Dealing with Energy Vampires:  Giving Yourself Permission to Stand Up for Yourself

There are a TON of methods available for self care.  That said, if you have issues that go above and beyond, PLEASE DON'T HESITATE to seek professional help!!

There's no specific order when it comes to emotional, mental, spiritual health care.  Being open to your needs and willing to be your own hero is the most important way to go about it. 

The notion of energy vampires (and no, I don't mean those pesky electronics that still drain electricity when plugged in even if they're off...although...) is becoming more well known as of late.  And I wanted to touch on it, because it made a huge difference for me personally.

Everyone knows someone who is a consistent drag to hang out with or talk to or just stalk on Facebook.  People go through things all the time, and being down in the dumps here and there isn't what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about that person that just wears you down every. single. time you get together. 

They're negative, full of complaints on how unfair life is or how rough they have it, unwilling to change or try new things, and completely unsupportive of anything you may trying to do.  They can often be downright rude and mocking.

You can toss everything you've got at them:  your time, money, love, unending support, the last piece of doesn't matter, nothing helps, nothing changes.  Except now you're drained too.

Obviously, you need to be able to recognize them before you can even begin to learn to distance yourself. 

Please understand:  I'm not talking about dumping a friend in need who is going through a rough patch.  And rough patches can last for ages...I have a friend who is now going through a divorce after 12 years of a "rough patch".  It can wear on me to talk her through some of this stuff, and if it gets me down too much, I just tell her I need to go and I'll talk to her later.  And then I go do some sort of self care therapy (which I'll go into).

I also have two friends who have mental disorders, although I didn't find out until after our friendships had dissolved into long-distance acquaintance-ships.  They were very trying, difficult relationships, and I was not remotely surprised to hear of their diagnoses when I did.  I am still friendly with both, and I live thousands of miles away.  I've seen the damage these disorders can do, and I can also see how important having understanding, supportive relationships is to these people...but it isn't always enough.

It can be tough and heartbreaking to let go of an old friendship.  It can also be hard to pull back from a new friendship or a relationship with someone in your family.  It can also be the most necessary thing for your own happiness and fulfillment and even your health.  It's BEYOND IMPORTANT.

It's twofold:  #1, you free up space in your life by removing negativity, and draining relationships, and #2, you prove to yourself that you are willing to do that work, that tough job, to stand up for yourself and put your own needs first.  And THAT is no small thing.

If you feel yourself being dragged under by specific people, do your best to limit your exposure to them.  Be nice about it if you can, but the bottom line is, if it's damaging you, it's not worth sparing their feelings.  They are not going to put your needs ahead of their need to spread negativity.  And they're certainly not going to be supportive if you're trying to make huge, positive life changes...and ACTUALLY SUCCEEDING AT IT.

By the same token, if I'm going through a rough patch and am feeling down, I might bitch and moan for a bit but then I try to cut myself off from people and focus on self care.  I know that "misery loves company", and I really don't want to be the one to drag others down.  Admittedly...there are a few people that I know I can lean on more heavily than others, and I often do.

In 2009, when I moved to Hawaii after landing my dream job, I was BLOWN AWAY by how much anger and jealousy my move brought out in my supposed friends.  It ranged from "Oh, you'll be back in a few weeks when the money runs out," to "I am way more qualified for that job, you need to give me your boss' contact information right away".  And that was just what people were saying to my face.

I realized very quickly after getting to Hawaii just how TOXIC those people had been for me.  It was quite literally like shedding a weight from around my neck, and I didn't have to do anything really.  The time difference and distance took care of it for me, and a lot of my relationships died a slow and natural death.  I felt better.  I had more energy, and was more willing to seek out healthy relationships.

I made some amazing new friends who were just so supportive I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it.  You truly attract what you need, and in some cases, what you put out into the Universe. 

Interestingly, most of the people who made the disparaging remarks later made a big effort to reconnect with me.  And I let them back in, to the extent that we are friendly online.  I'd learned my lesson.  My self worth doesn't come from what others think of me.  And I don't need people in my life who want to limit what I'm capable of.

Attracting Like-Minded Souls into Your Life

Since I started my workbooks and my website work in 2015, I've really wanted to find other entrepreneurial minded souls.  And it's hard.  The majority of the ones I've found are involved with pyramid type sales (often with fantastic products), but aren't the types of spirits I'm looking for...though they make for great friends if they keep the pitching to a minimum :)

I've joined a variety of groups online, even starting a few in various locations,  and have had some success with finding some great friends and limited support.  Since moving to FL in 2014, I started thinking about exactly what I needed:  people who I could count on for a sense of accountability, support, ideas that were outside of the box, and honest opinions on my work.  No clue where to find it. 

Standing in my driveway one day, wrangling kids towards the house from the car, my neighbor walked by with her dog Tesla.  We were friendly, always got along, but just hadn't really formed a solid friendship yet since we were still pretty new and her kids are a bit older than mine.  She surprised the heck out of me by inviting me to hang out with a group of her friends--people she'd been getting together with for like 8 years. 

It is called the Ben Franklin Club--and the entire purpose of it is to provide friendly accountability with goal setting in areas like personal growth, organization, family, learning something new, spiritual growth, finances, heath, relationships, and work.  WHOA.  And they're a great group of women, very supportive, funny, and have great taste in restaurants ;)  We typically meet once a week for breakfast. 

Facebook and are great places to search for local groups already in existence...or to start your own (Quick note:  I stopped using meetup because I found that my name and all of the meetups I've attended (with locations and times) was available with a Google search, and I wasn't okay with that).  I've had the best luck finding great friends or support in groups where I share some sort of characteristic; sometimes it's as simple as having kids or living close by. 

Also, understand that your needs/wants in a friendship (or even mentorship) are unique.  Chances are, you're not going to find ONE person who fits all of it perfectly.  And so what?  I tend towards play dates with my friend who still eats the typical Standard American Diet, so I can pack my own snacks.  I talk business with my very successful friend who got in early at an MLM health company.  And I call my other friend if I'm craving a banging shrimp taco!

The Art of Manifesting/Law of Attraction are HUGE subject areas in and of themselves...and I'll be touching on it here and there, with a bigger write up coming.  For now, I'll content myself with saying this:  if you're using it, don't be afraid to be VERY specific about what you want...while giving the Universe (or God or whatever term works for you) plenty of open room to give you what you NEED, even if it's not what you think you need.  

SUMMARY:  This topic got a bit convoluted, so here's a synopsis. 

  • Learn to recognize energy vampires
  • Allow yourself the freedom to let them go from your life, or at least limit your exposure to them. 
  • Then, when you've opened up the space and proven that you're willing to stand up for yourself, begin attracting new, supportive people into your life. 
  • Find some sort of way to hold yourself accountable to your goals, whether online, in person, through journaling, or workbooks...and any goal will do!
  • Don't worry if you end up having friends for specific reasons:  one person won't meet all of your needs.  Pick and choose what you talk about with's fine!

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