Have you ever felt like another person was just sucking the life out of you? Have you felt bored, annoyed, stressed, anxious, threatened or overwhelmed in another’s presence?  Have you had negative thoughts about that person that make you feel even worse?  (Oy! The guilt!)  Maybe you’ve even experienced the telltale physical signs of stress when you’re around that person – headache, nausea, muscle tightness, spontaneous hair loss, heavy drinking, the desire to shoot yourself in the face?

You’re probably having your blood sucked dry by a negative person – an energy vampire.  Like vampires, negative people are incapable of generating positive energy. Hence, they feed off the energy of others. Vampires convert living beings into their kind because they feel lonely living in solitude. Similarly, negative people tend to drag people down into negativity too.  After all, misery loves company!

Spotting an energy vampire

Energy vampires are emotionally immature individuals who believe the entire world revolves around them.  They’re incapable of seeing things from your point of view. They lack empathy.  They don’t take responsibility.  And they believe they have to take everything they can get from others so they’re not deprived of resources.  In other words:  the whole world exists just to serve them, and YOU are their latest object for exploitation.

How do you know you’re a victim?

At first glance, energy vampires are very attractive, even highly desirable. Remember in the “Twilight” movies the vampires sparkled like diamonds and looked like Hollywood starlets?  They often are good-looking, bold, flamboyant or intelligent, and may appear to have a high opinion of YOU as indicated by their flattering attention. Drawing you into their inner circle may seem like just the boost you need in your usually drab work environment.

However, be warned that they are just setting you up to exploit you in whichever way best suits their purposes later. What seems quite innocent at first, such as asking you to introduce them to your professional network, making sales introductions or attending their Pampered Chef party may then turn into activities that exhaust you or even make you compromise your own ethics or values against your will.

There’s no good way to deal with energy vampires.  As long as you’re providing the fuel for their supernatural lives, they’ll continue to suck your blood whenever they need nourishment. Of course, you can try the time-tested vampire eradication techniques of submerging them in holy water, exposing them to direct sunlight or driving the inevitable wooden stake through the heart, these techniques may be NSFW, depending upon your place of employment (they certainly are at Sol.)  Also, sometimes those energy vampires are work colleagues, clients and even your boss.  Those are energy vampires you may not be able eradicate completely from your life.  That’s why you need some techniques to help you avoid having the life sucked out of you.

Don’t get drained by the energy vampires

Getting rid of vampire-ish clients, co-workers or head honcho isn’t exactly convenient in the work setting.  That’s why I offer you the following tips for making sure the energy vampires don’t drain you:

  1. Spend more time with the life-givers rather than the life-takers. Specifically identify the energy vampires, and begin to evaluate ones you’d like to limit contact with or eliminate.  Spend more time with people who give off positive energy, and avoid drainers. Notice how this beneficially affects your physical and emotional well-being.
  2. Draw a line. It’s crucial to limit the time you spend discussing a vampire’s gripes. When approaching him or her, remember: the difference between being a bitch and setting boundaries is attitude. Instead of saying, “You’re self-obsessed, I can’t take you anymore,” which you likely feel, perhaps shift the conversation to something more productive and positive.
  3. Get centered. I don’t practice meditation, but maybe I should.  However, I’ve learned from others that sitting in meditation gives you a lifeline to your center.  I say, getting centered in whatever way is most effective for you will calm your mind and let you re-align with your essence.  For me, that might mean a good workout, a long walk or some quality time with Comet and Beyonce.  Use whatever makes you feel centered to rejuvenate and get back to you.
  4. Beat it. If you feel your energy being zapped, politely excuse yourself from a killing conversation. Move at least twenty feet from the person, outside the range of his or her energy field. “I need to pee,” is my foolproof line. Most people are oblivious to how their energy impacts others.  Don’t worry about appearing rude or offending the vampire.  Energy vampires are so self-absorbed that they probably won’t even notice you removing yourself from the conversation.
  5. Put up a force-field. While doing my research for this piece, I became aware of this technique, which, on the surface, seems silly. However, I’ve tried it, and it works.  When you’re with vampires you can’t get away from visualize a protective shield of while light surrounding every inch of you. This lets positive energy in, but keeps negative energy out—particularly efficient for vampires at family dinners or social events where you’re trapped.

Energy vampires are like human black holes.  Don’t let yourself be victimized by one of these people.  You can recognize them by the telltale signs:  they’re negative and self-absorbed and make you feel stressed and anxious.  Sometimes they’re overbearing and obnoxious.  But more often than not, they’re friendly and charming. I hope I’ve inspired you to keep your eyes open, and make sure you’ve got your garlic and wooden cross in the form of these tips at the ready!