Would you swear that spending time with certain people in your life drains you more than work, chores, and family combined? That some personalities, whether they intend to do it or not, seem to hook into every outlet on your power strip and drain you dry?
That’s because they are. Psychiatrist and intuition expert Judith Orloff, M.D., author several bestselling books including Positive Energy, writes extensively on the topic, condensed nicely here in a piece on how to protect yourself from energy vampires. The basis of all our relationships, she says, is an energy exchange—and while some people seem to just power whole rooms with their own, others ciphon off endlessly from friends, family, and coworkers.
Orloff has names for them—the Sob Sister, the Drama Queen, the Constant Talker—and we bet you have a few names of your own for the people who suck the very life out of you on a daily basis.
You can’t manage your own energy without managing these trying relationships. And while it doesn’t mean you have to disown sisters and mothers and colleagues, it does mean you have to put down some pretty firm boundaries—and for many of us, especially women, that isn’t easy to do. Especially when you think that vampire needs you (which, in fact, she does).
This week, pay close attention to how the people you interact with daily make you feel. Who energizes and inspires you, and who leaves you in a weakened, exhausted, irritable state? Can you minimize your time spent around this person? Have a conversation (which may not be easy) about how certain topics he or she brings up are difficult for you to deal with on a regular basis? Realize that you cannot save, fix, or otherwise rescue anyone from the lives they have created. All you can do is let it drain yours.