But it can also depend on the people you hang out with. By finding out exactly which people leave you drained or who know no boundaries, you can avoid feeling this way in the future and develop healthier relationships.
Most energy slumbers (aka energy vampires, abbreviated EVs) have no idea what they’re doing to you: they’re taught to be that way, and during their emotional and spiritual development, they haven’t learned how to authentically connect with someone or whether to ask to one’s limits.
They may even be suffering from a childhood trauma because they then asked for or needed something and it was seen as something bad (or even punished for it). Therefore, they fail to understand that healthy relationships where both parties set boundaries can be possible. Many energy vampires only focus on themselves. They are not evil ‘strangers’. They are often people who just don’t understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them and their immediate needs.
The first thing you can do about an EV is discover how it works; find out what type of EV they are. By doing this, you will gain an insight into your own reaction to such a person and why you become so exhausted all of a sudden.
1: The General Piston
Most energy vampires deplete one’s emotional energy. Just look at any internet troll to see them in action. They say provocative things to elicit a response. With an indignant reply from you, your emotions are amplified and you lose them (along with your energy).
Your emotions fluctuate energetically like one big storm cloud. Your emotions create a lot of energy, get stronger and then pass pretty quickly. The EV is counting on this: they want to trigger emotions in you that cost you a lot of energy (that big storm cloud) that they can dissipate quickly and effectively. That storm cloud just doesn’t last, and just like any other addiction, the addict needs something new quickly.
It is rare that this is a conscious thing (except for #5). These EVs are in a low spot and they seek out your energy to ease their own pain or fill the hole in themselves.
This category also includes people who suffer from trauma or health problems (mental, emotional, physical or spiritual) and are therefore not aware of other people. It is understandable that you only pay attention to yourself if you have a trauma or are struggling with health problems… When you experience a lot of pain, it is difficult to focus on anything else. When you’re drowning in your life, you’re not aware of who (or what) you are, because all you want to do is find your way safely to the shore.
But in doing this, you are oblivious to what you are asking of others, how much time and energy you are asking. So it’s common for energy vampires in this category to seek support from their friends and others for their pain and not understand why some aren’t answering their phone calls, texting, or meeting up with them. Such a relationship is one-sided. The EV takes up the entire relationship and the other person is left not only exhausted, but also frustrated that he/she was not listened to by the EV.
Also in this category are many everyday narcissists and others who lack empathy or realize that their relationships are one-sided. If you’ve ever met someone who might have been charming but could only talk about themselves (without letting your emotions come into play or asking how you were), it was an EV meeting.
2: The buffet table
You’ve lovingly crafted a buffet table that’s full of all the delectable treats out there. All food items along with the effort and sacrifice it took you to put such a meal on the table.
This type of EV will see that buffet table and then ask for something it’s not on, like popcorn. It doesn’t matter that there are a hundred other types of food or the fact that there is more food on the table than they can even eat in one night, let alone in a month. They want something that isn’t there (like popcorn).
They don’t do this because they like popcorn. They are not satisfied with what is there, what has already been made and what they are offered. They rely on a caring and compassionate person whom they can make them feel guilty and take care of in such a way that they themselves suffer.
You’ve already offered them a buffet of your own, but they want something different. That’s because they want far more than you can give them in terms of your energy. They count on you having low self-esteem and feeling guilty for not jumping up and offering them popcorn.
Saying ‘no’ allows these EVs to focus on what’s on the buffet table, but they often don’t. They want you to only pay attention to them and take care of them, something they didn’t experience in their childhood (with their parents). They’ll be disappointed that you don’t have popcorn for them, as if it’s your job to take care of them (as a mom, dad, or anyone else), like a little kid who doesn’t get candy at the grocery store.
When you realize they’re trying to get you that role, you can put that guilt aside and get rid of the idea that what you’re offering them isn’t enough. That way you can confidently offer them the buffet table of who you are… and say ‘no’ to people who want more or something different from you.
3: The foot in the door
This type of energy vampire will often start by asking something simple or innocent of you. If you respond to that, they will demand more energy and time from you until you say “no” one time. It’s like they’re trying to get a foot in the door to gain access to you and your energy and time.
