Energy Vampires

These types of people are very real, but beware, once bitten they have the power to turn you into one yourself!
"In dealing with regular vampires all Van Helsing has to do was pound a stake through their hearts. Well, it is not quite so simple with energy vampires. An energy vampire is a person who, due to their own pain and battles with ego, suck the energy out of those around them. They are negative, they are angry, they are mired in self pity, they are hypercritical. They typically blame their own anger on the very targets of their anger. ”I only got mad because you did ___” they will say and they really believe this. Others will always be sad, always be enmeshed in drama. Everyone who comes in contact with them walks away feeling drained.

How do we deal with them? Unfortunately just like real vampires these people could be anyone including loved ones, dear friends or coworkers. The obvious answer is avoid them but this is not always possible. So, this is what we do. First, we use our compassion. These people are suffering from soul sickness. They are self identified with a mask of ego. The mask may be “victim”, “predator” or “martyr”. These masks thrive on discord and drama so they will manufacture it whenever they can. We understand this. We do not engage them or participate in the drama.

We do not fight back. Instead we are impassive. They will HATE this. When you do not respond you are refusing to provide the negative energy they need to fuel that pain state. Do not act superior or pitying. Leave the room if you can. Do not try and teach them “what’s wrong with them” they wont listen and will just funnel that into more drama. If you mess up and get sucked in just reset and do better next time. It is human to be drawn into these kinds of episodes. You can resist this though with practice.

After its all said and done. Forgive them. Since they are not getting the negative energy they need to survive they will eventually give up."
๑ Samsaran ๑

"American author Albert Bernstein uses the phrase "emotional vampire" for people with various personality disorders who are often considered to drain emotional energy from others."

What is an Energy Vampire?

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's New York Times Bestseller, “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

"Relationships are always an energy exchange. To stay feeling our best, we must ask ourselves: Who gives us energy? Who saps it? It's important to be surrounded by supportive, heart-centered people who make us feel safe and secure. It's equally important to pinpoint the energy vampires, who, whether they intend to or not, leech our energy.

Positive energy in others can be rejuvenative. For instance, you're nervous about a job interview, but the minute you meet your prospective boss you relax. He's so calm and welcoming, you calm down too. Or perhaps you have a good friend around whom you always feel loved. These are energy-givers, those we must gravitate towards.

In contrast, energy vampires exude negative energy that drains. Vampires range from the intentionally malicious ones to those who are oblivious to their effect. Some are overbearing and obnoxious; others are friendly and charming. For example, you're at a party talking to a perfectly nice person, but suddenly you're nauseous or weak. Or how about the co-worker who drones on about how she broke up with her boyfriend for the tenth time? Eventually, she feels better, but you're spent. The bottom line is that on a subtle energy level these people suck you dry.

Exercise: Take an inventory of people in your life who give energy, and people who drain. Specifically identify the energy vampires, and begin to evaluate ones you'd like to limit contact with or eliminate. Plan at least one complete afternoon with people who give off positive energy and avoid drainers. Notice how this beneficially affects their physical and emotional well-being."

Energy Vampire - non persons.

by Brad Bollenbach

1. Polling

How many times have you checked your email today? How many IM conversations do you have going on right this minute? How many IRC windows do you have open? Do you know off the top of your head how many visitors your site has had so far today? (Be honest.)
Polling is the habit of constantly checking the status of something. It comes from the mistaken idea that information that is updated in real-time needs to be tracked in real-time. Polling is an energy vampire because it snaps you out of your artistic groove. It’s not just the 30 seconds it takes to check your email. It’s the 15-20 minutes you spend responding to a new message that kills your focus.
Solution: Set a time each day to do all your checking. I generally check my feed stats, website stats, email, and revenue stats once every day around 5:00 PM.
Uninstall applications that alert you of new email. For truly urgent messages, use urgent mediums like phone or a knock on the door. If you are absolutely required to use your Inbox for urgent communications, configure your email alerts to monitor only items that require immediate response.
If you spend a lot of time on IRC, AIM, or Facebook, measure the output of this investment. How would your life be different if you spent all that time in virtual reality on face-to-face connections?

