We are all social creatures that crave relationships with others. Healthy relationships are an exchange of positive energy and respect. They’re a balance of giving and receiving. Both people in the relationship benefit, learn and grow from each other.
You might have a friend whose energy is light and always seems to lift you up, no matter how down you’re feeling. Or, there’s a teacher whose tough love has helped you succeed in life. Having high-quality relationships is vital to your overall health and well-being.
All humans have energy flowing through them and around them. As energetic beings, our emotional, physical and spiritual health levels are highly susceptible to the Earth’s natural frequencies and the energy vibrations of others.
This is particularly true when it comes to our stress levels. In fact, 76% of U.S. adults cite positive family relationships as top stress relievers, and 60% say that being around their friends lowers their stress.
But then there are those individuals who seem to add to your stress. They leave you feeling down, emotionally drained and somehow consumed with guilt after spending time with them.
Over half of U.S. adults who report feeling stressed out say that unhealthy relationships are to blame. Perhaps it’s a friend who always asks you to jump through hoops to help her out, but she never returns the favor. Maybe it’s a family member who often talks about controversial and upsetting topics during dinner, or perhaps it’s the coworker who is always using you as a sounding board for his petty complaints.
These individuals are known as “energy vampires,” and they come in many forms.” Energy vampirism is the process by which someone steals the health-sustaining energy from another through manipulation. Sometimes, the vampire’s energy-sucking ways are obvious, but many times, their methods are more insidious — draining you of your positive energy.
When your positive energy is limited, you feel sluggish, defeated and may even exhibit signs of depression or anxiety. You may worry more or feel less motivated to perform at work or keep up your social obligations. As frustrating as it can be to acknowledge that someone else has the power to drain you of some of your most positive qualities, this is the first step to ridding yourself of the soul-sucking beings that surround you.
There are several things you can do to replenish energy that’s been sucked out of your life from friends or family members. First: assess how much you believe this person is affecting your quality of life. This can be done through quiet reflection — especially after you’ve spent time with that person — or through this illuminating energy vampires quiz. If you believe they’re negatively contributing to your quality of life, it’s time to make some changes.
Next: develop a plan for how to handle energy-zappers in your life. Use our recommended tactics below and consider investing in one of our Horizon energy bracelets. These energy-boosting bracelets are equipped with natural frequency technology to help counteract the effects brought on by the energy vampires in your life.
Energy vampires cannot create or sustain their own life’s energy in a positive way, so they feed off the energy of others. Often, energy vampires don’t even know they’re energy vampires. They might have experienced trauma in the past, which may have prevented them from learning how to tap into their own energy. Therefore, stealing life-sustaining energy from others might be the only way they know how to live.
How many types of energy vampires are there? They come in many different forms and can use various methods of turning you into a doormat. There are five particularly dangerous types of energy vampires to avoid: five types of energy vampires: the narcissist, the victim/fixer-upper, the controller, the passive aggressive, and the drama queen or king.
Here’s how to identify these types of energy vampires and what you can do to protect yourself from their energetic attacks.
You might have this kind of “Me! Me!” person in your life. Everything is about them, and them only. Narcissists are egotistical individuals who believe they are superior or unique. They often try to associate with others whom they think to be just as fantastic as they are — but only for bolstering their own self-esteem.
They might be overly talkative, dominating most conversations you have with them. They seek constant attention and admiration, and have a difficult time when they are rejected or defeated; because deep-down, they lack enough self-esteem to validate themselves.
Narcissists tend to lack empathy and the ability to love or care for someone else unconditionally or without strings attached. When crossed the wrong way, they can go out of their way to make you feel crappy.
If you have a narcissist in your life, watch out! They can be sly and so good at their game, that they might make you think that you’re the problem and you’re to blame for their hardships.
Your Line of Defense
Resist the urge to foster deep, loving relationships with narcissists; they simply aren’t capable of reciprocity. The worst thing you can do is intertwine your identity and self-worth with theirs. Doing so is only a recipe for heartbreak and hurt. Narcissists may compromise your ability to focus and sleep — they tend to be all-encompassing, after all — which can be counteracted with a Philip Stein Sleep Bracelet.
Try not to take anything they say to heart or to challenge them too much. Like a wounded animal, they can attack when cornered. If you must sustain a relationship with a narcissist and depend on them to deliver — perhaps at work — a bit of flattery can get you what you want. It might sound manipulative, but it’s all about setting healthy boundaries, so you don’t get hurt.
The Hapless Victim
For this type of “woe is me” energy vampire, the world is a scary place filled with people out to get them — and you’re this person’s sanctuary. The hapless victim might turn to you for every little thing, such as seeking comfort, validation and finding solutions. One fundamental distinction between a friend who is leaning on you during difficult times (and if you’re a good friend, you’ll support this person) and an energy vampire, is that there’s an imbalance of “power” or energy exchange.
You are useful to the hapless victim because you’re willing to submit to their neediness. They’re dangerous because they refuse or are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions. It’s always the other person who did them wrong. If you happen to be highly sensitive or an empath, you might find yourself taking on their negativity and anxiety.
