Are You Your Own Energy Vampire?
At times, I really am my own energy vampire. An energy vampire is someone who drains our energy – whether it’s mental, emotional or even spiritual. After spending time with them, and it doesn’t have to be a lot, you feel exhausted.
Maybe the person talks endlessly about their own issues without regard for you as a listener, or is always negative and making themselves a victim of all their circumstances. All of us at times need to vent and complain, but energy vampires do this all the time in a relationship. Maybe they try to make you feel guilty or use emotional blackmail (see Susan Forward’s book “Emotional Blackmail” which I highly recommend) to try to get you to do what they want.
Ahh, but I have discovered that I can be my own worst energy vampire. Sometimes, when I find myself drained and exhausted, I look around and it is only me in the room. When I disregard a negative feeling after an interaction with someone and instead, give myself a guilt trip for feeling what I feel – that is me emotionally blackmailing me.
Remember, sensations hold information and feelings contain valuable messages. If I judge myself for what I am feeling instead of accepting and allowing the emotion and hearing what it is telling me, then I will feel drained. For example, if a friend at the last minute cancels a long-awaited lunch date, do I hang up the phone and berate myself for feeling disappointed in order not to judge her? Or do I recognize the “ bubble-burst” sensation and hurt emotion and then allow myself the gift of compassion for having been let down?
Taking a deep breath in and sitting with these feelings for even one moment is an act of kindness towards myself. I can then notice whether the disappointment needs to be shared with the friend or just acknowledged within myself as a rare occurance in a trusted relationship.
There are other times that I feel exhausted and yet I sit in silence. I can blame no one for this low voltage feeling. Ahh, but I have spent the last 10 minutes dreaming up the most dreadful outcome of something that hasn’t even happened yet. All that negative thinking is so draining.
Yes, a circumstance may look bleak, but G-d is amazingly creative and the Master of possibilities. I can recognize that I’m fearful of the future, and then choose to flood myself with a list of gratitudes for the many blessings that I do have. Bringing to awareness things and people I am grateful for actually increases dopamine levels. Increased dopamine leads to an uplift of spirit.
As psychiatrist, Dr. Judith Orloff, says “Take control. Get in the driver’s seat. Create a circle of positive people around you.” She is referring to external energy vampires, but this advice can also apply to one’s own internal one.
Take control by choosing to create a circle of positivity for yourself – allow yourself the time to feel all your emotions (not to necessarily act on), but feel them honestly without censor, limit the time spent “prophesizing” the worst case scenario and grab some gratitudes.
Be your own best friend and kiss that internal energy vampire goodbye!