Allisyn writes about tarot, astrology, angel therapy, aromatherapy, feng shui, interior design, and human and animal behavior.
Oh, those energy suckers! Bless their hearts. They just exhaust you when they are around. Most of the time they don't know that they are having this effect on you.
These people are also known as energy vampires. You often deal with them out of love, friendship, or because you have to at work. We all have one or more of these folks in our life. You have to deal with them whether you want to or not—so what can you do? There's the family member that comes to the dinner party and sucks the fun right out of it. The friend that, in their mind, has more problems than anyone else alive. The coworker that turns your good mood into immediate stress. So who are these people and how can we categorize them? More importantly, how can you handle these caricatures?
The Negative Nelly
Probably my least favorite. These folks have something negative to say about everything. You could offer the best idea ever—they'll find a way to shoot it down. Negative Nellies usually start their sentences with "yea but" or "oh no, I can't do that because. . ." Positive perspectives are not on their radar.
I had a friend who was a Negative Nelly. It didn't matter what someone said. He would just shoot it down. Once I was out with a bunch of friends and "Nelly," and I was talking about how I was offered a job in another state and the life prospects that it would bring if I took the job. Everyone was having fun discussing what fun things there were to do in said state. Then Negative Nelly chimes in; he really couldn't help himself.
"That state has a bad economy, the weather is awful. You'll hate it and not be able to come back if you want to." Immediately, everyone stopped having fun talking about the subject. Within about an hour of Negative Nelly showing up and giving his unending negative insights everyone suddenly got tired and needed to go home. The energy was literally sucked from the exchange.
The Complainer, similar to the Negative Nelly, has a problem with everything. The only interesting things they can think of to say are complaints or critiques of those around them. Complainers are the worst to work with, and I've worked with many. I come into work in a really good mood, ready to take the world by the horns, and here comes the Complainer.
"No one does anything right around here."
"Why is this like that, it's not right."
"There is no way that anyone can do all of this."
They are the ones that you resent working with. The ones you cringe about. It doesn't matter how much sleep you got the night before, once the Complainer comes in, your energy is zapped within the hour.
Can't Get A Word In
This is the friend or relative that you call on the phone, but when you try to tell them something, you never get to speak. They tell you everything that is going on with them, but they never give you a chance to say anything. They may not even ask why you called. You spend a half-hour listening to them and hang up. The frustration from the phone call exhausts you.
My mother had someone like this in her life. She would say I'm going to call (person's name here) and try to tell her that we are going to Kansas City for the weekend so that she doesn't worry when I don't answer. She would never get to say why she called. I watched her many times put the phone down and walk away to do something and then go back to the phone and (person's name here) never knew she wasn't on the phone.
The One Upper
Have you met someone who has done it better than you? Or experienced something worse than you? Is it true for everything you say?
The One Upper will always have the worst cold ever—so bad, it should be in the medical journals. You tell them you have a long commute to a meeting and they will tell you that they once had to drive, fly, and take a slow boat to get to a mandatory meeting.
I have a friend like this. It makes me laugh, but gosh darn it, it is frustrating most of the time. I once told this friend about a financial problem that I was having and they responded not with "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." Then proceeded to explain that "my credit is the worst ever. There is no way that your score is lower than mine."
Not exactly something to be proud of, but he's right, that would make his worse than mine!
The Drama Queen/King
This person ensures every situation is dramatic. It seems that drama follows them everywhere and, of course, it is never their fault. It is always someone or some third-party source that caused the drama. In actuality, this individual is addicted to it. Peace is not ever part of their life—by choice.
These people can go to the grocery store and find drama. Conflict happens—or is created. They'll come out of the store and their car was hit in the parking lot. They find a way to turn molehills into mountains of drama. And, they love to suck other people into their drama. This causes chaos in others' lives.
The "Can't Never Could Do Nothin'"
This energy sucker will come to you with a problem and dismiss every solution that you offer them.
The conversation will go something like this:
Joe: "You will not believe what happened to me! My girlfriend said that she can't go to my company party with me so now I have to go alone. How embarrassing!"
Me: "Well Joe, what if you just take a friend?"
Joe: "No that won't work, it's just hopeless, How can I show my boss that I have a balanced life if my girlfriend doesn't come with me!"
Me: "Maybe you should just go alone and take her to the next company event. Just go and have fun and mingle knowing that you don't have to worry about if your girlfriend is having a good time."
Joe: "That's a horrible idea. I hate going to these things alone. I just won't go at all. I can't show up alone."
This conversation could go on for hours if you let it. You end up walking away shaking your head and going home to take a nap.
The Pathological Liar
It's exhausting analyzing if everything someone says is true. They can be very entertaining to be around (because they always have a story), but when it comes to real-life stuff, you can't trust what they are saying. They lie about everything from where they are to what someone said to them. Everything could be made up. Liars are the energy vampires that make you wonder why you even talk to them in the first place.
The Person That Can't Sit Still
This energy sucker is really bad for someone who is naturally mellow. They just can't sit still. Always fidgeting or moving about. It's like they have a constant caffeine buzz. Their nervous anxiety can drain an entire room of energy in seconds. Their energetic nature is different from the energy that allows you to go the extra mile. They have nervous energy about them even when they are sitting and watching TV. In their mind, they may be multitasking, but in reality, they are not getting a lot, if anything, done at all.
What Can You Do?
It's easy to say just cut these people out of your life, but sometimes you can't.
- Take a deep breath and count to 10. Relax. Do not instantly react to what they are saying or doing.
- Maintain your sense of humor. If you can find a way to laugh about it, do it. Laughter is truly the best medicine to revive your energy.
- Limit the amount of time that you are directly in contact with an energy sucker.
- Walk away. When you start to feel drained, simply walk away or hang up the phone. Politely excuse yourself and regain your composure.