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7 Signs of Negative Energy in a Person

David Wilson
March 14, 2024

Negative energy is draining to the people around the one producing the bad vibes, but it’s also damaging to the individual experiencing them. This frame of mind can be difficult to handle with a constant atmosphere of unhappiness and dread. The thoughts, feelings, and emotions typically associated with negativity include:

  • Pessimism
  • Envy/jealousy
  •  Self-criticism
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Resentment

This energy is not only mentally detrimental, but it can affect physical wellness, leading to fatigue, an effect on sleep patterns, chest pain, and headaches. If left unresolved, the suggestion is that it can begin to affect the immune system.

What Are Clear Signs Of Negative Energy In A Person?

When spending time with someone who leaves you drained can be a sign that this person’s energy is negative. If you notice the person seems to be upset, stressed, pessimistic, or their mood is down more often than not, consider helping them change these thought processes for their greater good. It might take professional counseling for an effective transformation.

You could also distance yourself from negative people who prefer to avoid opportunities to work on their energy. It can not only be harmful for them but you as well. Here are signs to look for that someone has negative energy.

1. Criticism is constant

When someone has negative energy, the individual is critical in virtually every situation. The person is always dissatisfied with unhappiness and an imperfect view of the world. Their relationship with people, in general, is bitter and fraught with manipulation. The objective is to develop control wherever they can.

There’s no room for compromise, instead the person looks for opportunities to always get their way. They’ll try to change the other person’s mindset with guilt or using superiority, putting that individual down. Usually, this person has an underlying sense of insecurity. The overly critical “front” that they’re displaying helps them affirm their own perception.

2. A need to know

People stuck in a negative mindset tend to have an innate curiosity about everyone else’s life but they want to shield their own privacy. They are paranoid about what those around them will do with personal details they might share; people might blatantly misuse the information in some way.

Regardless of who is in their social circle, they have a pessimistic view of what the person’s intentions are. The greater the negativity the more they question others’ motives, disrupting interactions and creating animosity. Often, the attitude is a curiosity to learn what you have planned so they can stay one step ahead.

This is so they can either be well prepared upfront, superior and able to take control, or put a wedge in the situation so it can’t happen at all.

3. Comparisons prove them to be better

It’s in people’s nature to self-compare with others. Those with a negative attitude are inclined to do this more frequently since they will find other people’s performance to be a gauge of their own value. The negative person has a sense of superiority. Only their opinion matters and no one else can do better in most situations.

This individual can be egotistical with the mindset producing negative vibes from everyone around them when they constantly brag over their attributes, accomplishments and choose to monopolize conversations by talking about themselves. They have the inclination to judge others harshly.

When they find your performance less than stellar, they won’t mind sharing what was wrong with it as they see themselves as the expert.

4. Manipulation is their superpower

Manipulation is supposed to be a subtle, typically secretive way of influencing others into doing things the way you want them to do them. People who use these tactics achieve their objective by working on the other person’s emotional and mental weaknesses. This is their way of gaining control and power, along with the privilege they seek.

A few common tactics are used to make people around them more willing to give in to their manipulation and have difficulty shaking the negative vibes. Some include:

  • Mind games
  • Guilt trips
  • Blame game
  • Complaints
  • Denials
  • Lies

5. No empathy

Most people are naturally empathetic to some degree but some don’t have this capacity. When interacting with those incapable of empathy, it can border on harmful or at the very least unpleasant. The person without this emotion is selfish, aside from producing negative energy, and is thoughtless. 

This is a person you want to be very vocal about your boundaries. When someone produces negative energy but also displays signs of a lack of empathy, you should consider distancing yourself from this person particularly if some of these behaviors are exhibited:

  • They have trouble maintaining healthy relationships
  • Blame everyone else for their mistakes
  • Accuse everyone of over sensitivity
  • Are unable to handle emotional situations

6. Happily share bad news

Negative energy causes people to look forward to sharing other people’s tragedies and bad news. The primary objective of a negative person is spreading negativity to everyone around them. That means it actually can make them happy when others are miserable. Some produce bad vibes by scanning the news and social platforms for solemn news to pass on to other people.

7. The world is their enemy

Most people suffering with negative energy have the mindset that the world perceives them in a poor light. Many will let go of their dreams and objectives instead choosing to let this perception dictate their future. As someone within this person’s social circle, this vibe can be contagious. It’s important to recognize the skewed vision so that you can stick with your hopes and plans.


Becoming familiar with what negativity looks like can help you avoid these vibes which can drain your own positive energy. You can also choose to try to help a friend who is innately negative, offer to go with them for professional counseling to try to change this harmful mindset. 

Not everyone with this thought process will believe they have an issue, but you can distance yourself to avoid the common traits from becoming contagious, bringing you down to their level.

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David Wilson

David Wilson

David Wilson is a skilled clinical psychologist dedicated to enhancing lives through healing and growth. Specializing in empowering clients to overcome challenges, he offers personalized therapy that fosters emotional well-being and resilience. With a compassionate approach, David guides individuals on their journey to discover self-awareness, develop coping strategies, and find lasting happiness. Trusted and revered, he is committed to making a positive impact and nurturing positive change in every life he touches.

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