The phrase “negative energy” is a buzz-phrase in popular culture and in many spiritual circles. Often it’s equated with vibes, words, and actions from others that we don’t like. But what exactly is negative energy? It’s not what you think.
The common mistake is to equate negative energy with bad or evil, and to mistake positive energy with good or divine when in fact positive and negative energies are simply forces of energy on opposing poles. Both are needed for balance. In terms of energy, positive is active and associated with yang/masculine, and negative is receptive and therefore yin/feminine. One is not better than the other, but both serve functions that balance each other out. To equate negative energy with “bad” is even in some ways, continued evidence of the sublimation of the Divine Feminine in our language.
Everything in creation contains both positive and negative energy, yin and yang. This is the way of balance and harmony. Too much positive energy is just as harmful as too much negative energy because both are extremes and states of denial, and both can cause a particular kind of burnout. Attempting to live with only positive energy will actually attract negative energy (think magnets) because balance is always sought. The lack of balance can have disastrous effects to bring you back to equilibrium.
So when we are talking about an energy from someone or something we don’t like, I find it better to be more descriptive because using the term “negative” perpetuates misunderstanding of the nature of these energies and is rather vague. For example, “I don’t like your cynical energy” names the problem and communicates in a much clearer way the issue you have with another. This makes it easier for both you (and the other person, if they wish) to dispel behavior or speech that inhibits relationship.
If you’re looking to protect your energy/life/home/etc from unwanted situations or experiences, you are best off by creating a balanced energetic shield that protects you from all harm – whether the harm may come from positive or negative energy. This is of course a pre-emptive measure of protection.