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Energy Vampires

I originally posted this a few years ago, but recent conversations have led me to re-post. Let me know what you think.

Do you feel tired and drained after being with some people? You know the ones – after spending time with them, you feel that you just need to go and lie down. They have sapped you of your energy, and your strength has diminished. They may be family, co-workers or friends. They come in all ages, and can be loud and overbearing or quiet and shy. They may even appear happy and confident, but they all have one thing in common – they are Energy Vampires.

What Is An Energy Vampire?

Energy Vampires usually aren’t even aware of the negative effect they have on people. To them, their life is in ruins, and they want as many people as possible to know about it. They often have had some tragedy in their life, but this is exacerbated by the continuous movie re-runs that play in their head. They are also expert at blaming other people for their circumstances – nothing is ever their fault, and they take no responsibility for events that happen in their life.

Their negativity about everything is endless. If something good “accidentally” comes into their lives, they are always looking for the negatives in it, or the person or circumstances that will take it away. By now, if you have Energy Vampires in your life, I am sure you have a list of people this description fits. Now, you need to know what you can do about it.

How Do I Handle Energy Vampires?

  1. Write down the list of people you thought of when you read the above paragraph. Recognize the impact they are having on your life. Keep in mind that Energy Vampires thrive on negative energy, and encourage you to be negative as well. Misery loves company.
  2. Recognize that you cannot fix their problems, and in reality, they don’t want you to. They want someone to vent at. If they truly were interested in a solution to their problems, they would work on that rather than spending time discussing the same issues over and over.
  3. Limit the time you spend with Energy Vampires. If this is impractical,  limit the scope of conversations you are willing to have with them. Set your boundaries. Practice ways of limiting your conversation time -”You are on your way to a meeting, an appointment or to pick up the children.” Don’t be available whenever they want to vent.
  4. When you feel the conversation is heading down the old path AGAIN, turn it back for them to take action. Ask questions – “You have identified your problems, now what are you going to DO about them? The automatic response will continue to be negative. Again, this is where you need to set your boundaries. Make it clear that until they take action to rectify or move towards a solution, you no longer want to talk about that subject with them. BE FIRM. They will keep going back, as this is their comfort zone, but stand your ground. They will get the message, if you don’t give in. Don’t allow yourself to engage in the same conversations that their life is unfair, everyone else gets a better go, or nobody really understands them.
  5. Be aware that there may come a time when you recognize that these Energy Vampires should no longer be in your life. This sounds harsh, but when you continuously spend time with negative people, you may very well, end up as the next Energy Vampire to others.

Being a supportive, caring person is something I always aspire to. There is a difference between a person going through a time when they need their friends and family support, and having a person they can discuss their feelings with. This person is not an Energy Vampire – they are simply a person needing support.

However, an Energy Vampire has the same issues time and time again, does nothing to rectify the problem, and engages as many people as possible into their misery. They are the people you need to be firm with. They can have a very real effect on you. Your time, resources and energy are important, and you may need to either limit your time with these people or divert the conversations away from their favorite topic – their dramas.

They will feel better after dumping all their rubbish on you, and it is important that you don’t take that load upon yourself – because energy vampires will have another story for you tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

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84 Responses to Energy Vampires

  1. Great post, Brenda. Some people have drama filled lives. What I’ve found to be really effective is to stay neutral and depending on how often this happens, if it’s a friend in need of a girl talk once in a while then it’s fine, but as you said if it’s too often, you can diffuse the drama but staying neutral. The more you engage in it, the more energy you give the other person.

    Janette

  2. Val Wilcox says:

    Brenda,
    Energy vampire come in many forms, don’t they. Sometimes those nearest can be the biggest drain if they don’t understand what you’re doing or why. I like to give them a twist by only talking about positive things. AND most definitely limiting the time I spend with them. Keep those closest who support and encourage.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas on how to empower yourself around energy zappers. :)
    Val

  3. Well done. Now, you need to write one to help those “energy vampires” recognize themselves! I don’t think anyone would consciously want to be one.

    • That’s my next article to be posted :). There are so many people out there who just don’t recognize themselves as Energy Vampires. As in anything in life, recognition is that first step.

      Thanks for your thoughts – the article is ready and will be posted in the coming days.

  4. Brenda, I agree with you 100% because if you ALLOW the “vampires” into your life, the will drain you. These are the ones that don’t want to grow. They stay in their comfort zone and will not come out. It is easy to spot once you step back and watch their repeated behavior.
    On a personal note: I have done yet another “clean sweep” of those vampires in my life. They were family members. Without writing a novel about this, I was firm, and let them go. I told them my conditions and said to them that if you want to enter my space again, you must abide by them. Talk about strength.
    I went through the process of mourning for a few days (which is normal when doing this to people who you love.)
    Reading this post really hit home and is a true Godsend for me right now. Coincidence? I don’t believe that at all.
    Many thanks to you,
    Donna Merrill

  5. When I was 12 years old, I started learning yoga. One of the rules was to avoid negative people and it explained things similar to what you said. But I do not know if it is good to call them vampires since the movie series, Twilight, has made vampires and werewolves very popular.

    The lice problem in America has grown a lot. During my grandfather’s day there was a lice problem. He would call people that he did not like a louse (singular for lice). So you can say to watch out for a negative louse. Maybe that is where the word “lousy” came from.

