Energy Vampires (#66)

Last week, I wrote about Embracing Relationships and engaging more deliberately with people to develop more meaningful relationships with them. This week, I wanted to look at the opposite end of the spectrum: energy vampires.

As monk-turned-business consultant, Dandapani explains, we all have a finite amount of energy to use each day and we’re exposed to people who either fill us with energy or drain us of energy.  People who drain our energy are known as energy vampires. These people could be colleagues, friends, family members – even people we encounter while out running errands.

Dandapani suggests that one of the first things to do when dealing with these people is to figure out if they are a temporary vampire or whether they are inherently an energy vampire. Temporary energy vampires might be going through a difficult time in their life (divorce, loss of family member, job, etc.). In the short-term, they need to lean on others and that’s okay, even though it may be draining.

Conversely, inherent energy vampires are always this way; and they aren’t looking to change. The easiest way to identify this type of person is to assess how you feel after you walk away from them. If you feel exhausted, then chances are that person is an energy vampire.

Here are some common characteristics of energy vampires:

  1. The Victim or Blamer: They consistently talk about how they are always getting the short end of the stick in life. They find external blame wherever possible and like to make others feel guilty.
  2. The Center of Attention: They always seem to make themselves the center of attention in any room or conversation; they like to stand out.
  3. The Narcissist: They are consumed with themselves and their own problems; they take very little time to think about others or how to make their lives better.
  4. The Drama Queen/King: They love the highs and lows, are surrounded by drama constantly, and want to bring everyone along for the ride.

While the best solution is to avoid these people altogether, it can be challenging if they are your co-workers, close friends, or even family members. And when we try to move away from them, we often feel guilty about it.

However difficult, it’s essential that you find a way to break free. What you’re doing is looking after yourself and protecting your energy. When you allow an energy vampire to drain you, they are depleting your ability to help and uplift others and be the best version of yourself.

It’s not about being confrontational, it’s about learning to tactfully avoid energy vampires and, if that’s not possible, then learning how to not engage with them.  Your energy is best used elsewhere.

Quote of the Week

“People inspire you, or they drain you. PICK THEM WISELY.”

Hans F. Hansen

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3 Comments

  1. Praveen April 7, 2017 at 9:34 am

    An alternative model to explore is to ask what about the person bothers you so one perceives them as an energy vampire. There’s a quote I have hung up on my office wall “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you”. I believe when one interacts with a perceived energy vampire, it is a great opportunity to introspect within oneself.

    Secondly, the universe being the friendly universe is always looking out for our good and trying to help us and better ourselves. If we ignore, run away and hide from energy vampires, we are not learning the lesson. And the universe in its magnificence. will put another energy vampire in our life path and will keep doing so until we learn the lesson.

    This is just my perspective.

    Reply
    1. fridaymaster April 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Praveen. Great comments.

      Reply
  2. Eric Jackson April 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Keep up the great work. I look forward to these every week.

    Reply

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