bad vibes

What Are Bad Vibes And How To Respond To Them

Ever walked up to someone and immediately felt like something was off? Did you feel bad vibes?

Vibes are more than just a feeling; they can affect your mood, energy levels, and drag you down!!

It’s a common issue that many of us face but we don’t know what to do!

As the author of The Thought Store, and advocate of soulful living, emotional well-being, and high-vibe thinking™, I know a lot about energy vibrations and how they affect us.

Most likely, you’re looking for effective ways to identify and reverse bad vibes, so that negative vibes from others don’t bother you!

I promise to unveil the truth about of bad vibes… and give you with practical, actionable steps to protect your energy.

Let’s dive in!

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Bad vibe meaning

Bad vibes refers to energy that feels heavy, angry, dark, and negative.

It’s low vibration emitting from a person, place or thing. Typically a person.

The feeling is that you want to lean in if you’re negative yourself, or run away if your vibes are higher.

Other words for bad vibes

Bad vibes refers to feeling negative energy…

Here are synonyms for bad vibes.

  • ill feelings
  • dissonance
  • division
  • disharmony
  • dissension
  • a creepy feeling
  • bad gut feeling
  • suspicion
  • negative vibe
  • negative energy
  • distrusting
  • dubious about
  • I get a bad feeling
  • it doesn’t feel right

‘Bad vibes only’?

Why are people saying this?

Well… the popular saying ‘good vibes only‘, used to describe telling people to bring only good vibes into a space and “don’t be low vibration” has its counterpart in ‘bad vibes only.’

Meaning… only bring vibes that are bad. The term is mostly sarcastic and poking at good vibes only.

While I understand the sentiment of “good vibes only”, I’m not a fan of it because it comes close to being toxic positivity.

When your vibes might be bad, stressed or worried?

Let’s be honest, sometimes we’re the culprits.

I KNOW I am!

My energy will be down for a large variety of reasons…

Maybe I had a bad conversation with someone I care about. I failed at something. Someone hurt my feelings. I just got bad news. I feel like #$%^.

Ya know what I mean?

So, we all have bad days. When your vibes are low, here are ways to raise your vibration.

And that includes emotional well-being as well, so you may want to do some emotional release.

Life transitions and challenges

When going through a challenging transition, in particular a career transition, your emotional world may be turned upside down.

During these times practice turning your attention to what’s positive and exciting to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Humans are drawn to what’s familiar, so when we’re entering the unknown, it’s scary.

Forbes magazine printed this quote from me, “Jeanne Nangle, an emotional well-being coach agrees that changing careers can be very unsettling. ‘Even a voluntary change can evoke a sense of loss for the familiar. Human beings are drawn to what’s familiar.’ She recommends allowing yourself time to appreciate the past, and then turning your attention to the growth potential ahead.”

5 ways to respond to bad vibes

It’s important to realize that negativity doesn’t come from nowhere!

We all have personal struggles and insecurities that we’re working on. So, self-compassion and compassion for others is no doubt a soulful approach.

However, in the meantime, here are strategies to use when you encounter someone with low-vibes.

I coined the term low-vibes in The Thought Store to describe thoughts that are so crappy that they’re like slime on the floor.

You 100% do not have to be around them or take those vibes into your innocent body!

Here we go…

low vibe, negative people, negative thinking, slime

1. Set healthy boundaries

It’s vital to protect your emotional and energetic space.

Politely, but firmly, set your limits.

No one has the right to interfere with your energy and you have every right to protect your energy and set boundaries.

Some ways to set boundaries are…

  • Avoid eye contact with people who are shooting bad vibes from their eyeballs!
  • Don’t engage in negative, depressing conversations that you don’t want to be in.
  • Just say… can we change the subject?
  • Look at your phone and see if they get the hint to stop talking.
  • Look away and see if they notice you’re not interested.

Setting boundaries is part of honoring yourself and growing in self-love. Because as you no longer need the approval of others, you’ll be happier.


healthy boundaries

2. Positive Reinforcement

Although we’re not here to convert low-vibes into high-vibes, it is helpful to the planet to spread good vibes.

So, you can counter negativity by expressing positive aspects of a subject, or express positive emotions, and see if the person is hearing you.

Hopefully, they’ll feel the good vibes and feel better.

3. Communicate

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am a proponent of feeling your emotions while keeping your thoughts life affirming, supportive, and self-loving.

