5 Ways To Shut Down An Emotional Vampire — The Type Of Person Who Drains Every Bit Of Your Energy

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Woman having her energy pulled from her

There's no doubt negative people surround us, and we might be tempted to call them emotional vampires or energy vampires. Regardless of what you say or how you say it, the advice for how to handle the people who drain your energy remains the same. 

More often than not, those emotional vampires are unaware of the importance of life force energy, where the energy they seek comes from, and how easy it is to replenish it from within. Instead of tending to their energetic alignment and emotions, they look to other human beings for soothing — not unlike how some people seek outside gratification when they’re overwhelmed or have had a bad day.

People who drain your energy exist in every conceivable setting — at work, in family structures, and your intimate relationships. However, you can learn how to recognize their actions so you can steer clear of them and stop them from draining your energy.

What defines an emotional vampire

The most common characteristic of people who drain your energy is they are focused on their own emotional needs and desires at the time you are interacting with them.

They might not have the awareness to stop and consider what another person is doing, thinking, or feeling before they set about dominating the airwaves. They also are unlikely to be aware of how their negativity affects their own lives, not realizing that they create more negativity for themselves by draining the energy and emotional bandwidth of others.

The worst type of emotional vampires are negative people who siphon energy by pouting, withdrawing, or even manifesting physical ailments to demand others’ attention or sympathy. Others are struggling with emotional or psychological issues that tend to manifest in social settings.

Not all energy-drainers are negative or bad to be around

Some people who drain your energy are outgoing life-of-the-party types whose dramatic stories are often funny or entertaining. In this sense, it requires energy to be around them, but that energy expenditure may feel well worth the laughter, fun and adventure these types offer.

Certainly, nobody would call them "emotional vampires", but may say that this friend or loved one is "exhausting" or someone who takes up a lot of space in a room. It is good to have healthy boundaries around these people, as well, if you start to feel drained or exhausted when you are with them. 

Due to their overall positivity, you may have an easier time setting these boundaries in a friendly way simply by having a conversation. For instance, you could sit down one-on-one and them know that they don't always have to be "on" or that you are the type of person who also enjoys alone time and quiet spaces along with the fun, wild times that they offer. Both can exist together, and communication can help make that balance easier to strike.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Anxious, Negative People Are Actually Healthier, According To Research

Five ways to manage the emotional vampires who drain your energy

1. Redefine the way you think about people who drain your energy.

While the phrase "energy/psychic vampire" has been commonly batted around in popular culture for quite some time, it has undertones of victim consciousness and emphasizes our powerlessness rather than our power.

When you label someone an energy vampire, you place all the focus on that person’s behavior — which is something you absolutely can't control.

So instead of thinking in terms of who may or may not be an energy vampire, focus on the one thing you can always control within your sphere of influence — how, where, and to whom you give your energy.

2. Acknowledge you are the only one who can affect your energy flow.

You do this by how you focus your attention.

In every moment and every situation, you have the power to notice all that is going well and to appreciate the positive aspects of whatever is unfolding around you.

Even if you’re in the middle of an unwanted or unpleasant experience, you can imagine it differently, to leave the situation altogether, or to give it only a small percentage of your attention.

How you direct your moment-by-moment thinking has everything to do with how much vitality and resourcefulness you have access to.

You have the power to focus in ways to replenish rather than diminish you.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Negative, Sucky Emotions

3. Be sensitive to your feelings of resistance.

Anytime you feel your energy beginning to wane — if someone is pushing your buttons, or seemingly trying to dominate your attention — notice the most uncomfortable aspect of this scenario is the inner resistance you offer in reaction to it.

We lose a tremendous amount of life force when we make other people or situations wrong or conclude that for us to feel better, someone else must change.

Realize the true conflict you are experiencing is not the result of someone else’s behavior, but rather the internal resistance their behavior is bringing up within you.

4. Mine your resistance for the wisdom it holds.

Every negative emotion we feel holds vital information that, when received and applied, can lead us to greater resilience and balance.

Anytime you find yourself resisting another person’s choices or actions, consider which of your values, desires, or boundaries are being tested by this person, and identify a couple of actions you could take to restore your integrity.

You can do this by simply asking yourself, "What would feel better to me right now?"

RELATED: How To Fix An Emotionally Draining Relationship (Before It's Too Late)

5. Give yourself permission to follow your guidance.

Once you identify the internal source of your resistance, decide to love yourself enough to soothe it.

For example, if a conversation with a co-worker takes a turn for the negative, give yourself permission to change the subject or walk away.

If a social engagement you agreed to months ago no longer feels like a nourishing choice, give yourself permission to not participate.

If a friend or loved one asks for your help at a time when you are overwhelmed or run down, give yourself permission to tend to your own energy needs before theirs.

Remember you have the ability, the right, and the personal responsibility to honor your needs and desires above those of everyone else.

If you don’t fill yourself up first, you will have nothing to give another anyway.

RELATED: The 8 Question Quiz That Reveals If You Are An Emotionally Exhausting Person

Christy Whitman is a transformational leader, celebrity coach, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.