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Energy Vampires

By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2006

Do you often feel drained by others and have no idea how to protect yourself from this energy drain?

NeedinessDo you sometimes wonder why you feel so drained after being with some people, while you feel energized when being with others?

Some people are energy vampires, and actually drain energy from you. How do they do this? What can you do to avoid this?


Ways People Drain Energy

Sometimes the ways people drain energy is obvious, and sometimes it is very subtle. A fairly obvious way is talking non-stop. I wrote an article on talking addiction and received the following response from a reader:

Thank you so much for your article on talking addiction. For years now, I have wondered why I would feel so drained after listening to my mother. My mom is one of those people that can stay on the phone talking for hours and hours, and it's a monologue. She is never interested in what I have to say unless it is about her. Lately, I've found myself hiding from her. For years, I would dodge her phone calls to conserve my energy. I have mentioned to her that she talks a lot but I think that it goes in one ear and out of the other. I am so glad that I read your article. Now I know that I'm not being mean when I go into my personal space.

Some people drain energy by always complaining, or by having dramas that need attending to. Some people drain energy by wanting to process all the time about their problems. Others drain energy through various means of trying to get approval - such as asking a lot of questions, or bragging a lot, or being overly nice. Other people drain energy by sulking or crying - being a victim and hoping someone will give them attention.

There is a very common, yet subtle, way that many people drain energy. If you are a person who ignores your own feelings and who does not take care of your own needs, then it is likely that you have an empty hole inside you. Empty holes are like vacuums - they want to get filled. Even if you don't overtly pull on others for attention or approval, your empty hole is a pull on their energy. Because you are not taking care of your own needs for love, attention and approval, you are automatically pulling on others for their love, attention and approval. Or, you might be pulling on them for affection or sex as a way to get your empty hole filled. When they pull back, you are left wondering what you did wrong.

What can you do to Avoid Having Your Energy Drained?


Most people who are energy vampires count on other people being so nice that they will give them the attention or approval they are seeking. Most people don't like speaking up because they don't want to hurt others' feelings. However, when you do this, you are allowing yourself to take responsibility for the other person's feelings rather than for your own feelings. You are abandoning yourself and making what the other person wants more important than taking care of yourself.

You cannot begin to stop the energy drain until you fully accept that you are not responsible for the other person's feelings. It's feeling responsible for the other person that allows you to get drained.

Once you accept that you are not responsible for the other person, but that you are responsible for yourself, you will discover that you can gently extricate yourself from a draining interaction. It is not hard to gracefully get off the phone or politely walk away when you have learned, through a consistent Inner Bonding practice, to love yourself enough to take responsibility for yourself rather than for the other person's feelings.

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support for learning to love yourself.

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay


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