in The Ascent on Medium in April 2020.
Photo by Helena Lopez on Unplash.
Relationships can be extremely tricky and difficult to navigate. There are so many mixed vibes that we attempt to process and act upon.
Do I focus my thoughts on this person, or do I not?
Do I spend my precious energy on them, or do I not?
Do I trust this person… or not?
Luckily, as humans, we have animal-instincts that give us the power to feel whether or not a relationship aligns with our vibration.
Think about it this way — when your dog starts growling at someone as they approach, or your cat curls up on someone’s lap and falls into a relaxing sleep, that behavior comes from tuning into their instinctual vibes.
We can learn a few things about approaching relationships from our pets.
Just like animals can sense danger, our very cells instinctually know what relationships are healthy versus which ones are toxic through energetic vibrations — it’s our design by nature.
Some relationships are constructive and energizing, while others are destructive and depleting.
We can feel it.
Every single relationship you have — friendship, romantic, spouse, coworker, parent, sibling — is an energetic connection and cohesion of energy. You are contributing your personal energy to them, and in turn, you are absorbing energy from their field.
Relationships, good or bad vibes, are an unavoidable energy exchange.
We can use our instincts to tune into these vibes if we listen to ourselves and trust our own intuition, just like our animal friends. These vibes are here to guide our relationship behaviors and how we interact with others.
However, we humans don’t have simple minds like our pets. We’re balls of extremely complex energy. Our heads and hearts get clouded. We also tend to overthink and overcomplicate things.
For example, sometimes we are wearing our rose-colored glasses and giving too many people the “benefit of the doubt”. Although their toxic behaviors scream to run the other way, we think they might just be going through a phase, or that we can fix them. More often than not, this is just to make ourselves feel like a “good” person.
Maybe you have already invested years of your life to someone and although your relationship has become unhealthy and disappointing, you feel like it’s too late to walk away. You just don’t want to hurt them, or you’re scared to keep evolving without them. If it’s a significant other, you might be scared to start over again. This person has ingrained themselves into your energetic field and you have let them become a permanent piece of your identity.
Other times, we know deep down we shouldn’t be involved with someone, but we feel “hooked”. Well, a hook is just a crafty manipulation tactic. Hooking is when someone knows all the right things to say in order to sink their vampire teeth into you and feast on your energy supply.
Maybe you just haven’t learned how boundaries work, and how important boundaries are to protect your health and well-being. If you don’t set boundaries, certain people will walk all over you, hook into you, suck you dry, and try to destroy your self-worth.
Or for some reason, we simply choose to ignore our instincts and brush them under the rug. This happens way more than we realize and can be an act of our subconscious. Some “thing” about someone might connect with you on a subconscious level. Maybe they have the life you dream of having, they remind you of someone from your past, or you have been feeling trapped in the ordinary and craving a thrill. There is just something about them.
And of course, the kicker is that you have a need to be liked or loved by everyone. Even if you don’t like someone and you know they’re not a good person, you want them to like you, nevertheless. You put more effort into winning the affection of others than you do respecting yourself and valuing your own self-worth. If anyone rejects you, you question your value.
I know first-hand how all of the above works out, and trust me, it’s not worth it. Destructive relationships are a quick way to completely dishonor and disconnect from your self.
In our reality, sometimes we are forced to interact with people who are destructive to our field because of an obligation.
Maybe you have a boss who thrives off belittling you, an entitled coworker who disrespects you, or an abusive family member who constantly causes you pain. The list goes on and on.
The reality of life is that we don’t always get to choose our relationships nor how they evolve.
However, it’s important to understand that we do have a choice to set personal boundaries in order to protect our energy and well-being. It’s our duty to decide what our role in the relationship is, or if we should be giving someone any of our precious energy at all.
Most importantly, often an “obligation” is an illusion or false expectation that needs to be carefully measured. You should not feel obligated to anyone who causes you harm unless they are your own dependent children, or your life truly depends on it.
Unhealthy relationships are extremely destructive if we don’t set boundaries. There are always boundaries that can be set.
When it comes to the relationships you can choose, like your best friends and partner, you should tune into your intuition by listening to your inner guide.
Curl up into those high-vibe relationships.
Find those relationships that feel like sunshine, so much so that you will want to curl up in their lap and take a catnap.
When you spend most of your energy and physical existence with someone, there should be a vibrational match that feels undeniably good. Not sometimes, but always… or at least 95% of the time (because we all have those bad days).
Everyone is tuned into a certain frequency. The goal is to surround yourself with people who keep you balanced in your natural frequency or uplift you into a higher one.
