Do you know someone who constantly puts you in a bad mood, who makes you feel frustrated or uncomfortable?
In all likelihood you are facing an “energy vampire” or “energy thief “, that is a person who gives you the feeling of emptying yourself. And this is not just an impression of yours: that negative feeling is much more real than you think.
After all, you are energy, we are all energy. Indeed, everything is.
Even if we don’t see it, there is a spark of energy within us. For that matter, we don’t even see the atoms that a table is made of, right?
All ancient traditions have always spoken about the energy in human beings: in India it is called Prana, in China Chi, in Japan Ki, in Polynesia Mana. In ancient Greece, Aristotle defined it ether o quintessence. The father of Bioenergetics, Dr. Wilhelm Reich, gave it the name of Orgone. In short, since forever and in any part of the world, men have perceived that we are not simply the sum of our liver, heart, intestines and other very slimy organs that magically interact with each other, but that there is something more: a breath of energy that gives life to everything else.
What is essential to understand for our well-being is that the circumstances, the environment in which we live and work, our way of thinking, the people we surround ourselves with, greatly affect our inner energy. For better or for worse, of course. And this is why, as far as possible, we have to choose who we want to be close to. We have a duty to surround ourselves with people who support us, who help us descovering the most beautiful part of us.
Who are the “energy vampires”
The energy vampires are not necessarily bad people, but they are still behind in their path of inner growth and awareness and, for this reason, they try to fill their lack of life energy eating that of others. They can “hide” behind family members, friends or just acquaintances. And let’s not be fooled by appearances: even a successful person can be an energy vampire. Success does not necessarily imply internal balance.
Let’s simplify: an energy vampire might be your friend who always makes you feel judged or the one who does nothing but complain about everything and everyone, stealing you hours and hours on the phone. It might be the boss or the colleague who disrespects you. It can be your partner when he spends all his time trying to change you; it can even be your mother if she always makes you feel wrong.
The energy vampire is a person who does not make you feel good about yourself and with whom you live an unbalanced relationship to your disadvantage.
The ten types of “energy vampire”
Probably the list could be endless, but here is below the most frequent types of energy thieves:
- The victim: he (she) has a problem for every solution. He doesn’t get along with others and tends to make you feel guilty about what you did, said or even thought.
- The crybaby: he (she) complains about everything and everyone. He doesn’t like his job, but he doesn’t do anything to change it. His relations, ditto. All the rest, as above. He complains to let off steam, to clear his mind. As a result, he will feel lighter, and you will feel broken.
- The aggressive one: he (she) is the one who uses his verbal violence to impose himself on others. You have a bit of a hard time expressing your opinion or being completely yourself, because you already know that he will respond badly to you.
- The “judgy”: he (she) judges, judges and judges. He feels the need to express his point of view on everything in order to affirm himself. He never likes anything you do and he criticizes you all the time.
- The narcissist: he (she) loves himself more than anything else. He is deeply in love with his thoughts and beliefs. And – of course – he completely ignores other’s opinions. Somehow he manages to damage your self-esteem.
- The newsmonger: he (she) talks about everything and everyone. Gossiping is his favorite sport. Rest assured: sooner or later you will be his “victim” too.
- The talkative: you often wonder how he (she) can breathe since he can practically speaks without taking a breath. He doesn’t care truly about you – actually, he could’t care less – he just has to throw at you that river of words that messes up his mind. Too bad that he messes up yours…
- The intrusive: he (she) wants to be with you. He looks for you and calls you insistently, pretending not to grasp the messages with which you try to kindly make him understand that you are not so available. He expects to have an exclusive relationship with you and tends to be jealous of your friends. You feel uncomfortable in his presence.
- The profiteer: he (she) uses you. He knows he uses you and continues to do so. The classic example is that friend of yours who asks you for favors all the time without giving you anything in return. Often he hides behind a flattering way of doing things: don’t get fooled! (Warning: into this category we find him, the king: the man who doesn’t want to commit to a serious relationship and who makes you waste years of your life. If you want to know more, read here: Stop dating the wrong kind of guy).
- The jealous one: he (she) just can’t be happy for you. You know, you feel it. He never misses an opportunity to make you appear a little less than you are.
– WARNING –
Pay attention! Sometimes it can be subtle and difficult to unmask energy vampires because they might have a passive-aggressive behaviour. For example, they may instill in you a sense of guilt if you don’t comply with their requests, if you don’t pay them the attention they require. You are probably dealing with them if you often find yourself asking questions like: “Did I do something wrong?”, “Did I say something wrong?”. In practice, if you accept to be their doormat, everything is fine, but, as in a sort of veiled psychological blackmail, if you act differently from what they would expect, they start giving you the cold shoulder.
Why the “energy vampire” hurts you
If someone takes advantage of you and does it constantly, without you noticing, you create the conditions for stress. Stress is not only what comes from hard work or dramatic events, it also arises from the inability to be yourself, to be able to say what you think, to be in control of your time. Stress begins to take root within you when you don’t respect yourself, when you put your needs in the background, when you allow people to take advantage of you and impose their way of doing things in your life. Stress increases when you are unable to stop to it because you do not know how to do it, because you feel always sorry, because you do not want to make anyone feel bad, because you do not want to fight with anyone. Thus, in order not to hurt others, you start hurting yourself. If you continue to accept behaviours that make you feel bad about yourself, you devalue your dignity, your time and your intelligence.
To get what you want in life, besides your determination, you need two essential things: time and energy. If you get one or – even worse – both stolen, my dear, you’re screwed. This doesn’t mean not being supportive towards others, not caring for others or not being understanding: loving yourself is not selfish and you can be helpful, kind and generous and, at the same time, being able to say “no”.
Never forget that your availability to others is fine until it becomes an abuse towards yourself.
Respect for yourself requires your ability to push away what hurts you. Even if it’s hard, even if you don’t feel like it. Healthy relationships are those in which there is balance, therefore if you feel that you are constantly being emptied, something is wrong.
Techniques to manage the “energy vampire”
Your ability to manage relationships with others can have a tremendous impact on the quality of your life. In an ideal world, the energy vampire should come out of your life. “It was a pleasure bye!”. And if you can, my advice is to do it as soon as possible. However, I know that often there is no choice, and that we cannot distance ourselves from some people, notwithstanding we are aware of their behaviours.
But you still can do something:
- Move away emotionally: you can be physically close to someone, but distant with your heart.
- Give yourself a time limit for phone calls: 10 minutes? Good. Like a modern Cinderella, at the stroke of the tenth minute, you have to force yourself to end the call: “I really have to leave you”, “I have to work”, etc.
- Learn to say “no”: free advice? No. You don’t work for free.
- Dedicate more time to the people who really deserve it: instead of giving your time and energy to those who steal it without giving you anything in return, start being more present with those who make you feel good and deserve your closeness. “Whoever brings you the most peace should get the most time”. People who make us happy are precious.
- Turn your attention to something else: when you can’t take it anymore to hear the umpteenth complaints, gossip, recriminations, just shifts the conversation to something else. Energy vampire:“You will never change!” You:“Have you changed your hair color? “.
In all likelihood, you may not feel comfortable practicing these new behaviours. Great news: it means that must do it. It means that you have to go through those little moments of discomfort to start loving yourself more. Because that’s exactly how you grow up.
What if the “energy vampire” was you?
Let’s not underestimate the hypothesis that you may be an energy vampire. If you recognize yourself in any of the attitudes described, it does not mean that you are a bad person, but that there are behaviours you should correct. There is always room for improvement, in every area of our life. Thus identify what you don’t like about yourself and start working on it!
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”