So, openly expressing your feelings helps alleviate tension. Tell those you love how you feel and it’ll help you and them.

For example, if you’re angry and holding it in, the people you’re around won’t understand where you’re coming from.

So, when you’re upset, say so.

I’m upset because… you said this. I’m hurt because… this happened.

It takes tons of courage to be so open, but it’s helpful to everybody present.

4. Self-Care

When you’re around bad vibes, take care of yourself.

It’s your body and your energy!

Engage in self-care activities that uplift your mood and vibes. I’ve written an entire article with over 61 self-care activities I’ve curated for you to help you care for yourself.

In addition, soul care is vitally important to a happy life.

5. Walk away!

Honestly, I often walk away from bad vibes. I’m intimately aware of the danger of bad vibes and I don’t have to subject myself to them!

So, when I feel bad vibes from someone, I’ll usually walk away. If they’re talking negatively, droning on about the scary things in the world and life, and unhappy, I discreetly back away.

One step at a time. Someone did this to me one time!

It’s not your job to fix or rescue or take in their low-vibe energy.

Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove yourself from the negative environment. Trust your instincts.

Toxic positivity is not good vibes

Some of us are so afraid of appearing negative that we force positivity when we’re feeling negative emotions like fear, anger, shame, guilt, etc.

Don’t do it!

The goal isn’t to have good vibes all of the time. That’s veering into toxic positivity territory!

That’s harmful to the soul… because you’re lying to yourself!

Feeling negative emotions is necessary so you can heal and grow.

The key is keeping your thoughts high vibe.

Negative energy

Technically, negative energy is low vibration. The vibration frequency is low.

In Power versus Force, Dr. David Hawkins has created a Map of Consciousness that lists negative emotions and the relative frequency of each.

Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior has influenced my life dramatically.

I picked it up at a time when I felt so confused by the inequities of human life. Why do some people suffer endlessly while others live with great abundance?

Dr. Hawkins phenomenal book addresses energy fields, and entrainment, and how we are each operating in the energy field we vibe with.

I highly recommend reading it!


David Hawkins, Map of Consciousness,

Bad Vibes in My Uber

It once happened that my Uber driver was very negative. (Usually, they’re delightful.)

He was telling a scary story, spewing bad vibes into the Uber, talking about the end of the world…

I was stuck in there!

I didn’t want him to abduct me and take me into his hellish world!

So, I would point out that there are still good people in the world, and describe some positive things I’ve seen with my own eyes… but to no avail, his vibes were bad.

Here’s the truth… most negative people enjoy it.

It’s familiar.

They’ve been cultivating the negativity or years.

So, don’t waste your good vibes on trying to convert them.

Have compassion and get the heck out.

Ultimately, it’s enabling bad vibes to sit there or stand there and listen.

Recognize bad vibes

It’s not hard to recognize bad vibes because you feel them.

It’s a feeling you have when you’re with someone. But, in case you’re not clear, here are some ways to recognize bad vibes.

Body language

Someone who has a closed-off posture like crossed arms, avoids eye contact with you, and is clearly uncomfortable around your pleasantly good vibes, might have low energy.

Or, they’re nervous.

You have to tune in to see what’s really going on.

Bad intentions

When a person is bluntly stating bad intentions like, I don’t like this blah blah group of people, I hate this group of people… this is VERY bad news!

As Oprah Winfrey says, Intention is everything!

For example, listen to what people tell you!

They are telling you who they are!

If they are intolerant, racially biased, or don’t care about the planet (like people who litter…), then bad intentions may lurk beneath the bad vibes.

Facial expressions

Ever notice someone scowling at you, rolling their eyes, or having a constant frown?

It may not be you! Or, maybe it is? idk…

These facial expressions can be telltale signs that the person has vibes you don’t want to be around.

Aggressive tone of voice

I’m so auditory, that I notice the tone of people’s voices. Sharp, sarcastic, or dismissive tones often indicate that painful emotions are in play here!

So, listener beware!

Final thoughts

Dealing with bad vibes requires some skill.

It’s a balance of empathy, self-awareness, and assertiveness, so you’re not caught in rapid fire!

By recognizing bad vibes and using effective strategies, you can maintain positive energy for yourself and those around you.

Remember, bad vibes are contagious and you have every right to protect your precious energy.

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