How to Deal with Energy Sucking People

Have you ever noticed how spending time with some people can really suck the life out of you? Chronic complainers, users, manipulators, liars, drama addicts, bottomless emotional pits, controllers, guilt trippers, negative discussers, slanderers, gossipers, unmotivated ones, needy ones, victim players, those who expect everyone and everything to evolve around them, those who speak of themselves in grandiose terms (I’m so great) and then in “pity me” terms, and even abusive types.

Whatever description they fit into, the bottom line is that everything is always about them and they seem to expect to be top priority in the lives of others. They carry narcissistic traits and may be referred to as an energy vampire since they have a tendency to be energy sucking and drain life from others.Described here is further details about energy sucking people and how to keep them from draining energy from you.

How do some people become an energy vampire?

Some people function off of these negative methods as a way to fill their need for attention from others. They may believe they are focusing on positive traits about themselves or on what could be better about the world and others, but the fact remains that they have got themselves in a life cycle that keeps them stuck in negative circumstances. In order to attempt to balance their own lives, they become reliant on the energy and resources of others to fill their needs. But no matter how much they may get, even if it’s to the point of draining you emotionally, physically or even financially dry, it’s never enough for them. Their narcissistic traits will lead them to feel jilted and victimized when informed that you just can’t fulfill their requests. But as an energy vampire they will either attempt to guilt you into giving in to them or they will seek out others who they feel they can drain life from.

Energy sucking people tend to behave in these manners when they lack the understanding of how their own behaviors may result in many of the unpleasant outcomes they face in their own personal lives, and they also may lack the knowledge of how to work through problem solving processes themselves. Feeling as if they have no control over their own lives can be frustrating to them, which produces a cycle of negativity as they struggle with feeling helpless, angry, victimized and confused about the their circumstances.

Their inability to solve problems in their personal life may have stemmed from having others stepping in and doing things or making decisions for them. Though this may seem helpful, this actually creates a bad cycle; rather than learning how to take care of things on their own, they come to feel incapable of doing such and become reliant on others to take care of their problems for them. Of course, if things don’t turn out the way they like, then it also makes them feel that they don’t have to take responsibility for the results and to place blame on the one that took charge of the matter.

You can begin to see how this creates a life of chaos for them and how it begins to tear down and frustrate those who are around them.

How can you handle energy draining people?

If you happen to spend time with someone who is an energy vampire, you may have realized how spending time with them may leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated, discontent and unproductive as you deal with them and their constant demands, negativity and problems. Here are some steps to help you to deal with those in a healthy manner.

First off, rather than getting pulled in to their chaos, come to recognize the behaviors that drain life from you and what they are trying to gain from such. Often, they could use some guidance or support in handling their own issues. When you realize what they really need, you can choose to direct them in achieving the results for themselves rather than relying on others. They are often not even aware of their behaviors, how to recognize their own emotional needs, or even realize that they can solve a problem themselves by changing their habits or routines. So this may require some delicate discussions as you point out their behavior and provide some firm and detailed directions as you educate and push them into taking responsibility for themselves. Of course, if you’re dealing with abusive people, take caution in how you approach this, as the goal here is to ease the effects of a life sucker, not increase them.

Put down some personal boundaries for yourself.

If you find that the discussion of a life sucker are leading into negative topics that begin to feel energy draining, you can choose to let them know that you do not feel like participating in that discussion; redirect the conversation to something more positive; remove yourself from the discussion all together; or offer up solutions that direct them to create a better outcome for themselves.

If you are able to do so, set limitations on times you will spend with an energy vampire. Some people, even energy sucking people, are great to spend time with… if kept within a certain amount of time. Become aware of the limits when pleasant socializing with someone becomes emotionally and energy draining and choose to remove yourself at these times.

Learn to say no or at least set limits when it comes to constantly giving to those who repeatedly seem to need your help. Help them to become more self reliant by directing them to learn how to fix their own problems and solve their own issues. Those who become reliant on others to fix their problems, never learn to fix them themselves; that is, unless they are placed in a position where they absolutely have to take on such responsibility. By constantly helping others, we keep them from learning and growing. Not only that, we take on more responsibilities and obligations than we really need to, which also serves to drain life from us. Say no, and watch how they suddenly figure out how to take care of things on their own.