    • Thank you for your comments Chuck. I can understand what you are saying, but the context of this articles was to highlight people that “suck” the energy from you, and ways to combat that. Whether you call them vampires or lice, it is entirely up to you.

      I like your thoughts on the origins of the word lousy – could well be true.

  6. Awesome post here Brenda, you seem like a person that comes with the value 110% of the Time my Friend. This is my first time on your blog and I am honored that I found your blog. I will be back for more info because i see you packet it in. Check out my blog and get me your feedback.

    • Thank you Kareem, and I am thankful you discovered my site also. Yes, you are right – anything I do will always have my full attention and effort given to it.:) Will definitely check out your site

  7. Teresa says:

    It is interesting that we expect others to act rationally even though we are irrational.

  8. Lyren says:

    Very well written post. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more from you. Especially love that you have highlighted to me what I feel when I am with some people

  9. Holly says:

    I love when you discuss this type of stuff in your posts. Would love to read more.

  10. Ollie says:

    Loved this article. Continue the good work!

  11. Rhiannon says:

    Loved this article – it is very relevant to some of my relatives. Always wondered why I felt so drained after spending time with them. Thanks for the info. I will try your tips

  12. Kathleen says:

    Some new and exciting information for me. Made me stop and think about some of my relationships also.

  13. Trudy says:

    I found your site on google and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading all your posts – especially this one. I have a few Energy Vampires that I am now aware of. Thank you

  14. Ellen says:

    This post was excellent!

  15. Gyles says:

    Good post. Came to this post from an article link you posted on facebook. Thanks for sharing.

  16. neil says:

    I have recently had a clean out of people in my life. I still see them but not as much. Feels so much better

  17. Vonnie says:

    Loved this article

  18. Analisa says:

    My husband and I were discussing this recently about some of my friends. he really noticed a difference with me after I spent time with them. Will be limiting that time from now on. Thanks for the clarification.

  19. Sandy says:

    Much needed reading for me at this time – thank you

  20. Kris says:

    You provided tremendous points here. Something I hadn’t thought too much about before but realised some people are sucking the energy out of me

  21. Alana says:

    Just what I needed at the moment – it’s funny how things come to your attention when you need them.

  22. Lana says:

    Thank you and I love your site.

  23. Jess says:

    Outstanding info. Just what I needed at the moment. Thank you

  24. Hagit says:

    Great post, So true.
    Sometimes you just have to get away from these people, and you’ll instantly see the difference in you vibration, it will feel better. I have experienced it and it’s amazing, just cut the time you spend with them and listen to their complaints and their view on life.

  25. Kyle says:

    I just wanted to thank you for this information. Really great for me now. An interesting prospective

  26. William says:

    I have been doing some searches on google on how to deal with people like this, Just what I needed to read – it’s great.

  27. Strattera says:

    I feel like you could probably teach a class on how to make a great blog. This is fantastic! I have to say, what really got me was your design. You certainly know how to make your blog more than just a rant about an issue. Youve made it possible for people to connect. Good for you, because not that many people know what theyre doing.

  28. Isaac says:

    I love to share this post with my friends – thanks for sharing!

  29. Blaney says:

    This post is as wonderful as your other blog posts : D, Thank you for sharing with us all

  30. Britney says:

    Very interesting article again – can’t get enough of your posts – just fabulous

  31. Antoni says:

    Great article-love your writing style. Makes so much sense when you see it written like this – now, all I need to do is put it into action

  32. Ros says:

    Outstanding post. My girlfriend has been undergoing circumstances like this recently and this really helped her

  33. Vern says:

    I really liked reading your posts!. Quality content. Great advice

  34. Sarah says:

    Great blog post. Love your writing and the topics you cover – especially this one on Energy Vampires

  35. Derek says:

    I love your website. Keep up the great work. Also loving your facebook posts. Keeps me thinking

  36. Jordan says:

    Found your site through Face book – so glad I did. Just awesome. You hit right home

  37. Dwayne says:

    Great point of view here. I can feel my energy levels rising already

  38. Annie says:

    Thanks for providing such an informative post! You helped me recognize what is happening to me at the moment with some of my friends – draining the energy from me….but then again, I have allowed it to happen

  39. Rick says:

    Loved this article. My girlfriend showed it to me when we were discussing my parents. A light-bulb moment. Thanks

  40. John says:

    I have used meditation for a long time now – so many benefits. If we all meditated, the world would be a better place. Many thanks John

  41. Bart says:

    Thanks for making this site. I know how much effort goes into creating and maintaining a site like this. Congratulations on providing great information and feedback

  42. Brad says:

    Good article -Thx :)

  43. Kingsley says:

    I love this site – thank you

  44. Kandy says:

    Thank you once again for everything you have written on this site. Well worth going back and having a read of your past articles – brilliant

  45. Tasha says:

    Energy vampires – I didn’t realize they existed – but after reading this, there are everywhere in my family. Thank you for helping me recognize them and also ways to help myself when I am around them. I feel better already

  46. Wendie says:

    Love, love, loved this – opened my eyes to some things going on around me at the moment

  47. rose says:

    thank you for this post – learned a lot :) Rose

  48. donny says:

    Awesome info – learning a lot from your site

  49. Breanna says:

    See this in some of my friends – I was always exhausted after seeing them….same things over and over. Different men, same problems. Thanks for bringing this to my attention – will be handling things differently from now on

  50. gary says:

    Like this post on Energy Vampires, Mind Recipes. Thank you

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