How to Slay Energy Vampires
Do you have energy vampires in your life? You know, the people who if you spend almost any amount of time with them suck out your will to live?
How to spot energy vampires
They are the ones who constantly complain about their life problems, but never think to ask how you are. They are the ones who think life is so very hard for them, but have never considered the challenges of living with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis?
You know the ones. And you know who they are. Admit it: you have the image of a face hovering in your mind and even thinking about them makes you feel the energy drain .
How to deal with energy vampires
Unfortunately, garlic, wooden stakes, nor other vampire slaying techniques work on this particular type of vampire. They continue to suck your energy without thinking or comprehension.
So, what can you do to defend yourself? Here are 4 techniques for managing those energy vampires in your life.
It’s important to be conscious about how much time and energy a person is consuming from your life.
Are they a priority person and so have earned that right? If not, then it may be time to set some boundaries on the discussion and how much you will participate.
It’s OK to say things like: “I’m sorry, but I also have a lot going on right now and have to focus my energy there.” Or, refer them to get help from others. An energy vampire will keep on taking unless you tell them you have limits.
Set time limits
If you must engage with an energy vampire, set a time limit to it. “OK, we can talk but I only have 10 minutes then I have to go because I have other responsibilities.”
If they know there is a time limit and you will stick to it, they may get to the point quicker. The important part is sticking to the time you have set. Don’t ever let it slide because they will take advantage.
As someone who always wants to help, it can be hard to say no. But, it is a necessary skill. I have to preserve my time and energy. Sometimes the only way to do that is to say no.
An energy vampire won’t have to live with the consequences on my pain and fatigue if I exhaust myself on them. “I’m sorry, I can’t help with that.” “You’ll need to ask someone else.” “This is not a good time.”
In worst-case scenarios, you may have to walk away from a relationship with an energy vampire. If they won’t respect your boundaries and needs, then they are likely not a beneficial person in your life.
It is a hard decision to make and action to take, but often it is for your self-preservation to help support your health and well-being. How much personal sacrifice are you willing to make for an energy vampire?
I have to protect myself
I have found that in most cases, energy vampires can be managed with strict boundaries. When I haven’t set them, I have found more and more of my time and energy gets monopolized by a vampire.
I’ve had to learn the hard way that I have to protect myself in these situations and that means setting the terms and sticking to them. If the vampire doesn’t like that, they can go elsewhere.
Dealing with these types of relationships is tricky
Unfortunately, relationships with energy vampires can be tricky. You may even have a family member who is one.
But if I’ve learned anything from having a difficult illness, it’s that time and energy are precious. I don’t have any extra to give away, so I must be protective about saving these precious resources for myself.
You know you have RA when [select all that apply in your experience]: