Episode 68: Recognizing Energy Vampires

Episode 68: Recognizing Energy Vampires

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Humans are social creatures, and we thrive when our relationships with others provide a steady flow of energy exchange. Sharing our experiences is a powerful way to connect, grow, and evolve. But what if there is no exchange? Energy vampires can deplete your resources, mind, body, and soul. Protecting your energy from these people starts with recognizing who they are!

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RECOGNIZING ENERGY VAMPIRES

THEY’RE ALL AROUND US

While not a pleasant experience, it’s a common one: dealing with an energy vampire. They are all around us. Some have zero awareness of what they are doing as they are draining your energy, while others intentionally seek you out to get a boost from your high vibration.

Can you spot an energy vampire? It’s not always easy. They can present as kind, compassionate, empathetic, and friendly while still pulling from your energy. They will find you easily and quickly if you are an empath or a sensitive soul. Recognizing who they are and how they affect you is the first step in protecting your energy.

Energy vampires love empaths because they know they have an energy that they can use to make themselves feel better.

A FEW CLUES

So how do you recognize an energy vampire? An energy vampire is that classic drama king or queen. They have a continuous flow of drama in their lives.

  • There is always something going on.
  • There is always something wrong.
  • They take no responsibility for these situations.

 
It's always something that's happening to them versus them causing the drama themselves. They often criticize, bully, and use ultimatums to cross boundaries and evoke pity for their situations.

A CLEVER DISGUISE

Have you ever had someone criticize you while using a complimentary tone? Even while they insult you, their voice is sweet as pie, and their body language betrays the venom they are spewing. It's really confusing and incredibly manipulative.

This behavior is a common tactic of energy vampires and can be challenging to recognize. You can leave the conversation wondering what just happened and feel drained. Some energy vampires are conscious of their behavior, and some are not. Some think it's normal, but it's not. It's not normal, and it's not fair.

LET’S TALK ABOUT ME!

Energy vampires are classic one-uppers. If you have climbed a hill, they have climbed a mountain. If something good has happened to you, something better has happened to them. They need to make sure they are always on top, whether it’s true or not.

Classic energy vampires will also pretend to listen while waiting for their turn to speak. They love talking about themselves and dumping all their drama into the laps of those around them. They have no desire to share in a conversation but to be the center of attention at all times. Their self-focus leaves the other person feeling drained, unheard, unseen, and irrelevant. It feels incredibly unfair because it is.

Energy vampires are in constant conversation about themselves.

CIRCLING BACK

Another telling trait of an energy vampire is the story will always come back to them. No matter their situation, the focus and spotlight will always remain on them. This is one of the easiest signs to identify an energy vampire.

If this person:

  • Constantly talks about themselves without listening to others
  • Rarely asks you about yourself, or your life
  • When they do listen, it’s to find a talking point to bring the conversation back to them

 
If you’re:

  • Dreading talking to the person
  • Constantly thinking about this person’s problems or issues
  • Feel drained after your interactions with this person

 
You’re most likely dealing with an energy vampire.

THE UNINTENTIONAL VAMPIRE

Not all energy vampires make it a lifestyle. Sometimes people are caught in a cycle of trauma or disruption that has them temporarily drawing from the energy of others. If this is a new behavior for them, it's okay to have compassion and also establish boundaries. Regardless of their awareness, you do not have to be a source of energy for them.

Not only do we want to have solid boundaries, but we also want to protect our energy. You shouldn't feel bad leaving a conversation. You shouldn't feel drained. You shouldn't feel like you need to solve your friends, co-workers, families, or colleagues' problems. That's not healthy. We should not take on anyone else's problems, conflicts, or junk. It is their responsibility to work through those things.

A CLEAN SWEEP

My desk was a dumping ground for other people’s problems, drama, worries, conflicts, and stress in my previous career. I was a magnet for these people because I made them feel better. If these conversations and relationships were balanced, it would have been an equal energy exchange, but that wasn’t the case.

Once I realized, “Wow, I just encountered an energy vampire,” I developed a protocol of sweeping the energy clean when I was no longer in their presence. Now, I can visualize an energy boundary for these scenarios and leave what’s not mine on the table. I imagine that when they talk, all the draining energy lands on the table, not on me. I am not taking it into my energy field or carrying it home.

CUTTING TIES

I have people in my life that I love dearly, but they are, and always will be, energy vampires. I accept them for who they are. The art of allowing is a spiritual law that tells me I cannot change anyone else. Although I am confident I want to continue a relationship with these people, I always check in with myself before I talk to them, meet with them, or interact on any level. When I get a full-body, "No!" I keep my distance, and when I get a "Yes!" I proceed with boundaries in place.

