Oh those energy suckers! God bless them. Most of the time they don't know what they are doing but they just exhaust you when they are around. Also known as energy vampires, they are the ones that you deal with out of love, friendship, or work. We all have one or more of these folks in our life. But what can you do, you have to deal with them whether you want to or not. 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 makes your good mood turn into immediate stress.
The Negative Nelly
Probably my least favorite. They have something negative to say about everything. It could be the best idea ever and they will 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 comments are not even on their radar.
I had a friend that was a Negative Nelly. It did not matter what someone said, he would just shoot it down. I was out once with a bunch of friends along with Negative Nelly. I was talking about how I was offered a job in another state and the possible prospects that it would bring if I took the job. Everyone was having fun talking about it and discussing what fun things there were to do in that state. Then Negative Nelly chimes in, he really couldn't help himself, "The state has a bad economy, the weather is awful and you will 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 complainer has a problem with everything. The only thing that comes out of their mouth is a complaint. They are the worst to work with. I've worked with many of these energy vampires. I come into work in a really good mood and ready to take the world by the tail and here comes The Complainer. "No one does anything right", "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 make you cringe when you look at your schedule and realize that you are working with them. It doesn't matter how much sleep that you had the night before, once The Complainer comes in, your energy is zapped within an hour or sometimes minutes.
Can't Get A Word In
This is the friend or relative that you call on the phone to tell them something but you never get to speak. They tell you everything that is going on with them but never give you a chance to say anything. You spend a half hour talking to (or listening to) them and hang up without ever telling them why you called. 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 ----- 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 ----- never knew she wasn't on the phone.
The One Upper
It doesn't matter what you tell them, they have done it better or worse has happened to them. The One Upper will have always had the worst cold ever and it should be in the medical journals. You tell them that you have to do a long commute for a meeting and they will tell you that they once had to drive, fly and take a slow boat to get to their last mandatory meeting.
I have a friend like this and 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", it was more like "My credit is the worst ever. There is no way that your score is lower than mine."
The Drama Queen/King
Everything is dramatic. Everything in their life is a problem. It seems that drama follows them everywhere and it is never their fault. It is always someone or something else that caused the drama. They are addicted to it actually. Peace is not ever part of their life.
These people can go to the grocery store and find drama. A conflict happens somehow or they come out and their car was hit in the parking lot. They never ever have anything good happening to them and if they start to, they find a way to turn it into drama. The problem is that they love to suck other people into their drama. Causing chaos in others lives that would not normally be there.
Can't Never Could Do Nothin'
Similar to the Negative Nelly. 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
These guys drain your energy because you are always trying to figure out if what they are saying is true. They could 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. They make everything up. These are the energy vampires that make you wonder why in the world you even still talk to them about anything or asked for the truth in the first place.
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 are constantly on a caffeine buzz. It is a nervous energy that can drain an entire room of energy in seconds. They are so exhausting to be around. It is different than an energy where you feel like you can walk a mile. They have this continuous nervous energy around them even when they are just sitting and watching TV. In their mind, they are multi-tasking but in reality they are not getting anything done at all.
What Can You Do?
It would be easy to say to just cut these people out of your life but sometimes you just can't.
- Take deep breaths and counting to 10 works wonders. It gives you some time to not instantly react to what they are saying or doing.
- Keep your sense of humor. If you can find a way to laugh about it, it will change up your energy. Laughter is truly the best medicine to revive your energy.
- Limit the amount of time that you are directly in contact with them.
- Walk away. When you start to feel drained, simply walk away or hang the phone up. Politely excuse yourself and regain your composure.