3 Ways To Protect Yourself From A Toxic Relationship With An Energy Vampire

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How To Protect Yourself From The Effects Of Toxic Relationships With Energy Vampires
Self

Have you ever just left the room after talking with someone feeling downtrodden and sad, like they just sucked the happiness right out of you? That person might very well be an "energy vampire," who may or may not realize that they're completely upending your pursuit of happiness and trapping you in a toxic relationship with them.

These "vampires" might be a loved one, a friend, an employee, or a neighbor. If you want to have a healthy relationship with them, you need to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship so you can protect yourself.

RELATED: 5 Signs You're Friends With An Energy Vampire Who's Draining The Fun Out Of Your Life (& How To Deal With Them)

One of the most important parts of a good story is the supporting cast. When creating your own story, it’s important that you populate your world with loving, supportive people and release the toxic ones.

The first part of this process is determining which are which. You do this by trusting your inner wisdom and letting it guide you. In Marci Shimoff’s book Happy for No Reason, she describes it as your "inner GPS." Everyone has one; you just have to know how to pay attention to it and recognize happiness.

There is a simple technique where you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and focus on your body.

While doing this, imagine each person in your life, one by one, and feel which ones "expand" your happiness and which ones contract it. Make a list with a line down the center of the paper and put each one into one of those 2 categories. It’s important that you don’t judge with your mind and just trust your body.

Once you have done this with everyone in your life you’ll have an idea of who is filling you up with the love and support you need and who is draining you of it: your happiness vampires.

In a fantasy story, the next step would be pretty simple, right? Surround yourself with the ones who fill your bucket with love and support and release the vampires who drain you. Simple, right? Wrong!

What about all your family and friends who you love?

If you’re like me, you probably have people in your life who you love dearly even though it might take you weeks to recover, emotionally from a family gathering. You also may have co-workers who you have to see on a regular basis who make you want to rush home and take a hot bath after spending 8 hours with them. These are just facts of life sometimes.

Fortunately, you get to create whatever type of story you like from that set of facts because it’s your story which you are producing and directing. It’s important to remember that you are the one setting the boundaries in your life.

Like Dr. Phil says, “We teach people how to treat us by what you accept and don’t accept from them. you can do this without confrontation by giving them the love and respect they deserve."

RELATED: How To Deal With Energy Vampires (The Negative People Who Drain Your Emotions)

Here are 3 ways to stop an energy vampire from stealing your happiness and leaving you in a toxic relationship:

1. Be a mirror.

I used to love those mirrors at the carnival that show you an altered version of yourself. I’d stand in front of it and it would reflect an image back to me that was completely different from the one I expected.

Mirrors are like kryptonite to energy vampires.

An Italian neuroscientist named Dr. Rizzolatti discovered neurons in your brain called “mirror neurons.” They’re the things that cause you to yawn or cross your legs or do any number of subconscious acts when someone else does them.

By being conscious of your responses to others, you can choose what you mirror back to someone. If you have to talk to a vampire who is draining you with angry or negative talk, consciously soften your gaze and remain neutral while using body language that’s the opposite of the vampire.

2. Create an invisible shield.

You can imagine you’re shining a bright light on them or holding a cross up to them. This will give you a feeling of emotional protection and may help buffer a desire to respond negatively back to them.

3. Remember whose story you’re creating.

Don’t try to change the other person. It’s very tempting to point out the “error of their ways,” but it seldom accomplishes anything other than more toxic behavior.

The most effective way to influence others is to model the behavior you’d like to see in them.

Shower your loved ones with love and give them a starring role in your amazing life story, and keep energy vampires from dragging your happiness out with toxic relationships.

RELATED: 16 Ways To Successfully Rid Yourself Of The Energy Vampires In Your Life

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Greg Boudle is a life coach, author, speaker, and the founder of Life Beyond Clean. To find out more about how he can help you get rid of toxic relationships, visit his website.

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