Know someone who sucks? Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:21
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Ever wondered why it feels good to be around some people and absolutely exhausting to be around others? Relationships are always an energy exchange. Whether they’re friends or family, co-workers or colleagues, if you want to keep feeling good, it’s time to pinpoint the people who suck the very life out of you.

Judith Orloff, author and medical doctor, calls them emotional vampires. She says it is important to name and combat these drainers of our energy.

“As a physician and energy specialist I want to verify that energy vampires roam the world sapping our exuberance. With patients and in my workshops I’ve seen their fang marks and the carnage they’ve strewn.”

Judith says that your intuition may register the presence of an emotional vampire as anger, fatigue, sadness or a sickly sweet, squirrelly feeling. But vampires do more than tap our physical energy. The super-malignant ones send out a sonic blast that can make you believe you’re unlovable and unworthy. The subtler species make you slowly wilt by inflicting smaller digs here and there.

Most of us don’t know how to cope with vampires. We haven’t learned how to identify them. Jeepers, girlfriend, many of us can’t even recognize that we’re being emotionally sapped. We just moulder around as unwitting casualties. Why the blind spot?

Judith has identified 12 types of vampires, ranging from the criticizer, the victim, the narcissist and the nagger to the controller. Very few of them are even aware of being an emotional drain. So, instead of trying to change them, rather work on the only thing you can change – your own reactions to them.

According to Judith, learning how to free ourselves from their clutches is a very necessary social skill.

Still, we’re generally not taught how to tactfully address our needs without alienating others. We get tongue-tied or passive. We ignore the SOS from our gut and we stay quiet because we don’t want to be seen as difficult or uncaring.

The first thing to realise is that you don’t have to feel guilty when you need to take a breather away from a vampire. Honouring your energy isn’t selfish.

When dealing with strangers in a social set-up, distance yourself from the suspected source. Move at least ten metres away and see if you feel relief. Don’t hesitate to change seats if you feel a sense of depression imposing on you.

When dealing with those familiar to you, Judith recommends setting time limits. Knowing how much you can stand and sticking to that limit is vital to ensure your mental well-being.

She says you have to set kind but meaningful boundaries with those who overwhelm you. Don’t stand around listening to them talking for two hours when you can only cope with half an hour.

When dealing with those who go straight for the jugular, recognise how they do it. The answer is simple – they go in for the kill by stirring up your emotions. Even though they might do it unconsciously, a part of them knows pretty well that pushing your buttons will throw you off centre, which will make you easier to drain.

So, centre yourself by concentrating on your breath. Inhale calm and exhale negativity. Imagine negativity as gray fog lifting from your body, and positivity as white light entering.

If you’re centred enough, you’ll see that you have a choice. You can ask: How can this help me grow?

What is this interchange showing me about myself that I never knew before?

Janusz Korczak said that there are insights that can be born only of your own pain, and they are the most precious. “You yourself are the child you must learn to know, rear, and above all enlighten. To demand that others should provide you with textbook answers is like asking a strange woman to give birth to your baby.”

Your other option when falling pray to a vampire is, of course, to feel powerless, tormented and bitter. And that is precisely how you won’t even notice that you’re slipping into vampire mode yourself. Yes, you. Even you. How do you think people become vampires in the first place? They’d been bitten, just like you’ve been.

You see, girlfriend, it’s like this: Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant. Look closely at your loved ones. You might just see your own fang marks on their throats.


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