Have you ever walked into a room and the atmosphere is so heavy and negative it is almost tangible? This is called energy. We all emit a vibration that can be either positive or negative hence we need to take responsibility for our own energy.
The energy you give out is contingent on a combination of your past experiences, belief system, the way in which they see the world as well as your thoughts. Having personally experienced working on a yacht that had a heavy and toxic energy, I would like to share with you how I managed it.
The tough aspect regarding working on Superyachts, as some of you would know, is that you can’t got home after your shift and find some much needed respite from your work environment. When I was working on the yachts, I saw crew’s mental health deteriorate quite quickly as a result of poor leadership. It is awful to see your friends and colleagues in tears every day due to being around negative crew; this can be sobering for all those involved. If you notice that you are having a bad reaction towards other people’s behaviour it is important that you have a positive network that you can call on for support.
Being around crew who are positive, inspiring and compassionate is a sure way to make it through a season and ward off any negative energy. Building these strong relationships may take a bit of time, however, it is really worth it in the long run. If you are a new crew member joining an established yacht then develop and nurture the relationships with those you are most drawn to. Through aligning yourself with those who share similar values to you, you are more likely to have a genuine, trustworthy relationship.
If you are unable to foster meaningful relationships with anyone onboard I would question whether it is the right yacht for you to work on or is there perhaps something you are doing which is having a negative impact on others.
We are social beings and at the end of the day we thrive off connecting with our social counterparts. If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and his theory of human motivation. Our need for belonging is classified as being a fundamental basic human need. We all desire to feel accepted or part of a group whatever its size or nature. Therefore, if this need for belonging isn’t met we can be faced with varying mental health conditions, namely being depression or anxiety.
If you start to notice signs where you are isolating yourself or withdrawing from social activities, it is important for you to be aware of these behaviours and to reach out for the right support.
Tips for managing negative energy…
1. Do more things that you are passionate about!
This helps build resistance against negative energy. Whether it is watching a movie, reading a book, calling a good friend, going for a surf, journalling… Engage more in the activities that bring you joy!
2. Tune into your feelings, mind and body
If you notice your stomach is in knots or whether you wake up with a saw jaw these are signs that you are holding onto tension. Take these as warning signs, your body is signalling to you that something isn’t right therefore you need to reflect on what that could be and make the relevant changes. Be aware of the thoughts going through your mind and how they make you feel? If these thoughts are not serving you, change them.
3. Be Compassionate
You may find you are stuck on a yacht for an entire season with negative people. I tend to find that people who are negative towards others is usually because they feel threatened or they cannot manage their own insecurities. As such, they turn on the vulnerable or those who they feel threatened by to expel their own negative feelings. I know it is hard, but try not to personalise it. If you can seperate yourself from their “stuff” it is less likely to get to you and you will not become part of the negativity vacuum.
4. You are not your feelings
Disassociate yourself from your feelings… don’t adopt your feelings as part of your identity. Instead of saying “I am angry” rather say “I am feeling angry” These feelings are temporary and they will pass.
5. You are in control of your feelings
No-one can make you feel angry or sad, you choose to feel that way. You are in full control of your thoughts therefore your feelings…
I think it is so important that crew work towards developing a positive culture onboard. So many boats are ignorant to the fact that the interpersonal dynamics between crew can permeate into the guest’s environment. There are already yachts out there who are building bad reputations for themselves due to the lack of leadership onboard and their poor onboard culture. This is essentially costing the owner his/her yacht’s reputation and quality of his/her onboard experience and will result in financial implications (crew turn over).
In sum, crew negativity should be addressed immediately and nipped in the bud, if it is not, the consequences can be a costly affair to remedy.