Energy vampires: a term used to describe those unsavoury individuals that creep in to our life and wreak havoc on our mental and emotional well-being.
They sweep in, all smiles and sunshine, blinding us with their seemingly perfect ways (albeit temporarily). Their transformation is slow and gradual so as not to raise suspicion (except among those closest to us, whose words ironically tend to become those we heed the least). They work vigilantly, carefully; planting their seeds and watching them thrive within the confines of our mind and our heart.
Energy vampires have the uncanny ability to target their victims’ weaknesses, and can make their victims believe that yes, I can change him for the better or yes, my love is all she needs. Energy vampires tease their victims with the promise of better days and titillate them with false fantasies of a future where “crying” and “fighting” are verbs that do not exist. Energy vampires induce guilt, and shame, and cause their victims to lie awake many sleepless nights, wondering why they are not good enough, will never be good enough, while the energy vampires cackle and plot their eventual demise. Energy vampires feast on their victims’ self-esteem and consume their personal time. Namely, they survive – no, thrive – off the energy of their victims.
Simply put, energy vampires suck. The sad part is, these “give and take” relationships that transform into “give and give” for the victim and “take and take” for the energy vampire aren’t helping either party. Moreover, anyone can fall victim to an energy vampire – they are masters of disguise and often manifest themselves in the form of a lover, dear friend, or beloved family member. Perhaps you’ve had an experience with an energy vampire in the past, or perhaps there’s one in your life right now. Maybe you feel like you’re losing someone close to you to an energy vampire of their own.
The good news is, one need not procure a silver bullet or a wooden stake to vanquish these bad boys. Energy vampires have a weakness that we can exploit – they require our energy to survive. And we have a choice: to direct our energies toward situations that drain us, or conversely, those that sustain us.
First, we must learn to recognize these energy vampires for what they are: individuals that use the energy of others to fill a wound they themselves have not yet learned how to heal. In fact, the energy vampires in our lives are often borne from other vampires that they themselves have fallen victim to. Next, we must forgive them – because after all, resentment and hate consume our energy like no other. Finally, we cultivate loving-kindness with ourselves, and then we learn to take a stand. There comes a point where we must be able to say – in the most loving manner possible – “I will not allow you to take me down with you.”
The more we become aware of the numerous ways in which we have the power to shape our lives, the more we can learn to support ourselves in a positive manner. And the more we support ourselves this way, the more positive energy we generate, which can then be directed toward actually helping energy vampires to change for the better rather than merely falling victim to them.