“When she left I felt like I needed an exorcism.” This is how I described my weekend with an energy vampire. What’s an energy vampire? It is someone who sucks the energy right out of you.
According to Dr. Judith Orloff, you know you have been in the presence of an energy vampire if you feel any of the following:
- Your eyelids are heavy – you’re ready for a nap
- Your mood takes a nose dive
- You want to binge on carbs or comfort food
- You feel anxious, depressed or negative
- You feel put down
Now, I can feel this way all by myself at times, but these are the feelings that crop up when I am feeling upbeat and have suddenly encountered an energy vampire. Everything shifts in an unhealthy, energy draining way. I usually go in search of chips and dip!
Dr. Orloff describes several common energy vampires or emotional vampires as she calls them.
- The Narcissist – She is the ‘Me First’ and only ‘Me First’ in your life.
- The Controller – He tries to control you and tell you how should be feeling
- The Drama Queen – You know this one by all the exaggerated theatrics
- The Constant Talker – He never lets you get a word in edgewise
- The Victim – She is constantly in the state of ‘poor me the world is out to get me’ mode.
Anyone of these vampires can drain your energy and this past weekend I had the distinct privilege of being with one person who exhibits all of the above behaviors. It may take me a month to recover my equilibrium. And if I keep eating chips and dips I will need an exorcism or a double dose of cholesterol lowering meds.
Fortunately, I do not have to be in this person’s presence very often and never voluntarily. When I am with her I do my best to guard my energy by focusing on the energy givers in the room, not entering into a long conversation with her, being clear with my boundaries around her and keeping in mind that she is an energy vampire; and therefore, dangerous to my health. There really aren’t enough chips and dip in the world to binge on to clear her from my system.
And still it is hard to recover after 48 hours with an energy sucker.
Do you have energy vampires in your life? They can increase our stress levels to unhealthy proportions, wreak havoc with our blood pressure and immune systems, and remind us that our energy is a precious commodity in our busy lives.
It really is our energy we have to guard if we are to make the most of the time in our possession.