When you think of the people in your life who lift you up, who immediately comes to mind? I’m guessing that whoever it is—whether it’s a friend, family member or coworker—you usually leave conversations and interactions with him or her feeling peaceful, energized or happy.
Unfortunately, interactions with others can sometimes have an opposite effect. And if you leave interactions feeling drained of your life force, it’s a good indication that you’ve just been in contact with an energy vampire.
I know it’s a dramatic archetype: the vampire. But it’s a very fitting one. Mythical movie vampires suck your blood, but energy vampires suck your energy. And since all of our interactions are energy exchanges, it’s important to prepare yourself so you’re able to protect your energy level and wellbeing.
Spotting a vampire in the movies is relatively easy because of their pale complexions and fanged teeth. But spotting an energy vampire on sight is less easy because they could be anyone, whether a stranger on the train or your favorite cousin. You’re more likely to recognize the effects of an encounter with an energy vampire before you recognize the vampire him or herself, which, according to Dr. Judith Orloff, are:
1. Your thinking becomes clouded, confused.
2. You feel like the rug was just pulled out from under you.
3. Your mood is suddenly really down.
4. You feel tired (zero energy, eyelids getting heavy, ready for a nap).
5. You feel put down, sniped at, or agitated.
Aside from feelings as indicators, you’ll learn to spot energy vampires because their interactions with you take on patterns that place them in common vampire types. Some of these include the criticizer (who finds fault with everything and offers unsolicited advice), the victim (who has a “poor me” attitude and complains often), the drama queen/king (who exaggerates small incidents into extreme crises and seems to thrive on chaos), and the blamer (who berates and accuses).
Look for these signs and patterns to start learning to identify the energy vampires in your life, which is the first step towards protecting yourself against their attacks. Look for more tips in a future post to help you stay energetic and healthy.