Energy Vampires

Are you feeling tired and rundown? Are you in good physical health? Do you “have it together” in your head? Job going well? If you are on a roll in your life, but there’s still “something” wearing you down, you may be the victim of an energy-sucking vampire.

A what? You read it correctly. An energy-sucking vampire. If you have ever been in contact with one of this not-so-rare breed, you know exactly what I mean. Maybe your friend comes to visit, stays a while, leaves, and you feel worn out by the time the visit is over. You close the door after him or her, lock it and sigh. You might even have a headache. You survived, but the price is high. This particular breed of human takes your energy like a vampire takes blood. You have my sympathy if you are a victim. You also will have some advice.

There’s a lock on the door for a reason. Use it, and don’t apologize. You have the right to be comfortable and free from intrusions in your own home. Your home is, after all, your castle. Pull up the drawbridge! (I am considering building a moat!)

Set limits on those who waste your time. It can be awkward, but sometimes you just have to say something. Don’t let anyone run over you, especially when it concerns how you spend your precious free time. Friendship should be a pleasure, not an expectation or a duty. It takes time to develop a real, solid friendship. If you’d rather not visit, just say so. Remember: the energy vampire keeps you from doing things you want to do. Be assertive.

Let me insert here that I am not known for my tact, but when it comes to protecting my free time after a hard day’s work, I can be ferocious. (Think: Mama bear. With a cub.) I do try to be nice, but nice isn’t always effective. I am not the kind of person who enjoys hurting someone’s feelings. I can see you nodding your head! I’m glad you get it.

Do you need some graceful ways of letting the vampire know it’s time to leave or that it’s a bad time to visit? You might want to check with Miss Manners, but I have a few suggestions.
*I have an appointment at (insert time/place), so I need to have time to get ready.
*I’m sorry, but it’s family time right now.
*Oh, I wish you had called first! I have plans already.
*I’m helping with homework right now. Maybe later?
*Can you come back another day? I’m taking care of chores.
*I have to get up early in the morning, so I need to cut this short.

If none of those work, be more direct. It might feel awkward, but you have to protect your energy and your time. Good luck. If you have any suggestions that work for you, let me know. I love reading comments on my blog. Thanks for reading!