Do you interact with people who make you want to take a nap, a relaxing hot bath or just a holiday because of how tedious they can be? Technically they aren’t doing anything wrong or bad but something about them is simply exhausting. This particular emotion can leave you feeling confused and guilty because you can see they are good but interacting with them leaves you feeling depleted. On many occasions, you might even think it’s all in your head and that you aren’t being patient enough or kind enough. However, it becomes apparent after a while that you’re dealing with what they call an energy vampire.
An energy vampire is someone who knowingly or unknowingly drains the energy right out of you. They can be friends, lovers, spouses, family members etc. They feed on our need to care and listen to them and will always leave you feeling exhausted. But how do you really know it’s not you and it’s them, amirite? I’ve added a few significant signs on how to spot one and how to deal with them. Once you learn how to identify and respond to this behaviour the easier it will be for you to preserve your energy and protect yourself from the mental, physical and emotional distress they bring.
Here are the signs to keep an eye out for when dealing with an energy vampire:
They don’t take responsibility.
It is extremely easy for energy vampires to sneak in and out of trouble by simply turning their charm on. They are manipulative and crafty and are swift to pin the blame on someone else. They just simply won’t accept they are in the wrong and you might just have to digest that.
Their energy is nervous and intense.
A person with high energy might be an intense person to be around because they’re constantly on the move and rarely find themselves in a calm moment. Mix in the nervousness and insecurity and you have someone who might just make mountains out of molehills.
Energy vampires lack boundaries.
This happens because they can be pushy and have intrusive energy. They ignore all social etiquette and social cues. Essentially they are hard to shake off because they refuse to take no for an answer.
They constantly crave attention.
It is evident that an energy vampire needs the limelight. The topic of discussion is always them; you could be in the middle of a conversation with someone else and they’ll pop in and use an example and make it about them and their experience. They are charismatic and their energy will draw you in at first before you begin to notice how badly they need the attention.
Energy vampires are always negative.
Energy vampires are never content, there’s always something they feel the need to complain about. And well, looking at the glass half full constantly can well be extremely exhausting. You won’t hear an iota of positivity in their conversation.
Drama always surrounds an energy vampires
They are always drowning in the midst of absolute chaos. The reaction they have are dramatic and they somehow expect you to absorb and fix things by simply being friends with them.
They are constantly trying to be one step ahead of you.
An energy vampire always wants to do what you’re doing but secretly try and do it better or try to one-up you. They obviously don’t like sharing the spotlight and they struggle to feel genuine happiness for another person.
They diminish your problems and play up their own.
It is almost as if they pretend to be your friend with no interest or inclination to hear anything about your life. Even if you start to talk about yourself they will quickly shift the attention of the discussion to them.
Energy vampires always act like a martyr.
They always act like they are doing their best but everyone else around them is failing to do their jobs. By doing this they are seeking validation to boost their self-esteem.
There’s always an ultimatum or guilt trip with them.
Since they aren’t used to asking no for an answer they will resort to any tactic to get their way. They will guilt trip you to get what they want because they know that shame is a weapon to use against caring people. Ultimatums are another easy way to coerce someone to do something for you and they will resort to that as well.
They use your nature to their advantage.
If you are compassionate you are bound to be a victim to an energy vampire. It is because you will offer an ear and an endless reserve of patience to deal with them. You will constantly feel the need to give them the benefit of the doubt and that is because you want to believe they are good.
They are incapable of staying calm.
We mentioned their intense and nervous energy so we already know they lack the ability to stay calm. They can go from 0-10 in seconds and have no control over their emotions. This means they are highly reactive in nature and end up not allowing anyone else to relax in their presence either.
Energy vampires tend to make excuses.
Emotionally draining individuals have no qualms complaining about their so-called problems and they won’t work towards fixing them either. They seem content with the idea of constantly complaining about the same thing over and over whilst expecting something to change or have a different result.
Why it matters and what you can do?
An energy vampire will demand a lot of energy from the people that they target. And the exhausting effects can drain your energy reserve and will eventually have an obvious effect on your well-being. This might even lead to anxiety, depression and heart problems over time. Ok, let’s break this down further and now in spiritual terms. Energy vibrates through everything in the universe at different frequencies. Emotionally draining people will especially vibrate at a higher frequency and NOT in a good way. Energy vampires vibrate at a frequency that is that’s erratic, anxious and will cancel out any calm in any room. Their energy is infectious and is difficult to not be affected by. This is why it is important to recognize these traits, so you protect your energy by choosing from the following points below.
1) Be clear about your boundaries with an energy vampire.
Setting boundaries is a lot easier said than done; truly understand what you can stand to do and how much time you’re willing to spend with this person. Avoid weekend trips or any other extended events that will need you to share more space with them than you like. If you’re ok with dinner and coffee dates then make sure you set an allocated amount of time and find a way to end it when you really need to leave. If you work with this person, you can try and eat at different times of the day or sit with someone else or just drop by their desk for a quick chat so they don’t feel offended by your behaviour.
2) Adjust your expectations.
When dealing with an energy vampire you will need to fix your expectations when it comes to dealing with them. If you know they aren’t interested in listening to you then avoid sharing anything about your life with them, this way you don’t feel disappointed when your needs aren’t met. And when they begin to complain about their life, stay neutral and simply listen, do not offer any emotional advice. Because you know they won’t take it anyway so don’t try to fix them.
3) Be intentional about how much space they have in your life.
You do not need to answer their every phone call or text. When you have the energy to spare feel free to text them and say you were busy or you were too tired. In time they will realize you have no energy to give them and they have no power to take that they will soon look to another source to fill space.
4) Don’t engage energy vampires.
Don’t feed the conversation by asking more questions. Disconnect with a stone-cold facial reaction when the conversation becomes negative. Don’t give them the response they are seeking. You could keep trying to change the conversation to something lighter.
5) Do not overreact.
This is exactly what they need to thrive and there’s no point in giving them what they want. Remember to stay calm and cool when they are being overly dramatic. If you lose it they will be far worse so think about that.
6) Say No nicely.
You do not have to be unkind when saying no, you can be loving and compassionate and still stand up for what you want. Choose to say No if there is something you don’t wish to do, there is no point in being a doormat and then wondering about why this person continues to drain your energy.
7) Cut them out of your life if you can.
You have to do what’s best for you, if this is a person who isn’t close to you in any way; feel free to exercise your right by cutting them out of your life. You do not owe them or anyone your friendship, time and energy. And if it someone close to you then communicates just about enough for you to get away. You can use technology to your advantage and message them instead of actually speaking with them.
Try to be kind but don’t kill yourself doing it. Follow the points that work above, do your best because some people refuse to accept responsibility for their actions and that isn’t your cross to bear.
Do you have any tips on how to work with energy-draining people? Share it with us in the comments below!