It is possible to maintain a cautious relationship with known energy vampires, but sometimes it's time to cut ties permanently with certain people. It's time to let go of the relationship. There are moments in your life that will allow you to break cycles, uplevel, and allow you to create a new reality. Sometimes those opportunities mean breaking up with a relationship that's no longer serving you, be it romantic, friendship, professional, or otherwise. Breaking up can be painful, but you deserve to be free of anything, or anyone, feeding off your energy.

WHAT IF IT’S YOU?

As part of our spiritual journey, we will recognize patterns and behaviors in others that show us how to operate in relationships with these people, but there's more. We must also realize when the problem lies within us. What if you are the energy vampire? How can you stop and pause and take responsibility for your actions in the relationship?

It's easy to focus on another person doing things you want to avoid, but you might be doing those things. It starts with recognizing it and then forgiving yourself for the behavior. Only then can you change direction.

Examine how you interact with others. You might find yourself in the realization:

"I'm hogging the conversation. I'm simply waiting my turn to talk and listening to what the other person is saying. Let me pause and listen to what they're saying.”

There are cycles in our lives that can trigger this behavior, especially if there's been a traumatic event. You can start to become a vampire because you are processing that trauma and inadvertently drawing on the energy of others. You can shift this behavior once you recognize it.

If you have been struggling with it for too long, it's time to talk to someone about it and get some help overcoming the behavior. You can also study. We live in a time of abundant resources, and utilizing these can change your life.

Whether you are learning to recognize and set boundaries with an energy vampire or seeing some of these traits within yourself, the key is a willingness to accept the truth and follow where it leads.

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hello, and welcome to today's show. I am so excited you are here. Let's talk about energy vampires. I know we have all come across them. Some of you may recognize them very easily, and some of you may not. And what I mean by that is sometimes energy vampires can seem so caring, and it's just their personality. And if you're a sensitive empath, someone that is kind, compassionate, or a people pleaser, an energy vampire will find you very, very quickly.

Because one of the things about energy vampires is they love to feed off of anyone that is kind, compassionate, and empath’s emotional and mental well-being. They love taking this emotional capacity that the person has and using it to make themselves feel better. Sometimes this is very conscious on this person's part, and sometimes it is not. Sometimes it's a very unconscious behavior, especially if the person is an empath or a sensitive being.

And what I mean by that is empaths have this special ability. They have this like magnet. I say it's a sign over their head that says, "Please tell me all your problems. I will make you feel better. I will have answers for you that I don't even have for myself." And energy vampires love empaths, and it's because they know they have an energy that they can utilize to make themselves feel better.

So how do you recognize an energy vampire? An energy vampire is a classic drama king or queen. They have so much drama going on in their life. There's always something going on, there's always something wrong, and they take no responsibility for any part of it. It's always something that's happening to them versus them actually causing the drama themselves. They are someone that will criticize and bully someone as well. They will use ultimatums, or they will say things in a particular way to make the other person feel bad or sorry for them.

An example would be, "I know you're not available right this second, but I really, really need you. I don't know what's going to happen if you don't help me with this." Another example is, let's say, they're using intimidation, and maybe this is someone you work with. They could say, "You don't deserve a promotion; you don't work that hard." That could be something. Another thing they could do is bullying. So one of the things that they could do is, "I told you you're in over your head. You just don't make good decisions. You should have listened to me."

And these are a little bit dramatic, and I'm adding a little bit of tone to my voice. It can sound sweet as pie. I don't know if you've ever heard anyone sound really super sweet while they're insulting you, but I have, and it's confusing. It's really confusing, and there's a manipulation that happens with energy vampires. And again, some are very conscious of their behavior, and some are not. Some just think it's very normal to act and be that way, and it's not. It's not normal, and it's not fair.

And so we want to recognize some of these traits. Some of the other traits that energy vampires have are never taking accountability. They're always the martyr in the situation. They are classic one-uppers. So if you had something good happen to you, they have to say something good that happened to them. They need to make sure that they top the story of whatever it is that they told you.

Classic energy vampires are also ones that will "pretend," and I'm going to use that in quotations, "pretend" that they're listening, but they're really usually just waiting to speak, waiting their turn. Energy vampires will also downplay what's going on in your life, and they will up-play what's going on in theirs. And this is really hard. I don't know if you've ever had a friend or coworker, an acquaintance, or a family member that never listens to what's going on in your life but loves to share all of their drama, all of their worries, all of their issues with you and they expect you to listen. And this leaves someone feeling drained, unheard, and unseen. It feels very unfair because it is unfair.