2. Arguing and Internet “Flame Wars”

Have you ever seen a news anchor host a discussion panel with experts on each side of the issue? Do you EVER see one expert say to the other “Hm, you know what? I’m completely wrong. Now that I’ve heard your point of view, I think we should pull all our troops out of Iraq.”
Nobody ever wins an argument. People argue to make themselves heard, not to listen to and evaluate what the other person is saying. Internet flame wars are even worse. When two nameless, faceless opponents square off in the digital ring, the shit can really hit the fan.
Solution: The key to winning an argument is don’t argue in the first place. Not only will you definitely not “win”, the other side is probably not even listening. Stop trying to prove that you’re right and just live by the truths you’ve uncovered from your own experience. On the internet, stay out of holy wars, and avoid starting them. Don’t post questions like “Which is better, X or Y?” or “What is the best X?” The only opinion you need on such things is your own.
I’ll admit, it took me a couple of years to stop getting into internet geek brawls, but thankfully it is a breakable addiction.

3. Complaining

You’ll never hear someone described as the “World’s Most Accomplished Critic”. Complaining and inactionable criticism is the highest form of mental masturbation. While it’s incredibly difficult to build and do amazing things, almost anyone can point out flaws. But finding fault does not equal intelligence. There is no Nobel Criticism Prize. Action is the true nuclear weapon.
Whether it comes from you, or the people around you, complaining is the Count Dracula of energy vampires. It will gnaw at your soul and attract even more things to complain about in your life.
Solution: Three words: It’s your fault. For any situation you complain about, you have three options: leave it, change it, or don’t change it. By taking full responsibility, you can actually do something about your current life situation, instead of drowning in the victim mentality.
Of course, there are some things you can’t change. For example, you can’t just decide that your girlfriend didn’t dump you. You have no control over what other people do, but you can choose how you react. If you have no choice but to accept a situation, then complaining about it is wasted energy.

4. Partial Commitments

A partial commitment is an activity that you enjoy, and may have even taken seriously at one point, but are now in “commitment limbo” about. You can’t make up your mind about how far you want to go with this. You dabble without going too deep. You might spend a couple hours a day practicing your instrument while watching TV, but you never get up on stage. Instead of giving 100% of your energy to your primary focus, you end up giving 50% of your energy to your primary focus, 25% to this sort-of-hobby, and the other 25% wondering which one you like more.
Solution: If you find yourself juggling a few interests, but always holding back on how much you commit, the first thing to do is decide which interest to treat as primary, and which ones are merely partial commitments.
Of course, the same “analysis paralysis” that got you into this state of indecision can make it hard to make up your mind. Instead of trying to think your way to an ideal solution, start with action. Pick a passion and run with it for 30 days, and see how it feels. Organize your environment in such a way that engaging in the other, partial commitments would not be easy.
For example, I was torn between making a run at professional Poker and becoming an entrepreneur. Fortunately, I had the bankroll to be able to walk each path and decide which one I liked most.
I started out with Poker. For one month, I committed to spending eight hours per day, five days per week playing online to see how it went. I needed only about four days to know that this was not for me. The variance was painful and I realized that my true purpose in life required a more engaging presence in the world and the ability to build cool stuff.
Then I gave entrepreneurship a try for 30 days, and out popped 30 sleeps. Strangely enough, it’s a site built around the concept of 30-day challenges. :) The moment I launched the site and saw people start signing up, I was hooked. I factored Poker out of my life by cashing out my online bankroll and uninstalling all my Poker-related software.

5. Television

A few years ago when I started working with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, my first assignment was to be part of a development sprint in Mark’s London flat. One of my first few days on the job, I was literally pair programming with the CEO at his kitchen table.
He had about five or six flat screen TVs on different walls in his flat, though they were never turned on. During one meeting, we decided to use one of them to do an app demo. We turned it on, and there was a DVD movie on the screen.
It was paused.
For the last two months.
Living your life on purpose leaves little time for the boob tube. Unfortunately, millions of man hours are swallowed up every day by this brainwashing machine.
Solution: The best way to give up TV is to cancel your cable subscription. It takes a mere five minute phone call to set the wheels in motion, and when all is said and done, you can still buy or rent the shows you really like on DVD.
My appointment with the cable guy is September 24th. When’s yours?
It’s important to identify thoughts or actions that cause you to leak energy away from pursuing your purpose. Sometimes these bad habits are so much a part of your life that you don’t even notice them, but they eat away at your time and emotional well-being all the same. An important question to ask yourself at regular intervals throughout the day is “Is this the best possible use of my time?” If not, you may have found an energy vampire.
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