Energy vampires, drama queens, power suckers – whatever you want to call them, we’ve all likely been victim to at least one. Whether it’s one of your closest childhood friends who love to talk your ear off, or that one co-worker who can’t seem to separate the personal from professional—these types of people can find you through many different walks of life. You know, those downers and critics that suck you dry of any good vibes try to surround yourself with.
If you spot one coming your way, don’t run just yet. Try these seven ways to shield yourself and deal with people who drain the life out of you:
Give it to them straight.
Energy vampires are so caught up in their downfalls that they neglect to realize the effect they’re having on everyone around them. Don’t be afraid to remind them how their words and actions are depleting you (and others) from pursuing your/their best life. However, be kind and mindful in your approach. That can mean saying something like, “I care for you and want you to get through this, but I can only handle so much of these conversations because they make me feel exhausted and unhappy.”
Take extra steps to self-care before and after you’re around them.
Sometimes it pays off to be selfish, especially if you’re spending all your time being selfless. Every morning and night, tune into high vibe activities that will leave you feeling good about yourself. Maybe take a hot salt bath at night to rid yourself of the toxic feelings you’ve immersed yourself in all day, or start your day on a positive note by doing some light yoga, or meditate 10-15 minutes daily to reconnect with your inner monologue. Doing a combination of these simple self-care practices will leave you feeling recharged and ready to tackle any new obstacles with aplomb.
Give them sound but firm advice.
Misery loves company. Direct them to the right company, such as counselors, psychiatrists, or life coaches who do this very thing for a living. Alternatively, if you have been in a similar rut, give them tips on how you pulled yourself out of it. Resonating with someone else’s success story will give them more motivation to recognize and pull themselves out of their bad habits.
Spread good karma.
Simple affirmations, a smile, and an encouraging gesture can work wonders in changing the attitude of your energy vampires, even for a few days. Try sending a text message to them mid-day to let them know you’re thinking of and rooting for them.
Let it out!
If you’re struggling to manage these people, you’re not alone. Talk to your family members or trusted peers about the challenges you’re having (in moderation, of course). Journaling or exercising are also healthy ways to let out some steam and stress.
Stop the pity parties.
It’s easy to succumb to the needs of the energy vampire but don’t. Pity is the last thing these breeds need. In fact, it will only feed their desire to pile on more of their baggage for you to “fix.” Once you establish firm boundaries with them and for yourself, they may just steer clear.
If all else fails, it may be time to cut these people out of your life or at the very least, keep contact to a bare minimum. It’s important to keep friends and loved ones close, but not at the expense of losing yourself. Those who care about you will take heed in this and honor your space.