Another thing that an energy vampire will do is they will find a way to manipulate a situation to bring something to their favor. And what I mean by that is no matter what situation they are in, they will always bring the story back to them. They will always bring the focus back to them. The spotlight will be back on them because they expect the other person in the relationship to make them feel better no matter what.

They're in constant conversation about themselves. And I think that this is one of the easiest signs to recognize is if the person you're in a relationship with only talks about themselves, rarely asks you about what's going on in your life, or will always bring the conversation back to them, they are very, very, very much holding and pulling all of the energy out of you. If you're dreading talking to someone, or you notice that you're constantly thinking about this person's problems or issues, or this person just makes you feel tired after they've been with you, that's most likely an energy vampire.

Please note that sometimes people are in a bad cycle, and they don't know how to get out of it. And they just are in a cycle where there's a lot going on, there's a lot of trauma going on. And maybe this person is not used to being in the spotlight, but they've been in this cycle for a little bit. They might not be intentionally being an energy vampire, they might just be unintentionally doing this new behavior for them.

And it's really important to set boundaries. It's important to set boundaries if this is a new behavior for someone that you love because something happened and triggered this response, or this is an important thing to do because you know that person is an energy vampire. Regardless, we want to have good boundaries in place at all times.

And not only do we want to have good boundaries, we want to protect our energy. And the reason why we want to protect our energy is because you shouldn't feel bad leaving a conversation. You shouldn't feel drained. You shouldn't feel like you need to solve your friends, your co-workers, your family's, or your colleagues' problems. If you're sitting there trying to problem-solve their issues, let's say a day later, a week later, after them talking to you, that's not healthy. That is not your problem. It is their problem to solve. And so it's really important not to take on that person's problems, that person's energy, the person's conflicts. It is their responsibility to hold their own junk and process their own junk. And that's a really important distinction for empaths as well.

I know for me, in my previous career, I would have everybody come into my office and just dump all of their junk on my desk to the point where I felt like my nervous system was going to combust because once everybody recognized I was making them feel better. Any drama that was happening, I would hear about it. Anything that was going on with that person on a personal level, and they knew that I could make them feel better? Oh, you bet that they would be sitting in my office telling me about it.

And so I have certain protocols on protecting my energy anytime I know that one, "Wow, I just encountered an energy vampire." One, I'll swipe the energy clean. And what I mean by that is if let's say, we're having a coffee, I'll imagine when we get up from the table that all the junk that they shared with me was landing on the table. This is an energy boundary. I'm not taking it in my energy field. I have some sort of energy barrier that's going to protect me from taking on other people's junk, even if I know or don't know that the person is an energy vampire.

Not everybody's an energy vampire, but as an empath, I'm very good at taking on other people's junk, and I don't want to take on their junk. And so I will imagine that there is a barrier between them and me, and anything that lands that they're talking about will land on that energy barrier. And then I'll just dump that energy barrier out in the trash can when we're done. That means I'm not taking home their junk with me.

Another way that I protect my energy and I think that this is really important. I have people in my life that I love dearly. They are energy vampires. They are not going to change. I love them. I have to accept them for who they are. This is practicing a spiritual law. This is practicing a spiritual law, which is the art of allowing. I'm going to allow them to be them. I'm not going to get my expectations and my hopes up because I want them to be a different way. They're not going to be a different way. And so I still know that I'm meant to be in a relationship with them, with boundaries.

And so one of the ways that I protect my energy is I'll check in if I meant to call them, go meet them, or connect with them in any way, shape, or form. And if it's a "no," if I get an energetic body, "no," I do not call. I do not go and meet them. I don't meet them for dinner. I don't do any of those things because either I or they are not in an energetic space to be in connection with one another. So I'm not in an energetic space to be in connection with them, or they're not in an energetic space to be in connection with me.

This has profoundly changed my life because I don't get caught up in the drama and the tornado that that person is about to bring into the conversation that I don't have the capacity to deal with at that moment in time. I also know that I'm going to protect my energy while I'm talking to them if I do get a yes. And I'm also going to be very clear about cleaning my energy afterward, meaning I'm going to clean my energy, I'm going to sweep my energy off. I'm going to stomp my feet. I might take some sage. I might use a crystal. I might use some sound healing. I might meditate for five minutes. There are so many things that we can do to clear our energy afterward when being with someone that has those traits.