When your vibration aligns with someone else’s, they make you feel like the best version of yourself and you can be truly you around them, and vice versa. They don’t try to change you nor dim your inner light. You have soulful conversations, carry mutual respect, share deep compassion, honor open communication, and hold zero judgments.
You look at life through similar lenses, and together, you see brightness.
There will be certain high-vibe people who come into your life and make you feel absolutely amazing just by being around their presence. They will bring you positive outlooks, inspire you to make big leaps, and bring enlightenment.
They naturally bandage your wounds and help you heal.
Of course, it’s important that positive energies also flow from you onto them, as healthy relationships are an exchange of balanced energy at similar wavelengths. The energy flows in and out, both ways.
Sniff out those low-vibe relationships.
On the other hand, some people will come around and you will have the urge to growl or put your tail between your legs. These are the people who will make you feel drained, anxious, depressed, or uneasy — even when they don’t say a single word. That’s because you are feeling their energy field which is vibrating at a lower frequency, it’s an energetic cord.
You might walk on eggshells around them because you have to hide your true self and authentic feelings. They are judgmental and tend to turn everything against you. Even worse, you might find yourself strangely feeding them with compliments because you just want to be on their good side to avoid becoming their target.
There are also those fake friendships that are drowning in inauthenticity. We have all had one of those friends who just can’t stand to see you happy or successful… they rather mute you on social media than cheer you on; they prefer you at your lowest point where they feel “above” you. They are a great friend when you’re in a low place but a terrible friend when you’re at a high place. Basically, their own insecurities and unfulfilled desires are illuminated through you and it’s easier to block you out and try to drag you down, rather than look at themselves in the mirror and face their own shadows. It’s always a good time to cut the cord with these type of people.
Watch out for the energy vampires… narcissists. These are the people that intentionally stir up your energetic field and cause you pain to suppress their own. They will reel you in with emotional bait and gaslight you for fuel, just to gain control. Gaslighting is a form of psychological control and manipulation — when you confront a narcissist for hurting or disrespecting you, they will try to somehow shift blame onto you and distort past events to make you question your own reality. Their main goal is to alter your perception of reality to align with their ideal storyline to make you seem like the one at fault, all while trying to taint other’s perception of you too. The more openly you defend yourself, the more aggressively they will call you crazy.
Gaslighters will throw salt on your wounds to suppress their own pain. It’s a quick way to make the energy leak from your scars.
Ironically, these low vibration relationships can also bring enlightenment. You start learning to stop taking things personally when a person like this attacks and disrespects you. You realize their problems have nothing to do with you, but only with their own resentments, insecurities, and unhappiness.
You learn to honor yourself and shield your energy supply. You learn what not to be, and how to avoid others just like them in the future.
Hopefully, you learn how to set boundaries, or walk away and never look back.
Misery loves company.
It’s a cliche, but it’s the truth. This is the law of attraction and works this way because energy transfers and absorbs.
When you ignore your instincts and surround yourself by someone who is internally miserable and full of hate, you start carrying that same exact energy in your own field — you become the exact same. You absorb their resentments and perspectives. You take on their tainted beliefs and fears. People might see you in them, and them in you. It’s just the way energy works — it’s cohesion.
Do you want to be personally diminished by living in someones else’s agony?
Feeling someone else’s energy versus recognizing your own:
I must stress that there is a big difference between feeling someone else’s energy and perceiving someone a certain way through your own internalizations. Your personal beliefs, resentments, insecurities, jealousies, and projections should not be confused as someone else’s energy. All those things belong to you and make up your own personal energy.
For example, if you resent someone because they are successful and glowing in happiness, while you are in a low dark place, you will view them from your own resentful perception. You own your own emotions and thoughts, that’s your psyche and energy field, not anyone else’s.
The unspoken and unseen feeling of energy is universally felt and not personal. When someone walks into a room, everyone at a certain level of consciousness feels that person’s unique energy casting out from their field. It’s a vibe and can not be denied.
When people drop out of your life or you walk away, it’s because your vibrations are not complimentary. You live on different wavelengths, on different levels of consciousness, in which your perceptions and intentions just do not align. Sometimes the cohesion can be destructive.
When you outgrow a relationship, that means you’re evolving. It’s a good thing. Always be evolving and honoring your self.
People will flow in and out of your reality, just like the energy within and around you. Some will love you, and others will resent you, no matter what you do. It’s not personal, it’s energetic.
I used to get upset when I didn’t have “closure” on a relationship’s sudden ending; an ending without a big fight or deep adult-to-adult conversation about the situation. However, now I understand why this happens — the universe is kindly and swiftly removing destructive energy from your reality.
Closure isn’t real or tangible anyways. Sometimes it just … is.
There are 7.6 billion people in this world. Choose yourself first, and then use your instincts to choose wisely.
It’s as simple as that.