I guess I’m a little late to the punchline since Halloween was last week, but hear me out–this is a very powerful subject that because I did not set personal boundaries for myself, I know the consequences of energetically and emotionally being sucked dry from negative people and experiences.
So, what is an Energy Vampire?
I am so glad that you asked.
From my experience, an Energy Vampire is this toxic force of nature that because you give it power, has the ability to drain the life out of you which leaves you depleted, weak and emotionally exhausted. Some examples of Energy Vampires that I have encountered include, and are not limited to:
- Relationship Partners
- Negative thought forms and patterns
- Inner dialogue of self doubt
And although this list is in no particular order, keep in mind that at the top of the list are most of the time, the biggest sources of our emotionally drained selves.
Have you ever noticed that you can kind of silently out-grow an acquaintance or friend and you’re off living your life and doing your thing and out of nowhere, that person shoots you a text with this mini-novel of how their life is in shambles and they’re so lost and stuck and don’t know what to do?
Okay, so I’m the unlucky few that can honestly say that I don’t really have my own tribe, or go-to friends in my inner-circle. At this point in my life, the people most important to me would need to purchase a $600 flight from the East Coast and endure a 10 hour travel time to see me.
But, what I do have are a ton of acquaintances. As a business manager, you can’t help but know tons of people because you’re working with them, but these people 5, maybe 10 years down the line aren’t very likely to still be in your life. And out of these people, I can honestly say that during my own personal trials and tribulations, were nowhere to be found, but when they are facing their dark hours, my phone is ringing and the texts are non-stop.
And, the pattern that I’m recognizing is that there is hardly a, “How are you doing?”, or, “What are you up to,” or, “How have things been?” It’s more like…
Let me tell you everything that’s gone wrong in my life, and if I’m lucky, (after providing inspiring and positive advice and a fresh perspective, of course), I can interject with some of my personal updates but there’s hardly a response or absolutely no interest on their part.
I think 4 years ago, I was such a fragile mess that I just wanted to be everyone’s friend and help everyone through every single issue to save the day, that I never considered how damaging that was for my own well-being and sanity.
During that time, I also discovered how empathic I was and not only was I helping people sort out their issues, but I was physically and mentally taking on their issues.
Now, this may be ironic because I’m now working on my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and am receiving certification to be a Life Coach, BUT, I assure you there is a difference between wanting to work with and empower people to live amazing lives opposed to other people knowing that you’re gifted at helping and inspiring people and taking advantage of that. It becomes very one-sided, and no longer a co-creative relationship which is pivotal in therapy and life coaching sessions!
I know that without question that my purpose in this life is to write, build a wellness and coaching brand, and empower people to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives.
But, I have also taken great lengths to ensure that I am at my best to do that, and protect myself by establishing personal boundaries.
And, it’s not so much that some people around us are energy vampires, it’s more that we don’t know how to draw some boundaries to not enable them to continue doing it. And bless their hearts, this isn’t happening with intention or malice, it’s just how we’re wired.
So, here a few things that I’ve done to protect myself along the way, and that I actively do each and every day!
- Value yourself! If you don’t, how will others respect that you’ve defined some personal boundaries for yourself? You have to treat yourself as you wish to be treated. That doesn’t mean exposing yourself to stress and complaining about it, it means being in a stressful situation and deciding to walk away and bracket the nonsense for later. Or never!
- How is your quality of life? Are you taking time for yourself? When you’re busy handling other people’s problems I can imagine you’re not meeting your needs. Devote more time to you and the things you love and enjoy, even if that means shutting some people out for a bit so you can get that time.
- Learn to say no. However you want to eloquently put it, formulate your catchphrase so others get the point.
- Know how to bounce back. I think the most refreshing aspect about my life now is that events that were very painful for me to process from my past, I can look at and accept them as they are. And the same goes for people. It’s liberating to just look at a situation for what it is, not have any doubts or second guess the outcome, and just move on.
- Don’t have expectations! When we attach emotion behind how people should be, what they should do, we end up taking it very personally when the opposite occurs. You can control your behaviors and actions, but you can’t do the same with others.
And, let me just explain on my final note. Setting boundaries and saying no or walking away from toxic situations is not selfish. It’s actually quite the contrary. The only work setting that I know is high-volume, fast paced, moving with a sense of urgency, crazy hours, answering to other superiors, and all the drama that comes along with that. When I made a very conscious decision that those settings never really did and will no longer serve me, I made very specific sacrifices to make sure my needs were met. Because I was not able to properly take care of myself throughout my career, I was completely underweight, sleep-deprived, emotionally unbalanced, negative and always playing victim, never really accountable or responsible for my part in a lot of circumstances.
I turned ALL of that around and am now at a healthy, stable weight (I’ve gained 30 NEEDED pounds and it’s the healthiest I’ve ever been!), I worked on my energy healing each and every week through Reiki and acupuncture, I increased my meditation and practice of yoga, and I even chose to leave work.
That’s an incredible sacrifice!
But, during that time, clarity came and I’m moving in a completely different direction. My relationships are more meaningful, I’m working on a degree in a field that I’m passionate about and getting to work with clients that were in similar situations as I was, and empower them to reclaim their energy and sense of self and move in positive directions forward.
All of that occurred because I set personal boundaries and did not allow Energy Vampires to suck my life dry.
With just a little bit of work and mindfulness, you can also relinquish those behaviors and situations that don’t bring out your best so your life is less stressful and more fulfilling!
Blessings and Joy!
Be + Lifted,