And again, it's a conscious decision for me to be in a relationship with them. There are people in your life that I am sure you know they're energy vampires. There is a lot to deal with, but you still love them, you still care about them, and you're clear you're still supposed to be in a relationship with them. These are really helpful tools.

Now let's say you are in a relationship with an energy vampire, and you are like, "No way, I can't do this anymore." Then it's time to cut ties. It's time to let go of the relationship. Because there are moments in time in your life that present themselves to you that will allow you to break cycles, will allow you to up level, will allow you to create a new reality. And sometimes those opportunities are breaking up with a relationship that's no longer serving you. And when I say breaking up with a relationship, it could be romantic, it could be friendship, it could be a colleague, it could be work. Breaking up is hard. And setting boundaries can sometimes feel really, really challenging. But you deserve not to give away your energy or have someone feed on your energy.

You deserve to feel good. You deserve not to have to process someone else's trauma or deal with their criticism, or their bullying, or their one-upping or intimidation. You don't deserve that. And so if you are encountering someone that you're getting a very clear it's time for me to not be in a relationship. And you'll know if you're not supposed to be in a relationship with them if you're in avoidance or you feel like absolute garbage or dirt or crud after you're done talking to them. You might feel extremely exhausted.

These are signs that they're feeding off your energy because you're a good person. You're kind, you're compassionate, you're maybe a people pleaser, you're an empath, you're sensitive. These are all signs that they recognize, and they will continue to take until you put a boundary up or you cut ties. So it's totally up to you what that relationship looks like. But it's really, really important. You can also take a pause from that person. I do this like I've talked about this in our boundary episode. I'll put that link in the show notes as well. So if you haven't checked out that episode on boundaries and taking a great pause, check out that episode. It's in the show notes.

Taking a pause is very, very helpful for the person, and it allows you to establish new boundaries. It allows you to also understand how you need to protect your energy moving forward while connecting with someone that does have this feeding frenzy. And I'm going to call it a feeding frenzy because energetically, you're sending out these signals that make them feel good, and they want to feel good, and that's why they're in your company. Because you're a good person. And so you also deserve to feel good, and you do not deserve to have someone take away your emotional well-being because they need to feel better. They have tools and resources that they can find to make themselves feel better.

Now the question is, it's important to look at, too, if any of these things that I talked about being an energy vampire you're doing. How can you stop and pause and take responsibility for your actions in the relationship? It's easy to focus on things like, "Hey, here's an energy vampire", but hey, you might be that person that's doing it. And it starts with recognizing that you're doing it and then forgiveness for the behavior. And then starting small with, "Oh, I realize I'm hogging the conversation. Oh, I realize I'm simply just waiting my turn to talk, and I'm not really listening to what the other person is saying. Let me pause and actually listen to what they're saying. Oh, how can I make the conversation about my friend, my family member, my coworker, and not me? How can I find the good in what my friend just shared with me and not criticize?"

We all go through cycles in life, and if we've had a traumatic event, you can become an energy vampire in a very short period of time in a chapter in your life because something happened. And it just takes a moment to recognize that, "Oh, I'm doing that," and then shift the behavior. And if you can't shift the behavior, that means you need help. You need help talking with someone about what's going on with the trauma. You need help talking with someone about these behaviors that you're noticing and that there are impulses that you can't control, and you want to become a better person.

You can also study. There are so many resources. We live in a time of an abundant amount of resources. Truly, we have so many free resources at our fingertips. So if you are a person that is struggling with this, find the resources that are available to you that are free and paid because they will change your life.

Also, if you are a person that is usually the martyr in the scenario, it's time to change that behavior too, because that can lead to being an energy vampire as well. And it's a tough pill to swallow, even thinking about yourself in this light. But it's true. Not everybody out there has the capacity, and when I mean capacity, I mean the adult capacity to recognize these behaviors or the capacity to realize they're doing something wrong in the relationship because then they have to take responsibility.

And usually, an energy vampire does not take responsibility. It is never their fault. And it's important for people to recognize you will be wrong in the relationship at some point in time. So when was the last time you were wrong? And can you take responsibility for that, and can you take responsibility for what's going on? And so there's this dynamic of truth that we have to have with ourselves in all relationships because we can be the person that's always giving to one person. But we can also be the energy vampire in one relationship with someone in your life that makes you feel better. And so there's this yin and yang that happens in our lives. And so we also want to recognize those behaviors and traits as well. Regardless of where it's at, we have to have boundaries. We have to recognize, we have to protect our energy, and we have to look at and be willing to look at the truth.

So I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please make sure you like and subscribe. Share this with a friend. It helps more than you know. I look forward to seeing you at the next one. Bye.

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