“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.”
– Blaine Lee
There is something we might desperately need to do, in the time of Covid-19. We need it now, more than ever. It might give us peace and reassurance. I am about to do this for myself. And I recommend that you do it for yourself too.
What I am going to do is to remove my energy vampires.
What is an Energy Vampire?
You see, there is a group of people in our lives, who suck up our energy and demand all of our attention. They are called ‘energy vampires’.
“Energy vampires may be charming, charismatic and the life-of-the-party personality. They also may cheat. They may lie. And it’s probably someone else’s fault when something goes wrong.” according to ‘How to Spot (and Deal with) an Energy Vampire’, https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-spot-deal-energy-vampire-ncna896251. They are addicted to the attention and response they get from being energy vampires.
So, these energy vampires criticize, bully or intimidate – yes, instill fear – to get us to do what they want us to do. They are adults and thus, they make a choice to behave the way they do. Energy vampires do all this while not being held accountable nor taking responsibility. They do not answer for the fact that they cause real harm. They are emotionally immature.
Relationships of the Energy Vampire
According to this article, ‘How to Recognize and Respond to Energy Vampires at Home, Work, and More’, https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/energy-vampires#takeaway,”People who are sensitive and compassionate are prime targets for energy vampires. You offer a listening ear, a kind heart, and endless energy.” The article goes on to elaborate as follows, “In that way, energy vampires use your very nature against you, draining you of your vitality.”
Energy vampires, according to the same article as in the previous paragraph, “use relationships — often romantic ones — to continue spinning a cycle of drama and emotional need.”
There is nothing a working mother needs less than a draining marriage. I spent almost 15 years married to and living with, an energy vampire and when I walked away, I hoped no more would come into my life. I am happy to say that, today, no energy vampires live in my home anymore.
Feeding on the Energy of Others
But, energy vampires are still out there and they still drain me, when I have to communicate with them for a few hours or an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the world we live in doesn’t allow us to totally avoid interaction at work, at home or in public.
So how do we identify energy vampires out there in the real world? In ‘How to Spot (and Deal with) an Energy Vampire’, we see that we can identify them because they “either lack or have a somewhat misguided conscience or moral compass”.
Mental and Physical Health
While energy vampires exist on a spectrum, as explained in the articles, this much is true. Knowing that they are grouped with antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, makes me wary of their good intentions. Deception, self-importance or lack of empathy in a person is enough to tell me that this human being is not worth my energy.
Now, my instincts tingle a lot if I detect lies, dishonesty and elasticity of truth in individuals I come across. These traits serve as red flags for the potential of someone to be able to drain me of my life force.
Energy vampires are sources of toxic stress so if you continuously live or work closely, with this variety of person, you will get sick, very sick quite quickly. “Evidence shows that people under chronic stress are at a higher risk of chronic problems ranging from autoimmune diseases to heart disease, obesity and depression.” according to ‘How to Spot (and Deal with) an Energy Vampire’.
I spent most of my life being a ‘people-pleaser’. I bent over backwards to accommodate, be helpful, be likable and it cost me everything.
So, I am reclaiming my life, my mental and physical well-being. I am also jealously guarding my remaining time on the planet. Covid-19 has inspired me. I am distancing myself from energy vampires.
Won’t you join me? I think we’re worth it.