Sometimes EVs can build this up slowly, much like an employee at a company who has low self-esteem (or is afraid of losing their job) and slowly but surely takes on more work. Such an EV can also work differently very quickly. You answer one question, do one thing for someone, and then they ask for something big.
In both situations, the EVs try to access you and try to figure out exactly how much you’re willing to give (while returning as little energy and effort as possible).
4: The Professional Victim
This type of EV has often experienced the hardships and traumas that many people endure today. Trauma and abuse together have become a modern epidemic, and we can no longer cope with such trauma because we no longer have resilience and are no longer connected to ourselves, the Earth, others or the supernatural. In addition, we can no longer rely on the safety of someone who cared for you at an early age (a parent or guardian).
What you get next is that generations of individuals are continuously experiencing a recurrence of their wounds in a world that is full of unresolved trauma, individuals who feel alone and disconnected in such a way that is quite painful. If you don’t get the healthy connections you need in childhood, your energy will get stuck in that phase of life at that age. You may be thirty years old, or even sixty-five, but part of you may be stuck in childhood because you didn’t receive enough care and support to develop yourself.
Moreover, your childhood brain will always protect your parents or your guardian. What does this mean for someone who has been abused at an early age? Such people cannot cope with the fact that their parents were ‘evil’ and so their brains protect them from the truth.
Until this pain is acknowledged and processed, they will be stuck in a victim mode, putting the world (and the people in it) in the role of “villain”, with little realization that their view of the world can be quite skewed. (For example, they believe that there are enough terrible and bad people in the world. There are also great people and people who are great and terrible. Maybe they are terrible on a Tuesday and great on a Friday night.) This means that some of them are so focused on the EVs around them, that they don’t recognize that they are the EV themselves.
When you are still a baby, your needs and wants are fulfilled in a way that is exhausting for your parent/guardian. Of course the parents experience a lot of love, satisfaction and joy in taking care of the child, but it is a difficult time for many parents and that is not surprising.
If children have not been properly cared for, they will most likely remain stuck in that phase of their lives and not fully develop. They grow up to be someone who reminds others of this aspect of their lives over and over again. People who are rightfully stuck in victim mode (if they didn’t get what they needed from their parent/guardian) won’t be able to see that they are an EV. They only see this when they face their pain and trauma and accept that they do not have certain skills or simply that their parents have looked after them badly.
If you can’t see an EV hidden inside you, if you’re too focused on the EVs around you, or if you constantly feel like all the people in the world are one type (EV, “stupid,” a ‘sheep’, someone who wants to hurt others), it is a sign that you need to take a good look at yourself, change your view of the world and heal the wounds of your trauma in your mind, body and soul.
5: The Conscious Energy Vampire
When I talk about energy vampires, I always get a few letters from people pointing out that sentient EVs also exist. People who know how to handle energy. There are conscious EVs who have set boundaries and are allowed in their relationships to create physical and emotional bonds that energize them from the other. There are also EVs that are rare because they know how to handle energy in such a way that they can tap others without getting their permission.
However, people tend to focus too much on this category. It’s a bit like our obsession with serial killers: yes, there are such EVs, but by focusing on this type, you don’t see the other EVs that are much more common.
In addition, there are many individuals who give away their emotional energy for free, but who are also quick to step on their toes and get angry about a lot of things. It is not difficult to find someone who can give you an energy boost. Therefore, it is better to focus on yourself and setting boundaries, as you probably have a lot of unconscious EVs in your life that do a lot more harm than conscious EVs. See also #4… People who often worry about such things often ignore their own nature.
What can you do against energy vampires?
It would be perfect if everyone were given boundaries from their parents/guardians in their youth. Then you would have learned to ask someone for permission and most importantly, when to say ‘no’.
It would be even better if you had clear conversations with your parents in your childhood about the importance of your emotional health and your limits and that they are part of your development. However, this rarely happens. That is why so many people have to learn certain skills and set limits at a later age.
It is important to consider to what extent you are willing to open up and in what way. You don’t have to set fixed boundaries. You can set different boundaries in your relationship with your employer than with a friend. You should also set stricter boundaries with an EV (who probably doesn’t have or is aware of boundaries, as that’s something you learn through healthy and genuine relationships with others) or with someone who knows no boundaries rather than someone who respects your time and energy.
