Posted on December, 28th 2012 by Marie
You know those people…. they drain you of your life force and zap your energy. Just spending a few minutes in their company is sometimes enough to make you feel tired. They may even make you feel bad about yourself, your family, etc.
The tactics of energy vampires fall in different categories. If one tactic doesn’t work, they might try another until they get what they want from you: Your energy and attention!
Here are a couple of common categories:
When confronted with an energy vampire you can remove yourself gracefully from the person to limit your exposure. There are many ways that allows you to create a situation where you take care of yourself and reduce your availability to these types of high-need people.
But what do you do, when an energy vampire is in your own family and you are a captive hostage for the holidays? How can you create space between you and the difficult person, when they sleep in your guest room and are ever-present at breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Many of us find ourselves in the situation, where we are trying to be warm, kind and forgiving… it is Holiday time after all…. and we end up feeling exhausted from dealing with behavior that leads to indirect as well as direct confrontations at every bend.
A great piece of advice is simply to be yourself. To not let the vampiry behavior, you observe in your guest, change how you do things. This is fine, however, here is what happens to me at times, where I become conscious about “just acting normally”, and am deliberately “being myself”: I start to question my actions! It sounds something like this:
– “Now is this what I would normally do?”
– “Did what I just said sound natural?”
– ” Is this considered ‘being myself’ or am I being confrontational?”
At this point, I have already spent much energy on premeditated considerations, before I act or speak. The result is invariably that my actions are no longer spontaneous, but rather contrived and feel forced.
No matter how well we integrate advice and learn good behavior for dealing with difficult, energy-zapping people, the fact is that they are temporarily omnipresent and they are pushing our buttons.
What to do?
Now that the holidays are close to being over, take heart and celebrate the good moments that you had. Take stock and celebrate what you learned this year. You might even want to write down what you will and will not do next year as a commitment to yourself.
Then embrace the magic all over again next year, appreciating the lessons learned. Just like weddings, the holidays can be fraught with high expectations that get in the way of actually enjoying the precious moments with loved ones. And having a plan for how you will spend your own energy next year might just keep you feeling the love for all the holiday guests.