Yesterday I was talking with someone who was under a lot of emotional stress at work. She was having difficulties communicating with her boss, who she felt was attacking her, she was upset by the way she felt so down about her inability to handle it, she wondered where her normal resilience had vanished to, and overall was down in the dumps, feeling physically and mentally drained.
Later in the day I was talking with someone who was on her way to Singapore to take a workshop in psychic self defense, something I had never heard of. She sent me the link where I read that:
This workshop is primarily focused on Psychic Self Defense. .. Do you know that you are being attacked on the psychic level on a daily basis and you do not even know it? … Join us in this informative workshop to learn:
– how to identify a psychic attack
– how to protect yourself spiritually, psychically, energetically, mentally and emotionally
– have a better understanding of why they happen
– how to prevent other people's negative energies from affecting us
– And practical tools on psychic attack prevention and protection
This sounded exactly the type of workshop to benefit the emotionally stressed person I'd been talking to earlier, but ever skeptical of anything that sounds fringe, or a panacea I did a little more investigation. It turns out that 'pyschic self defense' is a whole field of endeavor (not that this makes it valid, reliable, or legitimate or vice versa) that has writings about it, enthusiasts supporting it, and marketing selling it.
Following the tack of psychic self defense a bit further I remembered two books roughly on topic. One is Nasty People by Jay Carter. This is about invalidating behavior – how to recognize when someone is invalidating you, and how to stop being an invalidator yourself. It's got a nice line in the introduction "what you are paying for in this book is perspective". So I've taken it off my bookshelf and will take into the person today.
The second is Gareth Morgan's book Images of Organization in which he presents one image of organizations as psychic prisons. In the chapter Morgan explores 'some of the ways in which organizations and their members become trapped by constructions of reality that, at best, give an imperfect grasp on the world.' He suggests that one of the strengths of using the psychic prison metaphor in relation to an organization is that it shows that 'change initiatives often attack unconscious psychological defenses'.
I'm not really trying to make any connection between psychic self-defense, invalidation, and organizations as psychic prisons, but it does strike me that all three conjure up concepts of attack that need to be consciously recognized and then worked with in a way that promotes individual or organizational health rather than a down-ward spiral into defensiveness or resistance. That same day someone mentioned the quote "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer", attributed to Sun-Tzu.
Maybe learning techniques to work with your perceived enemies (invalidators, psychic attackers) in a way that thwarts their attacks without demeaning them, would be helpful all round. (I was in a union meeting the other day and some better ways of dealing with psychic attacks, and invalidations, and just plain hurling of insults might have been a lot more productive).
As a side note: An additional recommended, by a friend of mine, method to ward off negativity, invalidation and psychic attack is by wearing black onyx. "Onyx jewelry is worn to defend against negativity that is directed at you. Black stones have protective energies in the sense that black is the absence of light, and therefore, can be used to create invisibility. "