2. Boundaries and Self-Esteem
By setting boundaries, you have to start thinking about your self-esteem. If you have poor self-esteem and can’t see that what you add to the world is valuable and helpful, you will find it difficult to create and maintain boundaries.
It is difficult and at the same time special to learn how you shine and what you can offer the world. By thinking carefully about what you have learned, what you have achieved through effort, self-sacrifice, and by being willing to learn (this may have come automatically or through your education or personal development), you can take advantage of of that knowledge. You can then see when someone ‘wants to ask you for advice’, while they do not want to invest energy and time in their own development.
By being aware of such people, you can also recognize people who are seeking a mentor to properly navigate this world to a place where you are. People who appreciate your work (and are also willing to give you something in return, energetically, emotionally or financially).
3. Be aware of your energy and how it works
Recognize the phenomena and different types of energy vampires. Think about what their purpose is and what effect they have on you. By doing this, you can inwardly (or outwardly) say “NO” to their attempts to wiretap you. Trust me, they’ll find someone else to use.
But it is also important to become aware of your own energy. With my book The Shamanic Workbook 1 you can start with this (you learn to be more perceptive and you develop energetic skills to become aware of your own energy).
You start with the basics, for example by finding out what your energy level looks like on a normal day (you may have more energy on Tuesday than on Wednesday). You also start to think about whether you are getting or giving away energy (for example, if you give energy away without giving permission, you will become exhausted… Unlike if you give your energy with love, this is beneficial for both parties). In this way you start to train your consciousness and you get a grip on your own energy.
4. Realize that everyone is an energy vampire
This may be hard to realize… But we are all, or are all, at some point in our lives, an energy vampire!
If you focus on the people around you without seeing yourself in them, you are projecting or ignoring certain aspects of yourself. That way you stop seeing others as human, you distance yourself from them and make them one-dimensional villains.
You’re doing this because you’re in a relationship or something from your past, something inside you that needs to heal. By focusing on yourself, you can see why and in what way you assign a role to others. Only then can you stop doing that.
We’re talking about humans, and energy vampires didn’t just decide one day to start exhausting other humans. They’ve been through things, traumas, and they don’t feel worthy or don’t know how to behave in a successful relationship.
We all know what it’s like to feel lost or alone and just want someone else to give you all the answers. We all sometimes have that we look for support and that we have to look for it, but that support is then a bit one-sided. Some go through a difficult week or phase in their lives, which sometimes lasts up to a year. However, it is something completely different to have a very one-sided relationship with someone (all the attention is on you or on the other).
If you need support (and it’s traumatizing to tell yourself you don’t; an individualistic ideology that only exacerbates the trauma), then you need to reach out to your friends, family, and people who work with their minds. , body and soul and that can help you find a better place in your life. That’s basically what they are for! There are many people who devote their lives to helping others and who have experienced the same pain that you are experiencing.
By becoming aware of the aspects of yourself that fall under one or more of these categories, you can become one with those aspects again. (And if you want to learn how to do this, I recommend my book The Body Diva , which explains how to find your inner EV and work with different manifestations of it.) By becoming aware of this, you also learn how to focus on yourself and not just on the people around you.
It should be noted, however, that having compassion for others, including EVs, doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be exhausted. What actually happens is that you recognize what is going on in the dynamics of your relationships and you understand the inner work that needs to be done to set healthy boundaries.
Sometimes “no” is the best thing to say to someone. This is of course more difficult when it comes to more difficult dynamics, such as an abusive relationship, the relationship between an employer and employee, and the relationship between two family members. In those cases, clear recognition is still needed, but the difficulty and power dynamics of such a relationship must also be considered.
At such times, by setting healthy boundaries, you can realize that certain people are too toxic to keep in your life. This realization, the acceptance and the sadness that comes with it are helpful. You may desire healthy boundaries or a healthy relationship, but that doesn’t mean the other person can or will offer you that.
But by standing up for yourself, rather than adjusting to others, and making clear, mature decisions about what you do or don’t want in your life or what you are willing of yourself to give, you can grow. and accept that you can only change yourself and not others. Only by looking at yourself and your inner self, you will find the strength and you can confidently be strong in maintaining your limits.