(This post originally appeared in my October newsletter. Click here to subscribe.)
October may be the month of spooks and ghouls, but are you actually haunted by an energy vampire?
What is an energy vampire?
Energy vampires are individuals who can drain the life energy right out of you. They may be well-meaning individuals, but you may feel cornered into listening to self-focused stories or negativity. They come in many forms, including gossips, drama queens, talkaholics, whiners and complainers.
Notice how you feel. You know you’ve been zapped because after spending time with the person, you feel completely wiped out, stressed or guilty. Your head might ache, your chest or throat tightens in their presence and you might feel like taking a nap after hanging up the phone. So how do you protect yourself from an energy vampire, especially if he or she is a family member, co-worker, boss or close friend?
Set up boundaries. Either move away from the relationship or limit the amount of time you spend with the person. If you have a friend who talks nonstop, clearly state that you have 10 minutes to talk and then you have to go. After 10 minutes, say: “I’m sorry to interrupt, but as I mentioned I have an appointment so we’ll have to talk later.”
Neutralize the attack. Take a deep breath. Keep your reaction neutral and calm. For example, when faced with a drama queen who thrives on sharing her problems, but isn’t interested in solutions, try: “Hmm. That’s a tough one. I don’t know what to tell you to do, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” If your friend constantly complains, try reframing her complaints in a more positive light.
Consider the Law of Attraction. Recently, when I was feeling angry about a situation, all of a sudden angry people seemed to be coming out of the woodwork–on the road and even right up to my front door. Once I worked through the situation in a healthy way, peace ensued once more. Recognize that other people may be reflecting your energy. Process your negative feelings to help yourself deflect negative attacks in a positive way.
For more on managing draining relationships, check out my ebook!