What is an energy vampire?
Basically it is someone who literally sucks the life out of another person, family or business. Ever let an employee go or have a co-worker finally get fired and the entire company took a deep breath and sighed with relief? Ever walk into an event feeling optimistic and energetic to get stuck talking to the person who says the world is coming to an end, hide all your money, don’t trust anyone and everyone is a liar? You leave feeling like you just got the wind kicked out of you. This is an energy vampire.
Many times we can avoid the people. But sometimes we live with them, work with them, are married to them, parent them or report to them. In those cases it’s not so easy to just say “it’s time for me to leave – you are sucking the life out of me.” However, there are a few things you can do to give yourself some peace and not lose your otherwise positive outlook on life.
Take a time out.
When that person is going into a negative spiral of how horrible everything is, how bad they feel or how much they hate their very existence, politely tell them you need to step away for a minute because you are starting to get anxious or agitated. I have even said “OK, we are done talking about this. Next topic – so, where are we going to dinner?”
This is harder to do. You could start helping them see how their negative energy literally zaps the other people around them and that perhaps the reason their friends never call anymore is because of this negative talk. So ask them if it would be ok to bring it to their attention when this is happening and if they would they be open to feedback. Ask them to “rephrase” their statement. Instead of “I really hate this time of year”, they could rephrase to something more positive by saying “I can’t wait until the fall when it is cool and windy”.
If those two tactics don’t work, it may be time to distance yourself from that person – even if they are someone you care about. I found a great blog post where the author gives ways to protect yourself from Energy Vampires. Read below and tell me how it works out for you!
11 Ways to Protect Yourself From Energy Vampires
- Limit the amount of time you spend with energy vampires. The less time you’re together, the less positive energy you’ll lose.
- Learn effective ways to end conversations with energy vampires (eg, “I only have ten minutes to talk.”)
- Stay calm and detached from energy vampires. Don’t let their negative energy consume you.
- Be honest about your needs (eg, “I need this time to work/read/relax/exercise.”)
- Refrain from attempting to rescue them or fix an energy vampire’s problems.
- Practice walking away from energy vampires.; the more you do it, the easier it gets.
- Limit eye contact with energy vampires.
- Avoid being in close spaces with energy vampires (elevators, cars, etc). Negative energy is catching.
- Define and guard your personal space from energy vampires.
- Tell energy vampires you feel uncomfortable discussing particular people or circumstances.
- Stand up for yourself and your boundaries! Your time, positive energy, and resources are precious and should be closely guarded from energy vampires.