On Halloween, we all know the need to beware of the ghosts, goblins and otherworldly characters that come out for the season for some harmless haunted fun.

But what about watching out for the energy vampires in our everyday life. You know… the people and things that latch on and suck the life out of you. These dangerous phantoms are what we need to pay attention to.

A recent article by Lia Love on FinerMinds classified energy vampires into two groups. Physical and non-physical. Let’s take a look at these mind and body energy suckers and what you can do to protect yourself from them.

Physical Vampires

The people in our lives that take energy from us either intentionally or unintentionally. There are five types:

1.Negative Energy Vampires

These are your Debbie Downers who are unhappy all the time.  They feel like the world is against them and like to engage people in their self-pity parties.

To protect yourself: Imagine wrapping yourself in a protective shield to deflect the negativity.  Do not engage and keep the conversation going.  Excuse yourself from the conversation before their complaints drain you.

2. Needy Energy Vampires

These are the people who feel like they can never do and be by themselves and constantly seek attention. They text you non-stop. Calls you frequently with nothing much new to say, always leaning on you to entertain them, leaving you exhausted.

To protect yourself:  Set boundaries and use your common sense. To create the space you need, say you are busy. Be selective with what you are willing to entertain and help out with.

3. Controlling Energy Vampires

These are the control freaks that need to be in charge. They think they know everything and what is best for everyone. They like to dominate and find ways to make you feel small or not good enough.

To protect yourself: Be assertive and speak up for yourself when applicable.  Pick your battles, there’s no need to argue about everything.  Agree to disagree. Remind yourself that their behavior isn’t about you it’s about them and their insecurities.  Don’t take what they say personally.

4. Two-Faced Energy Vampires

You guessed it! These are the backstabbers. They are nice and sweet when you are face-to-face with them but talks behind your back or look for ways to trip you and bring you down.

To protect yourself:  It’s hard to spot them immediately but if you notice they are always gossiping, or bad mouthing someone for no reason, it’s a sign they should not be trusted.  Don’t participate in the drama. Avoid them like a plague.

5. Self-Absorbed Energy Vampires

They think the world revolves around them and are always seeking attention and fishing for compliments. Their main interest is ‘what’s in it for me?’

To protect yourself:  Flatter them when it is warranted.  When you feel it is a one-way conversation, block the conversation. Do not offer a question to continue on the conversation. Respond with a statement and find a way to get going.  If you ever need their cooperation with something, position your ask on how they will benefit from it.

Non-Physical Vampires

The things that cannot be seen. They can stem from your interactions with physical vampires if you start taking on their ‘stuff’ and allow yourself to be affected by their words and actions.

It could also spring from trying to keep up with societal pressures and letting the ‘busyness’ of life consume you. If this is the case, slow down. Revisit your priorities. If applicable, take things off your plate. You can’t serve the world and strive to be better if you don’t find time to give yourself a break and recharge first.

Other forms include ignoring painful memories, hiding secrets, choosing to hold on to pain, time-traveling i.e. re-living the past and worrying about the future. When you live in this state of mind, it can tremendously impact your body and mind. This baggage can manifest itself into physical pain, and dis-ease in your body if you don’t find ways to take care of it.

To protect yourself from these energy vampires in your life, it all begins with awareness.  Notice if you feel tired and drained. See if you can discover a pattern. Some questions to consider: When do you usually feel this way? Who are you with? What is happening then? What are you doing?

By noticing how you are feeling, you are in a better position to decide what you are going to do to make yourself feel better. Be it changing your thoughts or choosing what you are willing to accept and allow into your life.

In doing so, you can then decide what is the next step you can take to optimize the way you maneuver your energy in your daily life to create the life you want.

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash