Your phone rings, you look down and as soon as you see who it is your mind does a tiny recoil. It’s him/her again. You don’t have time for the inevitable negative conversation, need or drama they are about to bring to your day. You decide not to answer the phone. A guilty feeling starts to slowly creep over you and you hear a voice reminding you that good people are there for friends or family when they need them. You answer the phone because you are a good person (aren’t you?). From the moment they start to speak you feel your energy being sucked away. You’ve been attacked by an energy vampire, and the sad thing is that you pretty much bent your head, exposed your throat and let them take the bite out of you! Why is that? Why do so many people so often get “bitten” by these kinds of people?
The first reason is that often we do not understand what makes someone an “energy vampire”. What is the difference between a person that truly needs a helping hand and a person that is overly needy and sucks the life right out of people?
Here are a few signs that you are dealing with an “energy vampire”:
- This person is always a victim of some perceived wrong
- They do not take responsibility for their own actions
- Guilt and/or manipulating is how they get what they want
- Drama surrounds them
- They are constantly taking from others without giving back
- Being around them leads to your feeling drained, anxious or stressed
I was friends with several of these kinds of people for many years (over 15 years with a couple of them) and in all the time that I knew them their lives barely changed. I was even like them for a short time, sucking life from the healthy people around me so I could feel better. Happily I did not like being that way and I got myself some therapy, some helpful books and a new attitude! The important lesson I’ve learned from all of it is that people cannot take from us what we do not allow them to take. Our time, resources and emotional well-being are ours to give or not give. It is our responsibility to not give out more than what is healthy for our own well being. Ignoring our limits is no one else’s fault. We need to understand ourselves and what we are capable of giving without damaging ourselves in the process. That knowledge and the usage of it is the “garlic” that will keep those biting buggers off your neck!
My favorite book that helped me out with this is “Boundaries”. I’m in the process of reading it a second time because I have once again become prone to allowing “energy vampires” to suck the life out of me and I needed a reminder of some of the healthy things I once had in place. Boundaries is an excellent book that will help you to evaluate and take responsibility for your own actions in regards to others. It has a christian take on the matter which is extremely helpful for anyone that like me has grown up with the concept that kindness, goodness and forgiveness have no limits. Interested in learning how to set some healthy life boundaries? Boundaries
Grab a coffee, a copy of the book and learn how to handle the energy vampires in your life.