This blog post was inspired by The Empath’s Survival Guide by Judith Orloff. I will highlight some things I learnt from the book and will be adding my own 2 cents.
As sensitive people, we have to protect our energy from the exhausting feeling of being drained all the time as draining people are everywhere – we can encounter energy vampires in relationships we have them in our friendship circles, at work, at church and even in our respective families. You will need to learn how to adapt by protecting your energy field from different types of toxic personalities. I will uncover loads of helpful tips for sensitive people or HSP (highly sensitive person) on protecting your energy from the different archetypes of chakra thieves.
Why it is important to protect your energy
If you are wondering why you feel depressed all of a sudden with almost a lack of motivation in the seemingly mundane activities you partake in on a daily basis
If you’ve been called sensitive all your life then you are likely the type of person who can’t help but absorb other people’s emotions. It is imperative to protect yourself as a sensitive person if you are to put a stop to allowing other people’s moods/ energy affect yours.
‘Spend time with people who add to your life’.
It took me a while to really grasp the context of this quote and to let it sink in. But I can wholeheartedly say that I have reached a point in my life where all I do is to put energy back into myself, from the food I eat even down to the work I choose to do and so I ask you, if someone is in your life and the cons outweigh the pros what the hell are they there for?!
I am not looking for people who just want to add drama/judgements/insecurities into my life or people who are only concerned with taking, you have to be willing to pour back into me, you have to add positivity, be uplifting and show genuine interest in me as well, otherwise, I’m GOOD.
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by assholesSigmund freud
To all the sensitive people out there who have been in serial one-sided relationships, this one is for you.
I see you. Always willing to give. Innate need to help. There to offer up a listening ear, hell you’re always the one listening. You are always the one encouraging and supporting but when it’s your turn it’s crickets.
What’s worse is that these people leave you feeling depleted and empty than you were, to begin with. You feel as though someone has walked in on your personal space, taken what they needed and left.
The bottom line is you feel USED and have a desperate need to recharge, you might not even be aware of this but here are the signs you have just been in an unsavoury situation with an energy vampire.
How to know if someone is draining your energy
- You are on an emotional hangover and it feels like it will take days to recover.
- Low energy and have lost your mojo for life OVERNIGHT. You might feel tired and want to go to sleep or just involve yourself in mindless activities like scrolling on your phone or binge watching TV
- You get constant headaches seemingly out if nowhere
- Your mood shifts to negative so to feel better you emotionally eat. Your body starts to crave carbs and sugar
- They make you feel sick because of how drained you feel
- Energy vampires don’t make you feel truly seen or heard leaving you feeling depressed
- You wonder if you are good enough and have suddenly become more doubtful and critical overnight
- You experience negative emotions like anger when you are usually a happy person.
- There is a feeling of shame, feeling controlled or judged after spending time with them
Ultimately spending time with negative people leaves you vibrating at a lower frequency tampering the rate at which you can manifest that which you want in your life because you are left with more negativity.
No amount of unconditional, unselfish love will ever be enough to unlock their empathy and love for you, some people are just not capable of loving wholeheartedly.
You will know the people that feed your soul… because you will feel good after spending time with them.Denise Linn
Why empaths attract narcissists
Empaths love people and want to see the best in them always. They choose to always put themselves in other people’s shoes, it’s second nature to always try to understand the other person’s perspective.
They are the type to be introspective to fix any issues in a relationship because they crave harmony and they like the people around them to feel good and happy.
That’s probably why empaths tend to attract people who are narcissistic, they are aware of the kind and giving nature of empathetic people.
You also have the ability to make other people feel good, comfortable, listened to ,cared for and so it’s no surprise that people want to be around you, including people who want to take advantage of that.
The problem with allowing unempathic people in to your life is that you expect them to be like you but unfortunately thats where you set yourself up for disappointment and pain. Not everyone has the ability to really tune in to what someone else might be feeling.
Don’t take this the wrong way but trying to get them to understand how you are feeling is like expecting a child to understand how you feel…. it just wouldn’t happen. It really is a road leading nowhere but just a waste of time and energy. Keyword ENERGY.
As empaths or highly sensitive people we have to be wary of preserving our energy and if you want to know more on that keep reading.
I do not expect you to handle my sensitivity with care. This is my own burden to carry. It is a blessing and a curse to feel it all.favour – FOUNDER OF SELFHEALJOURNEY
What is an energy vampire? These are the signs
Types of energy vampires
These are the most destructive to an empath. Since they have no empathy, they have no problem just using you to satisfy their needs until you become of no use to them. When they finally decide that they have no use for you, they would have taken the best parts of you with them. They will leave you having nothing left to even give yourself, you don’t even recognise who you have become.
Empath protection from a narcissist
- Limit contact with them, if possible go cold turkey and go no contact
- Lower your expectations- don’t expect them to have empathy
- Don’t allow them to charm you into falling in love with them
- Avoid working with them
- Stroke their ego to get what you want
- If you are in a relationship with one, cut energetic ties and let it go because they won’t change for you
You ever met that person that uses anger to control a situation? They yell to make a point just so that they can make a problem out of nothing. Rge-aholics will accuse or attack you of something you know nothing about, simply because you offered a solution. They don’t want solution just problems, they would much rather have you listen to their problems because you listen so well.
It’s one thing to vent it’s a completely different thing to emotionally dump problems on someone else with no room for solutions and growth. If you allow it to happen dumping can go on for years about the same thing. They choose not to take responsibility and want to play victim and have you as their audience.
Empaths experience sensory overload with noise, conflicts, anger outbursts, loud personalities and it usually takes a while to recover.
