Your last column was about energy zapping friends. I realized that I have been zapping my husband’s energy for years now. However, the way you approached the question ignores the feelings of the energy-zapping person. Can you please provide advice to these people?

Energy-zappers will rarely see themselves as such since they usually blame others for making them feel bad. They have an expectation (realistic or unrealistic) as to how a situation or others should be, do, or act, and they are disappointed or frustrated — so much so that the conversation always revolves around what’s not going right. This is draining not only for the energy zapper, but also for those they communicate with.


The good news is that no matter whether you have something legitimate to be negative about or not, you control yourself. So even though you might feel you have “good reason” for being negative, it’s wise to implement new communication strategies to bring mutual positivity to the interaction.


When telling a story watch what you say

Whenever anyone tells a story, they spin it to their favor. Their feelings and motives color the narrative and listeners feel a bit of what they feel. We all can control the moods of those around us by what we say, and when we talk to another person, we affect the way they feel.

The more you talk about what you are unhappy about, or bring up something negative, the more negative they will feel and the more negative the “energy” around that conversation becomes.

Are you enjoyable to be around?


Everyone wants to feel happy. That’s why we look for things that make us happy. It’s why most people like to hear stories with happy endings. We often forget that every one of us has the ability to help others feel better. When you talk about your day and what happened, what were the good things that happened? What is the bright side of a challenge? What was the best thing about today? Conversations that focus on what’s good tend to be the types of conversations most people want to be a part of.

If you continually focus on the negative, the person you are talking to will not feel good, and they are going to start associating that feeling with you. If you do it often and regularly, people will start to avoid you, and you will get labeled as a downer or an energy-zapper. Positivity is contagious and optimism is much more preferable to be around than pessimism. Objectively ask yourself if you are enjoyable to be around. If the answer is no, then it’s up to you to make a change.

Find the silver lining

Everything has a bright side, and if you want to add positivity to a conversation, find the bright side and let it become a focus. You can choose to frame what you say differently. If you bring something positive to the table, you will feel better about it, and you may find that others respond positively to you in a way that is refreshing and new.


Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kakaako where anyone can find positive inspiration and high-level guidance to minimize stress and optimize modern day life!