It is probably safe to say that we have all, at one time or another, found ourselves feeling tired or drained after we have been with particularly ‘toxic’ people, also termed ‘energy vampires’. While we may feel helpless during those times, the good news is we have more control than we think.
So what is an Energy Vampire? It is a friend or colleague who:
- When they pop up on your phone I.D. you hesitate before taking the call,
- When you finish coffee/lunch/the call you feel drained,
- Talks much more about themselves then about you,
- Asks for your advice constantly/ leans on you for support/ tells you all their problems and expect your input,
- You find yourself avoiding them when you feel low or tired.
If you are a healer, then watch out for these clients – they have the capacity of affecting you badly and draining your energy during a healing session. If you feel drained or tired after giving someone Reiki, they are likely to be energy vampires.
Energy vampires tend to be people who don’t realize they are responsible for their own lives, and so they are not self-sufficient in replenishing their own energy. They don’t want to drain you, they just don’t know how to regain lost energy by themselves. When they talk to you and ask for advice, or pour their hearts out to you and get your support and empathy, you refuel them, and it feels good. You think you are doing them a kindness, but at what cost? Firstly by allowing an energy vampire to drain you, you are not loving yourself. Secondly by facilitating their need for external refueling, you are not helping them learn self-sufficiency, so you are not loving them either.
Essentially an energy vampire only drains you if you let them, and this is an extremely important distinction. Energy cannot be ‘taken’ from you – ever. Although the term ‘energy vampire’ implies they are sucking your energy without your permission, it would be more accurate to use the term ‘people who beg for your energy and you give it to them’ but that’s not so sexy. If you think objectively about your exchanges with these people, what is it YOU want for THEM?
When they are begging for your input, asking for your advice, looking at you as if you should know – is there any ego, any thought that ‘yes, actually, I do’? When you are dispensing advice are you doing it hoping they will take it? Are you willing them to change? Are you wishing for them some more peace/ calm/ happiness? If so, then what you wish for them is what you give them.
Unfortunately what you do not give them is self-confidence or self-reliance, and so the cycle continues. If you stopped trying to change them – the energy drain would stop. They would also gain a much greater kindness in your full acceptance that they alone know the answers to their issues and have the strength and courage to fix their own problems.
If you have energy vampires as clients, remember the wonderful thing with Reiki is that it has nothing to do with us; we are channels of Universal energy. We are not the originators and we are not the end users. Our client knows how to use the energy, and knows his/her body priorities much better than we ever will – even if they are looking at you with complete helplessness and fear and asking you to help them. Trust the Reiki will take care of them, and trust they will take care of themselves.
As for your loved ones and friends, the same observation applies – if you want to stop being drained by others it is actually extremely simple – you have to mind your own business. Hard as it is to accept, even your loved ones know how to take care of their own problems.
When you stop engaging and stop advising, it may not seem a kindness to them in the beginning, it may seem like you have ripped the support from under them and in a sense you have – and in that moment you empower them. By gently guiding them to take their own counsel, and to ask themselves for the answers to all the questions they ask you, you are helping them develop their own inner wisdom.
Of course you may also find that when you stop giving advice that you also suffer – funny as that sounds – we all love to be needed and this is our part in the entanglement. At the end of the day, we have energy vampires in our lives because we love to feel that we are needed and we are important. And yes you are – you are needed by your own sweet self – so pour all that energy back into yourself and feel the gratitude!