Managing “Energy Vampires”
Last week I was at a dinner party. I had been looking forward to this event since receiving the invitation. It was at a lovely place, with great food, music and ambiance. However, I left the event feeling exhausted. Why? I was seated next to what I call an “Energy Vampire,” a person who views life through a lens of disappointment rather than gratitude. My dinner companion’s conversation was a litany of complaints.
Since then, I’ve thought about what I could have done to either shift the focus or to have distanced myself enough to enjoy the event. It occurred to me that feeling drained or exhausted is a clue from our intuition to change direction.
Who or what gives you energy? This is a clue from your inner guidance about what to move towards. These might be people you enjoy being with or things that you enjoy doing. It can be as simple as having time to read a novel or taking a luxurious bath before bedtime. Perhaps you feel energized when you spend time with kids, garden, listen to music, or volunteer for a local service group. Begin to pay attention to the times in your life when you feel enthusiastic, passionate, and full of energy.
Who or what depletes you? This could be a situation, a habitual pattern of thought, or a person like my dinner companion. Anything that enervates you is part of the feedback system from your intuition about what to avoid or to move away from. This might be a negative friend or co-worker, a job that doesn’t serve you, or a way of thinking about your life. If you feel dread, depressed, hopeless, or fearful about someone or something in your life, you are getting a valuable clue that positive change is needed in this area.
What do you NEED to do? Let’s face it, if you could be doing anything you wanted you might be lying on a warm beach, eating tropical fruit, and enjoying the sounds of the waves. However, being a practical sort, let’s take a look at what you absolutely need to be doing. Everything you thought of in the “what drains you” part of this article is unlikely to change overnight. You may need to keep your job for now. You may be obligated to care for your ill parents. It’s helpful to take a look at those areas in your life that you feel are “must do’s” for now.
What I Wish I Had Done I’ve thought back to the evening with my energy vampire dinner companion whose conversation was a litany of complaints that ranged from her state of health, to her children who ignored her, to the local gossip. I realize now that I wasn’t serving her or me by refusing to address the situation. I thought about several things I could have done differently. In order of priority they would have been:
- Shift the conversation to all the wonderful things going on around us.
- Changed the topic to something more positive.
- Asked what she was enjoying about the evening.
- Begin conversing with others at the table.
- If none of the above worked, I would politely ask if we could talk about more positive things.
- As the evening progressed I could have moved.
The Effects of Negativity When you continually harbor negative emotions toward yourself or others you begin to create a toxic situation in your body as well as in your life as a whole. When your thoughts are full of fear and hate and your life is in full panic mode, you’re heading towards a crisis. When you learn to honor the wisdom of your intuition on a day-to-day basis and act on the information, you’ll find that your life stays in balance despite the outer circumstances. The writer, Somerset Maugham summed it up best when he said, “It’s a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.”
Angry vampire image available from Shutterstock.
Robinson, L. (2013). Managing “Energy Vampires”. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 4, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/divine-intuition/2013/09/managing-energy-vampires/