Friday, October 10, 2008

Energy Vampires: Drains your Energy

Is there anyone around who makes you feel deserted and drained..?

Beware! That’s an Energy Vampire...

Some people bring unexpected lightness and comfort to your life. They crackle with energy, practically electrify you with their presence. And then there are those who leave you feeling stressed out. Or guilty. Or exhausted down to your very last molecule. I call them Energy Vampires. Obnoxious or meek, they come in all forms, can come from any side.

How Energy Vampires Drain Your Positive Energy

Energy vampires drain positive energy in many ways, such as:
  • Intruding on your life, ignoring boundaries and privacy (energy vampires don't think of you).
  • Making big deals out of nothing. Energy vampires are often called "drama queens" because they can easily turn a broken nail into a Shakespearean tragedy. Negative energy spreads from everyday events.
  • Complaining constantly about their partners, jobs, children, bad luck, and illnesses. Energy vampires like to vent.
  • Criticizing your hair, appearance, job, children, partner, friends, and pets (energy vampires aren't positive).
  • Not taking "no" for an answer. Energy vampires don't consider your needs at all.
  • Being unrelentingly negative. Their negative energy is unrelentless, and energy vampires drain your positive energy by encouraging you to be negative, too.
  • Blaming everyone else for their problems (energy vampires don't take responsibility).
Energy vampires drain energy: you feel depressed after a conversation

You know you've spent time with an energy vampire when you leave feeling depressed, exhausted, or sad. Energy vampires drain your positive energy for their own use. Energy vampires leave you feeling empty and sluggish -- and to compensate or build positive energy you may eat, drink, shop, or sleep for hours afterwards.

Energy vampires have energy leaks: they need your positive energy

Energy vampires come in all shapes and sizes: loud and aggressive, soft-spoken and shy, charming and seductive, pushy and overbearing. Energy vampires have energy leaks that they need to fill. It's up to you to stop energy vampires from draining your positive energy. Often energy vampires don't even realize they're bleeding you dry. Energy vampires have often suffered some sort of crisis, whether in childhood or adulthood, and they're compensating to get rid of their negative energy. Energy vampires may not be deliberately, maliciously stealing your positive energy -- but they're definitely not contributing to a fantastic relationship.

They drain positive energy, but you can learn to stop energy vampires.

11 ways to stop energy vampires:

1. Limit the amount of time you spend with energy vampires. The less time you're together, the less positive energy you'll lose.

2. Learn effective ways to end conversations with energy vampires (e.g., “I only have ten minutes to talk.”)

3. Stay calm and detached from energy vampires. Don't let their negative energy consume you.

4. Be honest about your needs (e.g., “I need this time to work/read/relax/exercise.”)

5. Refrain from attempting to rescue them or fix an energy vampire's problems.

6. Practice walking away from energy vampires; the more you do it, the easier it gets.

7. Limit eye contact with energy vampires.

8. Avoid being in close spaces with energy vampires (elevators, cars, close chambers, etc). Negative energy is catching.

9. Define and guard your personal space from energy vampires.

10. Tell energy vampires you feel uncomfortable discussing particular people or circumstances.

11. Stand up for yourself and your boundaries! Your time, positive energy, and resources are precious and should be closely guarded from energy vampires.

No matter which type of energy vampire you're dealing with, you're allowed to walk away. Many of us find this really hard to do. We're afraid of being thought of as impolite; we don't want to offend people. But there are plenty of ways to remove yourself from a killing conversation. When leaving isn't an option, you can still maintain your energy level by making a few minor adjustments.

Recognize the Signs

One of the first things to do is to recognize when you're being drained, and that begins with tuning in to your physical reactions. Is there a tightening in your chest when a certain person enters the conversation? Do you feel tired when you hang up the phone after speaking with someone? Does your head ache, or do you feel what I call "slimed" when another guest at a cocktail party starts talking to you?

Take a Deep Breath

The moment you feel zapped -- or hemmed in, or stressed out -- I recommend taking a breath. Breathing is a wonderful way to center yourself. Just follow the breath and tell yourself that you know what's happening and you can deal with it. It's important to remember our individual power. I know from research that we can lose it easily. The minute somebody comes in who is bossy or blaming, we feel diminished and tensed up. If we can focus on the breath, or on an image of a striking sunset or a view from a mountain top, the tension will drift away.

Use Your Energy

You can also use some of your own subtle energy to counter the effects of an energy vampire. Visualize a protective white light around you: an energy shield. You can still hear the person who's yelling at you or blaming you or pushing himself into your sphere, but he won't cut into you so viscerally anymore. You've created a buffer zone, where his negative influences can dissipate.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is another way of protecting yourself; you draw a line saying, for instance, "This is what I can do for you, and this is what I can't." You don't have to convince the vampire of the rightness of your stance. Getting defensive simply adds to the negative charge of the encounter. You want to remain neutral. When someone starts pushing your buttons, and you start sizzling inside, you've got to make the decision not to react.

Step Back

I also suggest you step back and think about what type of people aggravate you, because I believe that one law of energy is that we attract what we haven't yet worked out in ourselves. If I'm a very angry person, I'll find myself surrounded by angry people. By paying attention to the people who seem so draining, you might discover something you need to address. It has been my experience that once you've worked through a particular issue, you're no longer worn out by that kind of energy vampire. And the vampires, robbed of a source, move on to more easily drainable audiences.


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