This morning I came across an article called “How energy vampires drain your spirit and soul” suggesting that negative, demanding, inconsiderate, and un-boundaried people drain your energy, leaving you exhausted and depleted. To protect yourself from such drain it is suggested that you limit contact, set boundaries – indeed the author came up with 11 ways to do so. The only thing missing was garlic.
Of course, like all vampire stories, the idea that a person can drain your energy isn’t true either – even though there may be a lot of people who believe that other people, circumstances or events can ‘DO’ something to you. However, human beings are just not built like that. Sorry! We don’t come with power sockets or USB ports that other people can – without our consent – plug into and upload or download files, feelings, thoughts, or for that matter energy. (Actually, in ‘the land of psychiatry’ the notion that someone can make you do things or gives you thoughts or feelings, is an indication of psychosis). Let me show you what I mean:
I love spending time with my two grandchildren. They are full of ideas, energy, indeed, they are full of ‘beans’, full of life. It’s quite a job to keep up with them. Most of the time I think how lucky I am to have the opportunity to be with them and how much fun it is. I see their potential and their innocence. They are constantly on the go, a new game, something to eat, something I need to see, or a story I need o hear. I watch them and I am amazed how the constant flow of thought is moving them on from one moment to another. When I am in a resourceful state of mind, when I feel well, I can join them easily and feel energised and indeed rewarded by being with them.
It is very different when I am in a low mood, tired, or not feeling well. Then even the slightest elevated noise bothers me and I am exhausted at the end of the day. Being with them has been hard work. Are the kids different on those days? No, not at all. But my thinking is and as a result I feel drained and I may not enjoy the moment. I may be thinking about how tired I am, that I would like some rest, or ‘wouldn’t it be nice to sit quietly and read a book?”
I am not saying that my thinking is unreasonable and I shouldn’t be thinking it so that I am not bothered by their noise. It’s not about the content – important is to understand that the feeling comes from my thinking, from my state of mind and not from my grandchildren’s actions. People are always, with no exception, feeling their own thinking. This understanding gives me quite a different perspective and immediately lifts my mood. Maybe not enough to enjoy the kids, but enough to know I am low and need to take care of myself a little bit more.
Therefore there are no energy vampires. Let’s stop this mis-information being spread around. If you meet up with a friend or acquaintance and feel drained afterwards, it has to do with your thinking at the moment, with your state of mind. You may not have created the situation but you have created your resulting feelings by the way you think about the situation.