10 Tips for Dealing with Energy-draining People

If the path you walk is clean and clear, it’s probably someone else’s path.
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Janeth, one of my readers of many years, is twenty-eight years old. She shared something with me that she’d kept to herself for a long time:

“I’ve been following your Facebook page for a long time. I like to read the articles you publish there in my free time, but also your responses to the comments people leave. And several of your ideas have changed my life. I dreamed up my own success.”

Janeth completed her studies to become a nurse. She enjoyed caring for others. However, because her salary was too low, she had no choice but to leave the healthcare sector.

“A friend with back issues once asked me for a massage. It was something I had learnt at secondary school. When his condition improved, I realized this was exactly what I wanted to do. But it’s not cheap to open a massage studio.”

And then it started.

“I started to work in business. I took an 8am to 5pm office job. At nights, I had a second job delivering pizza. Plus, I continued studying two days a week. When my friends were at the pool or in the park, I was working. When they were going out in the evening, all I wanted to do was sleep. There was a moment when I wanted to give up. I thought it was all for nothing, and I felt that I couldn’t keep up the pace much longer. But I continued to read your articles, and stories of people who hadn’t given up in moments like that, and kept going…”

Today, Janeth owns a massage studio in Manchester and employs several people. She specializes in treating clients who have been turned away elsewhere. For instance, she treats people with health difficulties, and those who need massages but are highly ticklish. This is the here-and-now that she might not have experienced, had she given up.

During personal encounters, public readings, and long-distance consultations, you often ask me how to fend off doubt, especially when people around you, for whatever reason, try to talk you out of your ambitions, or fail to understand what matters to you.

Here’s some food for thought.

  1. Imagine your life like a book, and your here-and-now as one of the chapters in the middle of it. How can anyone but you understand your entire story by casually reading one paragraph? Too many people judge others on just a single chapter.
  2. It’s ok to live a life that others don’t understand. It’s not their life, their vision, or their values.
  3. Those who blindly follow the crowd can never go any further than the crowd goes. Only people who are brave enough to walk their own path discover new places. That’s why we should accept that others may think our ambitions or achievements are unbelievable, dubious, or unrealistic. Because they only walk the well-trodden paths.
  4. Only people in the crowd know what should change. People outside of it know what could be changed, too.
  5. We all need to remain humble enough to realize that we’re not better than anyone else, but wise enough to know that we’re different.
  6. Never compare your life to the life of others. And never judge them. You have no idea what other people have been through. They might’ve worked very hard for things that, to you or me, seem easy to achieve. Whether they’re within the crowd or stood outside it, it’s their choice.
  7. Vice versa. Whatever other people think about us isn’t our problem, it’s theirs. And there’s very little we can do about it. Positive people will always see you in a positive light. Conversely, negative people will see you in a negative light. As such, whatever other people think of you, or say about you, comes from their own experience. It does, in fact, have very little to do with you.
  8. You’re the only person with the power to create or destroy your inner happiness. When I fail to understand things that happen in my life, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and admit there’s something bigger than me. And I say to myself:

“I know that the things I’m experiencing are Your plan. I want nothing more than Your help through this.”

By the way, the answer has never been “No“…

  1. When you don’t understand what’s happening in your life, try not to think about it too much. It’s ok if you don’t have all the answers, all the time. This is why we live for longer than just a single moment. Answers come at just the right time – usually when you grow through patience and humility, and receive them.
  2. Every moment in life can be likened to archery. Give it your best shot. And then let it go. Don’t try to catch up with the arrow and change its trajectory. It’s impossible. If it’s pre-destined to hit the target, it will do. If not, you can try again, every single day.

People often write to ask for advice. They forget that they don’t need any. All they need is faith to support them, an ear to hear them, and a heart to understand them. They know their path best. And they can succeed on their own. Just like Janeth. Just like so many of us.

Let’s try to keep the following two things in mind as we live our lives:

– If you’re alone, be careful what you think.

– If you’re with someone, be careful what you say.

© From my heart, Petr Casanova