Have you encountered people whom after you’ve spent a couple of minutes talking to them, you already feel tired and sometimes, a little down? While there are people who enter the room and lighten it up, there are people who enter the room and drain the energy out of it.
These are energy thieves.
They may not intentionally want to do any harm; the outcome is the same for you. Unfortunately, because they are energy thieves, they will constantly be in our lives, sucking the life out of us, unless we put our foot down, take control of our time and energy, and let them go.
Letting them go does not mean kicking them to the curb and being mean. Instead, we can create boundaries that ensure we are no longer their dumping ground for the drama they’re currently in, and make our decisions accordingly.
So how do you create these boundaries to ensure your energy suppliers stay replenished?
Identify the red flags
Here are clues for you to know if you’re with an Energy Thief:
- You always seem to feel guilty when they’re around, even when you can’t really figure out why you’ve offended them.
- They’ve been in a long line of short-term relationships.
- They hurt people, but it’s always somebody else’s fault.
- They don’t make you feel good about yourself.
- They act entitled to whatever they’re taking from you.
- They treat you like an extension of themselves.
- They won’t apologise to you, but they will always expect you to apologise to them.
- Their wish is your command, if it’s not, then you don’t really love them.
- They believe their problems are your problems.
- They believe their problems are somebody else’s fault.
- They believe you exist to make them happy.
- They don’t say thank you.
- They need to have the last word in conversations.
- They don’t take turns well.
- They are impatient.
- They interrupt conversations.
- They act as if they’re always right.
- They will feel justified for doing anything to make themselves feel better when they’re frustrated.
- They won’t tell you specifically what you’re doing wrong. They expect you to read their minds.
- They’re stubborn and they relate their stubbornness to strength.
- They’re quick to make fun of others, but they have little ability to laugh at themselves.
- They cannot place themselves in another person’s situation.
- They hold everyone else accountable, except for themselves.
- They talk much more than they listen.
- They’ll expect a second, third, fourth, and nth chance from you when they hurt you, but they don’t give you a second chance when you hurt them.
Learn to say “No.”
Energy thieves can change. But the only way they can change is when you stop absorbing all their problems. If you continue to let them take from you, then you’re not helping them in any way to become better.
Sympathise, but don’t take on their problems
You can sympathise with what they’re going through, but you don’t have to take on their problem. You don’t even have to give any advice. You can just listen & show empathy by saying things like, “I’m sorry you’re going through that” and find a way to move the conversation on to a more positive subject.
Its not an easy decision but by letting go of the Energy Thieves problems, you will have more time to spend on worthwhile relationships. You will also experience less stress from carrying the weight of the countless problems that aren’t really your problems to begin with.
Rebecca is the Founder & CEO of The Daily Guru. She sees Growth & Development as a vital part of anyone’s health & happiness, as well as being one of the most rewarding experiences we can all embrace.