Energy Vampires in Your Life? Here's What to Do
Have you ever been around someone who just drains your energy?
Maybe it’s a coworker. Or maybe it’s a friend.
Whoever it is, this is what tends to happen:
The conversation is one-sided.
You give more than you get.
And at the end of it, you’re left feeling completely empty and unfulfilled.
It’s a tough place to be in.
But what do you do about this?
It’s not always easy, but you’re a smart capable person.
So let’s grab some garlic and get your energy back from the vampires.
Vampires are Real
I bet you didn’t realize that vampires are real. You probably thought that they were these mythical characters that you only see on TV or read about in weird new graphic novels that are all the rage with the kids these days.
Nope, they’re here. And they’re coming for your energy.
This is what used to happen to me before I realized what was going on.
A friend would ask me if I wanted to go to lunch.
Ooh, a friend! They want to hang out with me! This is what I thought.
Little did I realize that they mainly wanted to hang out with me so that they could unload all of their problems on me. We’d talk about them for 40 minutes and talk about my life for five minutes. With such a one-sided conversation, I came away feeling absolutely drained, wondering where all my energy went.
It was sucked up by an energy vampire — that’s where it went.
Now, I’m not saying that energy vampires are terrible people. Most often, they’re not. After all, friends are in our lives for a reason.
Usually, energy vampires don’t realize how much space they are taking up. They are so used to sharing all of their own issues without people saying anything that they continue to do it, over and over and over. It’s a learned behavior.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s OK. Healthy relationships require give and take, a to-and-fro banter.
Energy Vampires in Your Life? What to Do
To ward off the evil spirits, there are some things you need to do.
First, you have to gain awareness of what’s going on.
You can’t make a change if you don’t assess the situation to understand how it’s impacting you. So think about your relationships. Are there any that leave you feeling drained more often than not? You can tell if this is happening if you feel worse coming out of a conversation than you did going in.
Ok, good. You’ve thought about that.
Now, consider what it is about the energy-draining conversations that drain your energy.
Try to get specific about this. The more specific you can get the better. This is because every person is different, and what drains energy for one person is not going to drain energy for another. We’re all unique little creatures, and we need to know what kind of garlic is going to work for our particular situation.
Some people LOVE listening to others rattle on about their life. Others want to feel heard more often.
Some people LOVE to help others problem-solve. Others want nothing to do with it.
If you can get some specificity about what’s going on in your relationships, you can get some valuable information about how to best navigate them.
Finally, take action based on the information you’ve collected.
Once you have good information about your relationships, it’s time to try something new. If you’re worried that you’re stuck in an energy-vampire relationship, it’s time to make a change.
This doesn’t mean you have to flip over a chair and run out the door. Cooler heads prevail.
What it means is that you have a right to get your point across. If you have a good relationship, consider sharing how you’re feeling. Politely state how the one-sided relationship makes you feel.
Or you could simply talk about yourself more. Maybe you aren’t taking enough initiative and your conversation partner is mistaking your inaction for a lack of having anything to say.
Lastly, and this a big lastly, maybe this isn’t the right person for you. Are you supporting this person for the right reasons? Did you get into this work or friend or life relationship out of guilt? Check your motives. If you don’t even know why you’re spending so much time with this person, maybe it’s time to make a change.
Your time is valuable. Your life has meaning. You don’t have to offer up your energy to vampires because it’s the most convenient thing to do.
Instead, you can be mindful of how you’re spending your time.
The world needs more people like that.
You can be one of them.
Energy vampires beware.