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? I mean REALLY suck the life out of you? I'm talking about someone who can be taxing on your emotional or even physical well-being? Someone with whom you feel so frustrated to be around, that no matter what you do, you just can't seem to appease them, negotiate with them, or help them out of their negative cycle?
Maybe it all comes down to a personality conflict between you. But, there are also some people who tend to carry extreme traits (i.e. adults who tend to be users, emotional or physical abusers, compulsive liars, addicts, takers, those unmotivated to do for themselves, etc) that can be emotionally draining to be around. People like this may seem like energy vampires because they seem to drain life from others around them.
If you have an energy vampire in your life, here are some methods for your dealings with them.
How do some people become an energy vampire?
Some people may have themselves stuck in a cycle that keeps them 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, it may never seem like enough for them.
These type of energy sucking people tend to behave in these manners when they lack the understanding 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 as they struggle with feeling helpless, angry, victimized and confused about their circumstances. Therefore, they may displace these feelings by taking them out on others and have overly-high expectations of those around them.
There may possibilities for why someone may lack the ability to solve problems in their personal life. It may have been from having others around them that didn't display trust in their abilities to handle things themselves and therefore over-directed them, overly helped them, or made decisions for them.
Though this may seem helpful at the moment, 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 are able to place blame on the one that took charge of the matter. You can begin to see how this creates a life of chaos and how it begins to tear down and frustrate those who are around them.
If you happen to spend time with someone who is an energy vampire, you may have realized how your time with them may leave you feeling exhausted, frustrated, discontent and unproductive as you constantly deal with their constant demands, negativity and problems.
How can you handle energy draining people?
First off, rather than getting pulled in to their chaos, try to recognize which behaviors drain you and what they might be trying to gain from such. They often could use some guidance or support in handling their own issues. When you gain some perspective of what they really need, you can choose to direct them in achieving the results for themselves rather than them relying on others.
They are often not even aware of how their behaviors impact others, how to recognize their own emotional needs, or even that they can solve a problem themselves by changing their own habits or routines. 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 discussions 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
-you can redirect the conversation to something more positive
-you can remove yourself from the discussion altogether
-you can 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 him. Even energy sucking people, are great to spend time with… if kept within time limits. Become aware of the limits when pleasant socializing with someone becomes emotionally and energy draining then 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 ask more of you. 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, don't have the skills to fix them themselves; unless they are placed in a position where they absolutely have to take on such responsibility.
By constantly fulfilling the demands of 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 more often, 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 that are wearing or damaging to you, 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. It's 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 them altogether. Be sure that you are truly ready and strong enough to leave this relationship behind you and that you have a safe plan. Because energy sucking people, especially abusive ones will attempt to guilt, manipulate 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 may be linked to codependent behaviors. 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.
- How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy Vampires
Have you ever had the experience of having the life sucked out of you by spending time with a particular person? I'm talking about feeling exhausted, bored,
- How to Deal With People Who Drain Your Energy | Psychology Today
Natural selection built a brain that seeks safety in numbers. Instead of spending all of your energy on the needs of others, you can start feeling good about focusing on yourself.
- How to Deal With People Who Drain You | Psychology Today
They're all around us. People who suck all the positive energy out of us to fuel their relentless hunger for negativity, leaving us feeling drained, exhausted, and unhappy. And whatever you call them—energy vampires, energy suckers, or just unhappy,
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Mary Roark