Your Line of Defense
Maybe you just want to be a good friend — and that’s wonderful! But, if you struggle with setting healthy emotional boundaries with others, you might try to fix this person any way you can.
If you are that kind of person, ask yourself why you feel you need to treat this other person like a “project.” One thing to remember: you aren’t their therapist; you’re their friend. You cannot fix them; only they can fix themselves.
Protect your positive energy from being depleted by this overly needy person. Like the narcissist, it’s entirely possible that the hapless victim experienced trauma early-on in their life, but never got the help he or she needed. As an adult, the hapless victim is on a constant quest for comfort and validation until they find a “host.”
If you are currently the “host” of this type of energy vampire, it’s vital to set firm boundaries while encouraging this person to seek professional help. Until you set limits, this person likely won’t get the help they so desperately need.
The chances are high that you know at least one person who seems to talk over others. You might have people in your life that seem to dominate and steamroll you into submission any chance they get.
The controller vampire doesn’t hesitate to give you their opinion — even if you aren’t asking for it. Instead of talking with you, they often talk down to you. The controller only sees other people’s lives through their lens or their own point-of-view.
No matter your problem, they’re the only ones with the solution. They view and treat others as puppets, manipulating other lives into their own narrative. The controller determines what is “right” or “wrong,” and is prone to binary “black or white” thinking; there are no shades of gray worth considering. In this person’s presence, you may feel put down, inferior, unintelligent and demeaned, as well as unworthy of love and affection.
Your Line of Defense
Instead of trying to slay the controller vampire with a stake, try backing off. It’s understandable to want to fight the controller’s fire with your fire, but don’t.
When a controller starts to dominate and try to control your situation, start with validating (not agreeing) or acknowledging what they’re telling you. Once the controller feels seen and heard, then you can stand your ground and be assertive.
Tell this person that you appreciate his or her advice, but you have a plan of your own. Don’t elaborate on the details of your plan, or the controller will try to poke holes in it!
The Passive Aggressive
The Passive Aggressive has a more indirect and more insidious energy-draining technique. Passive aggression is a type of anger, except the passive aggressive unleashes his ire behind your back.
The passive aggressive energy vampire might smile when she sees you, all the while trying to secretly undermine you or ruin your reputation every chance she gets. They are particularly clever at maintaining an innocent facade while they singlehandedly destroy you.
Other passive aggressive people might neglect to do something that they know is important to you, or they might flake out of plans at the last minute with a dismissive, “I forgot, sorry.” This person is a constant let-down who cannot follow-through on commitments. The passive aggressive vampire might demand that you treat him a certain way, but he’s not willing to reciprocate.
Instead of disagreeing with you or telling you that they don’t want to do something, they might claim to have forgotten or misheard you. Instead of telling you that they don’t want to do something unpleasant or difficult, they will try more subtle techniques for getting what they want and to avoid feeling like the “bad guy.”
Your Line of Defense
If you find yourself at the receiving end of passive aggression, don’t demand that they talk to you directly next time. In the passive aggressive vampire’s mind, they cannot be blamed. Their intentions are pure, and any mistakes they make are due to poor communication or misunderstandings.
The key is to call them on their actions without getting angry and pointing the finger. Tell them you recognize that they were trying their best, but tell them how they can do better next time. If they succeed or follow-through on what is asked of them, neutralize their passive aggressive tendencies with praise. You want to steer their behavior towards the direction you wish, without triggering their side-eye.
The Drama Queen (or King)
If there were an Oscar category called “Best Performance in Turning Mountains Out of Molehills,” it would most certainly be awarded to the drama queen vampire. There is simply no incident too small or too insignificant for discussion or an excuse.
Like the narcissist, the drama queen vampire craves attention and admiration but won’t return the favor. He or she might cry wolf at the slightest misgiving, inject anxiety into otherwise inconsequential details or regularly try to “one-up” you in every conversation. They thrive on gossip, telling secrets, hyperbole and often draw extreme conclusions (e.g., he didn’t acknowledge me today; he totally hates everyone!). A conversation with a drama queen vampire can be an exhausting ordeal.
Your Line of Defense
At first, listening to a drama king or queen vampire spew emotionally ridiculous things can be entertaining and amusing. But don’t get sucked into their world and give them the audience they desperately crave. Over time, you might find yourself feeling down or start thinking that your life is boring or insignificant compared to theirs.
If you’re a highly sensitive person, you might take on their histrionic behavior; or you might become desensitized entirely to other people’s stories of woe. As with the other types of energy vampires, you must set kind but firm limits.
Speak only to the facts of a situation (e.g., what you saw, not what you heard from them). If you indicate that you will no longer be the attentive audience for their hysterical behavior, they will likely back off.
Take stock of all the people in your life. Do any of them sound like these energy vampires?
If so, it’s important to reevaluate your relationships with these individuals and make every effort to protect your life-sustaining energy from being sucked dry. Ridding your life of energy vampires will help you achieve better sleep and stay more focused. In the future, try to fill your social circles with only positive, nurturing and non-judgmental people.