You feel it in the pit of your stomach. It’s like the life gets sucked out of you and the happiness gets wiped clean, and you’re left with nothing but this overwhelming blah, i-suddenly-feel-like-shit feeling emanating through your body.
Let’s thank the lucky stars we now have a way to describe this terrible feeling: your vibe is getting killed, man.
And honestly, I think it’s important for us to take a moment and appreciate the power of the vibe. Your vibe is what gets you through a hard day at work. It helps you navigate meeting new people. It’s that subtle head nod you give yourself right before heading out the door in the morning. It’s the thing you leave behind after going on an awesome date or hanging out with awesome friends.
Your vibe gives you that confidence to be yourself; that individuality that tends to get lost in the chaos of the relationship you have with yourself.
Basically what I’m saying is, your vibe is to be cherished and protected.
So you do what you gotta do to make sure you stand up for that vibe. Makes sense, right?
Let’s do a quick life check to see if any of these people are currently in your life and also killing your vibe.
1. The Ex Who Just Won’t Go Away
This is the ex who keeps at it, doing everything in their power to keep you from moving on and forgetting about them. Late night texts, drunken phone calls, and maybe add some public passive-aggressive Facebook posts in there for fun.
Or if you have kids in the mix, they’re just complicating your life, making pre-arranged swap offs a headache, questioning everything about the way you’re parenting, etc, etc, pain in the ass, etc.
Or maybe your ex is more discreetly killing your vibes. Maybe they toss some guilt trips in there, or suddenly need your help on a random weekend afternoon when they know you’re hanging with your new fling. Whatever.
Vibes killed, right?
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: This is ALL about you communicating boundaries. You have to make it clear that you’re doing your own thing and that all this yip-yap is completely unacceptable. So much of this has to do with your tone and with your actions. That means, when they call at 3 am, you don’t pick up. When they text, you don’t answer. When they post a Facebook status, you don’t comment. You protect your vibe by being very clear about where that line is.
2. The Friend Who Just Won’t Stop Projecting
This friend is so good at killing your vibe that they do it little by little and you don’t even notice it’s happening because, damn, they’re your friend and you love them.
So maybe it’s the friend who is literally never on the same page as you on a Friday night. You want to go out, they want to stay in. You want to stay in and Netflix, they want to go out and do cocaine with some strippers.
Or maybe your friend has some insecurities and somehow finds a way to let them out in the form of some personal jabs that make you feel like shit.
Or they generally have a shitty life and a shitty perspective on life, some negative thinking, or an overall toxic mindset, and they have no problem voicing their opinion about it, especially when you happen to be loving life.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: You can either ignore it – which means accepting that your friend sucks but you love them anyway and refuse to let them near your vibe. Or, you can say something about it, which may or may not spark a fight. Because usually when people have that shitty perspective on life, they’re going to be pretty defensive over it. But again, you have to be very clear about this putting your vibe at risk and that it’s just not going to work.
3. The Really Condescending Boss Who Gets Off on Ruling You
This one’s good because it’s like, permission to kill vibe because, hey, you’re getting paid for it, right?
So it’s safe to say that not every shitty boss is the typical demon boss we see in movies. They’re not all making you work weekends or screaming at you for getting them the wrong coffee, or calling you degrading names for not meeting your deadlines.
Because the truth is, a lot of us would walk away from people like that. Not all of us, but most of us.
No, the real vibe killer is the discreet boss who makes subtle condescending remarks. You can always tell because whenever it happens, you see them slightly pump their chest out in pride.
Or little comments about having worked in the industry so much longer and therefore being 10x more knowledgable about the way things work and about the job you were hired to do.
Or, they yell at you and tell you to stick to script and don’t, for a moment, think you’re capable of handling a fire with your own wits.
Basically, you’re good enough to be employed here, but not good enough to ever step up, so know your place.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: It depends on what this job means to you, right? If it’s just there to pay the bills and your heart isn’t in it, then the answer is to swallow your pride and ignore the battle of the egos. Let your boss do what he or she needs to get off on treating others like crap, and go on with your merry day. If, on the other hand, you actually have some skin in the game, then your best bet is going to be your creativity. Find ways to let your vibe shine through, regardless of your boss’s attempts and killing it. Go above and beyond, do an awesome job, problem solve without them around. You just keep doing you, man. That’s really the best way to stick it to them.
4. The Holier-Than-Thou Family Member Who Won’t Shut Up
The kind of holiday dinners that make you want to bang your head right through a wall. This person can kill your vibe in two ways: either completely indirectly, by just going off on tangents all night long, or very, very directly, by focusing specifically on you and your oh-so-obvious shortcomings.
They pop up on all your social media posts, especially political ones, comment on almost all your pictures, pointing out some off-the-wall flaw, and somehow always have a say about big life decisions you make.
Such a strong, but silent, vibe killer.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: Much like the shitty boss you can’t get rid of, chances are you’re in the same situation with this kind of a family member. A friend of mine has a terrible Uncle who is literally the person I just described. Whenever he posts on her wall or tells her she’s going to hell for having gay friends, she just lets it pass right through her and she responds with some patting on the head. Oh, you crazy homophobic old man, they gays still love you, even when you’re crazy. And then, again, she just goes on with her life.
5. The Passive Aggressive Frenemy Who Keeps Popping Up
Frenemies are built to kill your vibe, or rather, they’re built to test it. And while I equate the value of frenemies to the value of friendly competition, there is definitely a line there that can easily be crossed. Especially if you’re having a bad day or you’re in the middle of trying to problem-solve your way through a struggle.
There’s your frenemy, conveniently popping in, saying all kinds of passive aggressive things to you.
Or maybe they post it publicly on Facebook in the form of, “I can’t begin to understand people who…(insert something you’re doing here).”
They’re removed enough that you don’t feel you’re voluntarily letting them into your life, but yet, close enough to fucking sting you and cripple your vibe.
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO: Ignore them until you’re healed and ready to get back in the game. Frenemies fall to the very bottom of the list of people and things to give a shit about when you’re going through some stuff and your vibe is being seriously tested. You literally owe them nothing.
BONUS ROUND: You
Yeah, I had to add this to the mix because so much of what I write has to do with how you kill your own vibe. In fact, here’s the kicker, guys: The biggest risk to your vibe isn’t this group of vibe-killing people in your life; it’s the fact you’re keeping them around and not doing anything about it.
It’s the fact you let them get to you and that, for whatever reason, you continue to justify having them in your life.
The truth of the matter is, no matter how complicated a relationship is, a way out always exist.
We just choose not to step through that door.
And in some cases, yes, there are definitely consequences to ending a relationship, but the reality is that sometimes, if you can’t reframe someone’s role in your life, or you can’t get over yourself enough to not let them affect you, or you’ve tried everything and this person is literally feeding off of making you miserable, your actual well-being is on the line.
And if that means you have to step away to get your center back, bring your vibe back to life, whatever, then so be it.
But at the end of the day, you should know, no one call kill your vibe and keep you from feeling awesome but yourself.
So yeah, we can do some housekeeping and get rid of really shitty people in our lives, but ultimately that’s not because they’re shitty, it’s because you need to make better choices about the people you surround yourself with AND you have to learn to strengthen that vibe so fools like this can’t get to you.
Feeling awesome about yourself is a lot easier when you surround yourself with awesome people. There’s no need to make this shit more complicated than it has to be.
Don’t let them kill your vibe. Your vibe is fucking awesome.