Do not fall into the damaging belief that accepting a person means having to accept their negative behaviors. If someone’s behaviors are directly affecting you or your life in a negative way, you have every right to refuse to accept it. Don’t excuse negative behaviors with “oh, that’s just the way they are.” Resorting to people pleasing will only condone their behavior which will serve to wear you down even more over time and make you more susceptible to other energy sucking people and activities. An energy vampire is like a bottomless pit that can never be filled. It is not your responsibility to even try to fill them up. But it is up to you to discuss with them how their destructive behavior affects you, what your personal boundaries are and what the consequences of crossing those boundaries will be. (Be sure the consequence is something you can follow through with. Making strong, yet false threats will greatly backfire as a life sucker will learn to not take you or your threats seriously.)

If all else fails and the relationship does not seem able to become mutually fulfilling, you may choose to remove yourself from these narcissistic traits all together. Be sure that you are truly ready and strong enough to leave this relationship behind you. Because energy sucking people, especially abusive ones will attempt to guilt you or use other tactics to pull you back in. Get help or support in making this move if you feel you need it.

Take a look at your own habits with energy suckers. Do you constantly feel the need to jump in and help others? Are you trying to fill some of your own needs or avoiding your own problems by attempting to fill the needs of others? Traits like these are often considered as codependent behaviors. Evaluating your own habits may open your eyes to how those with narcissistic traits may see you as easy prey for their energy sucking fulfillment. Learning how to recognize and to change these habits can be the greatest way to reduce the effects of energy draining people in your life.

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Comments 27 comments

haikutwinkle profile image

haikutwinkle 17 months ago

well-written article about attention-seeking people


Modestas 23 months ago

I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I enconuter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing referring to this.


fatma 2 years ago

i have noticed my sis-in-law handfeeding any babies that come visiting, after a day or two that baby always comes down with flu and fever and she becomes all bubbly and radiant, how do you deal with such an energy vampire who sucks off innocent baby energy for very selfish motives of collecting and channelling stolen energy for personal health and will-power over the environment, get me some advise if you know what i am witnessing and suffering emotional stress as a result, my email is gypsykara@gmail.com


3 years ago

I used to work with a bunch of people that sucked my energy and showed no appreciation. NowI work part time on my own (making the same $$$, btw), and have more time to focus on family...the people that are deserving of my energy.


courtney 3 years ago

Hi. I am in college right now living with four other girls in a house. I am considered the 'laid back one' in my household who avoids conflict. I hate arguments and see no point to them. However, one of my roommates seems to fit nearly everything you stated in yout description. Whenever I am around her she is constantly talking badly about others including her friends (which are mine as well)


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 3 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

ytsenoh, thank you for your very insightful comment. I do agree that we do have the ability to help some see how their own habits and thinking create certain outcomes. But, I have indeed had experiences with those who just don't want to change themselves, but go on with the preference that others change to meet their perceptions and expectations.

It's very nice to meet you here on HubPages!


ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 3 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Mary, interesting term you use here, "energy vampires," which I haven't heard before. It does, however, suit the situation quite well. Your line, "Do not fall into the damaging belief that accepting a person means having to accept their negative behaviors" is so true. I also think that there are people who fall into the energy vampire group, if you will, that no matter how much you try to persuade them there is a silver lining in an effort to help them see how they sound, well, it sometimes does not work. Thank you for writing this hub!


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 3 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

Hi Janice, thanks for reading and commenting. You're right, even though it is good to have someone make a stand for you, it's always better to confront issues yourself. It tends to just create other issues if you don't deal with it and do it yourself.


Janice 3 years ago

Thank you MaryMerriment! This is very helpful. I happened to have a stand-off w/an energy vampire this week. She is a seemingly harmless attention-seeking type. To me these are the worst, because unless you are part of their party, then you are the one seen as the "bad guy". Anyway, the bad thing about what happened this week is that someone else stepped-in on my behalf. It was a wonderful surprise that he did, but it really angered me. Let me explain. It was a special day for him, and she ruined the plans I had for a nice surprise for him. Instead, she's the one who got the attention. It was his special day, not hers! It was nice having someone stand-in for me, but of course it's not right. He basically gave her the attention she demanded at his own expense. Well, I've been trying to press her & her hangers-on to take responsibility for themselves, but it's not been easy doing this on my own.


