Most of you reading this are aware of energy vampires, even if you’ve never heard the term before. You
know those peeps, the ones that you feel drained after interacting with…that’s them! The reason you
feel drained is because they’re literally feeding off your energy.
Normally there’s some awareness around who these people are and that it’s happening. This is often
followed by a fair amount of complaining about these people and judgement placed on them. We often
hear things like: they shouldn’t be like that, why do they do this to me, I can’t take it anymore, and a
whole list of disempowering statements like that. The statements give your power away and make you
feel like a victim of these people…not a good place to be.
So how do we deal with them? Boundaries. The boundaries are different based on the circumstances
and relationship with the vampire. The easy ones, you can simply attempt to redirect the conversation
by stating that you feel drained talking about negative things all the time and you’d rather talk about
something more positive. If they are ready to change, this will be as welcome to them as it is to
you…sometimes people are looking to get out of the negativity, they just don’t know how. If they aren’t
ready for change, you can just stop hanging out with or talking with them on a regular basis. It’s okay,
we don’t have to be friends with everyone…even if it’s your family.
The more difficult ones are what I call the repeat offenders…these are people that’s it’s very difficult to
get away from like family (often), co-workers, boss, an ex-spouse (if there’s kids involved), etc. The
answer is the same – boundaries, but it usually is more of an intense process with more extreme
The solution always has to be a win/win for you. The person either stops acting in a draining way
towards you or you have limited contact reserved for mandatory conversations about specific topics
that are strictly solution-based. There is very little talk about the problem and the focus is almost
entirely on solution. It is cordial but it is not extensive or relationship-based.
To get there, you can begin setting small boundaries, like ending conversations that aren’t going
anywhere, limiting the frequency, and being honest that you don’t enjoy the conversations the way they
are going and would love to have more enjoyable conversations with them if that’s possible. That’s the
truth…if you could have good conversations with this person where you didn’t feel drained, you would
be fine continuing them.
If you continue setting boundaries and standing by them, eventually the person either behaves
differently around you or you’re not around them very often and when you are the conversations are
very specific and minimal. You can do this with anyone. The first step is to stop looking for reasons why
you can’t do this with someone and start looking for the reasons you can. Whatever you look for you
will find. And if you still need help, reach out to me or someone else that can help you.