Subtle mental organization: how to protect a vulnerable person


“I live with the feeling that I am special. I can sense the sadness or the state of happiness without words in people I know, and even in strangers. I feel subtly, I cry over every sad film, and even with joy sometimes I also cry together … with the actors. But, to be honest, such a delicate mental organization really hinders me in life. I would like to make it “thicker”, so as not to storm from everything around … “- writes 40-year-old Larisa.

Many psychologists agree that we are talking about the innate properties of the psyche and nervous system. These can be exacerbated by childhood trauma and subsequent negative experiences. The good news is that the brain, like other parts of the body, can be “trained” to a certain extent. So, using certain techniques, we can learn to defend ourselves from the influence of someone else’s mood and emotions.

1. Distance. We already know how to maintain social distance due to the coronavirus. Negative emotions, figuratively speaking, are also something of an infection. Therefore, it is better to keep a distance from their source. If at a work meeting you are offered a seat next to a toxic colleague, and an obsessive gossip neighbor materializes in the supermarket queue nearby, make sure to change seats or move away.

2. Meditation. This does not necessarily mean that you have to sit cross-legged with a gracious smile on your face. Buddhist teachers have repeatedly emphasized that you can meditate anywhere, anytime. Before a tense meeting, in transport or at the dinner table. To do this, you just need to transfer attention to your body.

If you are eating and an annoying relative still “sat on her ears”, concentrate on the taste of the dishes, on each piece that gets into your mouth. The easiest and most convenient practice is concentration on the breath. You can start monitoring your in-breaths and out-breaths, saying to yourself: “inhale – exhale.”

You can also imagine that the negative you have absorbed is a dark cloud, imagine it somewhere in the body. By releasing air, you send it outward and away from you.

3. Visualization. Another way is to literally imagine the guards protecting your borders. To do this, you can “prepare” in advance an image that is easy to recall from memory: armed soldiers, predatory animals, or goblins …

Or maybe it will be a solid wall of iron and concrete, which will turn your interior into a safe bunker. A ball with transparent walls through which nothing can touch. Or even the protective field from “Star Wars” – whatever, as long as the image is really associated with protection for you.

4. Mobilization. Working with boundaries and understanding your psyche is always helpful when it comes to protecting yourself from the negative influences of others. It is worth preparing yourself for possible unpleasant moments. Begin to notice, and perhaps write down at first, which situations are particularly difficult.

How easy is it to get away with directly or indirectly if asking a neighbor violates your boundaries? If it is important not to conflict with this person, you can prepare a joke in advance that will take the conversation aside.

If your upbringing or character makes it difficult to say “no” or to interrupt the endless chatter of a “stuffy” relative, you can practice in front of a mirror or consult a therapist.

There are many people around the world – good and unpleasant. The latter can manifest themselves as real “energy vampires”. But it so happens that you still have to communicate with them. Therefore, it makes sense not only to apply protection methods, but also to take care of resource recovery.

Chatting with loving friends or family or an evening in a quiet corner with dim lights and calm music, a leisurely walk with the dog or a warm bath. It is important to find your own ways of emotional “rehabilitation”. Provide yourself with something that helps you relax your soul and restore strength.

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