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

Crystal, when my daughter was younger, I was still stuck in finding my worth by helping others and be being a perfectionist. I often didn't let my daughter do things herself and it led to her feeling insecure, incapable and flat out not wanting to try things herself. Now that she's an adult, she still expects me to cater to her. Even though I changed my own habits by the time she was 8 or 9. The effects of this habit had already had it's repercussions it became difficult to undo. So, you are so very right about it being very important to let children do more problem solving and learn from their own mistakes and successes.


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

Thank you billybuc. Sometimes I still have issues with boundaries. I'm just too trusting and helpful to people. I help people when I see they need it. But, before I know it, they are taking everything for granted and running me in the ground. Unfortunately, it often gets to this point before I say "hey, this is not happening anymore."


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

Great hub, very insightful. I think it's true what you say about constantly trying to help someone or solve all their problems. This can be especially damaging for children, because rather than actually assisting them, it stunts their growth and problem-solving capabilities that they will need later in life. Voted up and interesting!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great hub and message! I wrote a hub awhile back about negativity....I like your suggestion about setting boundaries. I simply won't allow negative people to rain on my parade. :)


abentley profile image

abentley 4 years ago from California

I really hate some of these type of people. The best thing I have ever tried and succeeded is in ignoring such people.

I liked the way you have presented the article, specifically the last part of the article where you have mentioned the things clearly.


Lakshmi Kumar 4 years ago

I've lived with energy vampires for decades and felt stuck all the time. There seemed no way out. But when it became so bad and I could take it no more, I cut off all these energy suckers who controlled every second of my life. I am amazed at myself and wonder why I could not do it before. Better late than never. But better still if done earlier.


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

Hi eric, your roommate sounds like a person who tends to turn the tables or flips/shifts blame back upon others. Yes, it is a denial process. It's hard to take a real look at ourselves and instead feel that others are the ones with the problems. This is a whole other article in itself (I should work on that!), but there are ways to handle people like this. However, choosing to tough it out or leave is something only you can decide.


eric 4 years ago

My roommate is incredibly lazy and negative. He has been spoiled his whole life and for some reason i feel if i call him out on his negativity, he will in turn call me negative. I have heard him call other people negative and it seems like he is setting up defense mechanisms for his attitude. I want to punch him in the face, but i feel that may be counter productive. Should i just ignore him and move out? The reason i care is that i actually think he's a good friend, but his attitude is becoming unbearable.


Ramzeed profile image

Ramzeed 5 years ago from Maryland

Great hub post my friend.


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 5 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

"Mood Hoover" I really like that Temirah! Either way, the point is that they suck the energy right out of you! ;o)


Temirah profile image

Temirah 5 years ago

In the UK we call them 'Mood Hoovers' (a Hoover is a vacuum cleaner brand here). I like your advice on handling these types of people as I'm afraid I just avoid them like the plague and make a conscious effort not to be one! Being more constructive when I meet a mood Hoover would do both of us more good. Great hub!


Mohammad Mohsin profile image

Mohammad Mohsin 5 years ago from Lahore, Pakistan

great hub


Mary Merriment profile image

Mary Merriment 5 years ago from Boise area, Idaho Author

Hi Mini, Saying no to others takes a lot of practice. It can be scary, because we fear conflict. But, there are ways to calmly and kindly let them know when something may become inconvenient or unreasonable you for any reason. It just takes practice!


Str8up Hookups profile image

Str8up Hookups 5 years ago

Awesome hub,Thanks for sharing.

We've all encountered these situations at one time or another.

Friends,family, etc can come out of this bag.

It's dealing with it and moving on that makes you a better,stronger person.

Voted up!


Mini 11july profile image

Mini 11july 5 years ago from South Asia

Thank you Mary Merriment for lovely article. Handling such 'energy sucking' people becomes tougher when they are family members. It is tough to say 'no' to them. How is it done?


richtwf profile image

richtwf 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this very useful hub. It has given me plenty of good food for thought. Appreciate your words of advice.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This is so well presented Mary and you've hit the nail on the head when it comes to "why" people become so dependent (or co-dependent). I've had to deal with someone who never had to lift a finger and consequently never learned how to handle their own problems. It's tough having to say "no" but tough love can be life changing for everyone involved. Voted up and useful.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

This is a really good hub. I am quite familiar with this subject and it is real. Some people really are energy vampires and eventually they ruin your health and sanity.

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