Is someone draining your energy?

vampire The idea that people can drain your energy is not new.  Many of us have heard of Energy Vampires, but often don’t realise that we may have one of them in our own lives.

So how do you know if you have an Energy Vampire in your life?

If you are generally lacking in energy that can be due to poor diet, poor health, lack of sleep and stress. However, if you only feel it intensely at certain times then a little detective work will help.

Let’s start with typical personality types. Energy vampires come in all shapes and sizes:

The victim – the world is always against them, they have lots of stories of how they have been wronged. In their eyes nothing good ever happens to them.

The performer – the one who has to be the centre of attention, high maintenance and full on.

The blamer / guilt tripper – who specialises in what everyone else is doing wrong and likes to hand out guilt.

The drama queen – someone who builds mole hills into mountains with lots of extreme highs and lows.

The Downer – can’t be happy for anyone else. Has a tendency for poor me and likes company in that place so attempts to bring others down to their level.

What to look out for in energy vampires.

Once you know what you are looking for they are easy to spot:

After you have spent time with someone instead of feeling normal, good, happy, refreshed or entertained you feel tired and flat. They may go away saying how much better they feel for having seen you whilst you could definitely not say the same.

You have a friend or relative who regularly calls and as soon as you know who is on the other end of the phone you get a slight sinking feeling.  Following the call you feel bad tempered, out of sorts,irritable or tired.

A colleague seems to set off negativity whenever they are around and you notice that you felt alright until they came along.

You had lots of activities or tasks planned and suddenly all your time has gone on that person who came needing your help or called you and then would not let you end the call or pull away. Even though you felt bad about trying to finish interacting with them.

What to do about energy vampires in your life.

Firstly, make no mistake these people latch onto others and are a negative influence. The difficulty is they often worm their way under your skin so you feel responsible for them, care for them and even love them. Not all of them intentionally do this, it can be a survival technique operating in their subconscious to get their needs met. However, you must take control of your own situation and protect yourself, your health and well-being.

The interesting thing is that even though they may have convinced you that you are essential to their survival, the only one that understands them, if you stop providing what they want they quickly move on to someone who will.

That old cliche of setting your boundaries really is important with these people. Start practicing self care, if you have your day planned out and then they just turn up or call and start taking too much time then you need to make them aware that you have limited time and bring an end to the conversation.

Know that no matter how much time and energy you give energy vampires it will never be enough. There is a book available with lots more guidance on this topic called Biting Back.