How to Manage Negative Energy Onboard

Have you ever walked into a room and the atmosphere is so heavy and negative that it is almost tangible? This is called negative energy. We all emit a vibration that can be either positive or negative hence we need to take responsibility for our energy.

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The energy you give out is contingent on a combination of your past experiences, belief system, how they see the world, and your thoughts. Having personally experienced working on a yacht with heavy and toxic energy, I would like to share how I managed it with you.

As some of you would know, the challenging aspect regarding working on Superyachts is that you can’t go home after your shift and find some much-needed respite from your work environment. When I was working on the yachts, I saw the crew’s mental health deteriorate pretty quickly due to 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, you must have a positive network that you can call on for support.

Being around a positive, inspiring, and compassionate crew 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 worth it in the long run. If you are a new crew member joining an established yacht, develop and nurture the relationships with those you are most drawn to. By aligning yourself with those who share similar values, 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 that negatively impacts others.

We are social beings, and we thrive off connecting with our social counterparts at the end of the day. Suppose 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 face varying mental health conditions, namely depression or anxiety.

If you start to notice signs of isolating yourself or withdrawing from social activities, it is crucial for you to be aware of these behaviours and reach out for the proper support.

Tips for managing negative energy

1. Do more things that you are passionate about!

Doing things that you are passionate about helps build resistance against negative energy. Whether watching a movie, reading a book, calling a good friend, going for a surf, or 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 you wake up with a sore jaw, these are signs that you are holding onto tension. Take these as warning signs. Your body is signalling 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 find that negative people usually feel threatened or cannot manage their insecurities. As such, they turn on the vulnerable or those they feel threatened by to expel their negative feelings. I know it is hard, but try not to personalise it. If you can separate 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 complete control of your thoughts and, therefore, your feelings.

I think it is so essential that the 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 due to the lack of leadership and their poor onboard culture. This will essentially cost the owner their yacht’s reputation and the quality of their onboard experience and result in financial implications (crew turnover).

In summary, crew negativity should be addressed immediately and nipped in the bud. If it is not, the consequences can be a costly affair to remedy.

How to Manage Negative Energy Onboard