How to protect your energy
- Maintain your distance, anything that costs your peace is too expensive in my opinion
- If you have to engage, let them know you hear them and offer to talk about it when they calm down
- Set a no yelling rule and be firm with your boundaries
- Don’t engage with their anger. Stay calm because they will try to provoke you. Be calm before responding. Don’t react. Pause when agitated. Take deep breaths before responding
- Use Visualisation to take yourself to your happy place
- Leave the room or ask them to leave
3. The victim
This is a bit similar to the rageaholics but without the anger. They just feel like the world is against them and they’ve been dealt the wrong set of cards and they need you to fix them. ‘If only they had someone to care for them and love them maybe their life wouldn’t suck so much’. I can sympathise with that but honestly you are not their therapist, unless you are getting paid for your services and time to listen that extensively then it’s not helpful to them or you really.
The problem with that is that they are so oblivious to the fact that YOU have some shit to deal with but they don’t care. They would rather ramble on with their problems constantly, and empaths would just naturally be prone to want to help solve their problems subsequently neglecting their own needs.
How to protect yourself
- Set boundaries. Offer them the option of talking it out with a therapist
- Keep the conversation short. Set time limits. Set limits with body language.
- Learn to say no to be the listening ear
- Communicate how you feel
4. The drama king/queen
This is the person that seems to always have an issue with someone. They are energised by chaos and because they are addicted to drama, when there is peace and harmony(which an empath thrives on) they will look for ways to cause dysfunction.
If they don’t have fights, altercations with someone they will be sure to make it happen, whether that is by bringing gossip into the drama mix, whatever it is they’ll be sure to do it. You can also rely on them to cancel plans with a laundry list of excuses. Their cat died this weekend. They came down with something this morning. “She forgot her phone at home”. “Oh sorry babe I just can’t today :(“. It’s exhausting!!
How to protect your energy
- Breathe deeply
- Don’t ask them how they are doing. Trust me you don’t want to know.
- Don’t react to their drama because thats exactly what they want.
- Set boundaries with your time and what you want to talk about
- Don’t get involved with them as they will drag you down.
- Smile and laugh more, its a natural energy vampire repellent.
5. Control freaks/Critics
There would always be people that give you their unsolicited opinions. Whatever you tell them they always feel like they know what’s best for you and it can come from a self-righteous place that makes you feel doubtful, unworthy and just plain stupid.
You will find control freaks particularly but not exclusively in the workplace. Control freaks or critics who make it their job to let you know that you are not doing a good enough job (even when it’s frankly not their place) and will derive an ego stroke by showing you how to in a condescending manner.
Having control freaks/critics can definitely put a damper on your self esteem. You are not stupid for doing things your way and no you are not crazy for having opinions. You are just being yourself. Don’t listen to unconstructive criticism and ongoing criticism about you because it’s not helpful for growth, it diminishes.
How to protect your vibe
- Stay confident in who you are
- Be assertive with your views, don’t try to prove them wrong its futile
- Tell them politely to stop criticising or attempting to control you
- Focus on healing your self esteem issue if their criticisms trigger you
- Maintain your distance. You don’t have to have a relationship with them
6. Non stop talker
Talking endlessly can be for so many reasons. Anxiety. Seeking connection. Selfishness or even Narcissism. Some people aren’t even aware that they are talking so much. While we love to listen to you talk about your life stories and what makes your heart sing, we would love to be given the same courtesy in return.
Listening implores attention, empathy, energy and time so having to listen to someone go on and on nonstop can be emotionally exhausting to an empath – draining to say the least. What’s worse is that the non stop talker doesn’t pay attention to non verbal cues so what could look like disinterest or boredom could be more motivation to keep speaking, and because we don’t want to be rude we keep engaging with the conversation.
How to protect yourself
- Make an excuse to leave. The “I need to go use the bathroom” excuse will always come in handy in this scenario
- Set boundaries. You have to interrupt them or just set a time limit
- State a request – I’d like to add to the conversation too
- Use humour to dilute the situation
7. Passive aggressive
Passive aggressiveness can be very sneaky to detect. It is hostility disguised with a smile. They hate you but they pretend to love you. It’s cowardice, like why can’t you just outrightly say what you truly feel?!. You know those comments that leave you questioning yourself “Hmm was that an insult?” “Should I be mad at that?” “Am I being too sensitive again?
Those are the ones to be watchful of. If you feel that way it more than likely is passive aggressive. I call it cowardice because when you call them out on it, you get the tired played out responses like “You’re overthinking again” “Always in your feelings not everything is about you” “You’re too goddamn sensitive”. They make you feel like you have suddenly lost your sense of humour along with your sanity.
Anything along the lines of sarcastic comments, backhanded compliments, insensitive jokes, eyerolling, being withholding or resisting a polite request is passive aggressive in my book.
Ways to protect your energy
- Trust your intuition
- Call it out. Focus on resolving one issue at a time.
- Stop making requests of them and accept that this person is not mature enough to rely on.
Grounding and Protection for Empaths
- Proactive shower meditation to cleanse the bad juju
- Use gem stones – to help ground you and remove bad energy
- Smudge your space. Burn herbs to cleanse the negative energy in your space
- By exposing yourself to negatve ions at home such as air purifiers, salt lamps, beeswax candles
- Get out in nature to enjoy its natural healing benefits
- Practise self care by taking care of what your body needs – a good ole bath will do the trick, visualise cleansing your worries and stress and imagine them going down the drain.
- Familiarise yourself with aromatherapy- lavender, rose, frankincense, juniper, sage
How to protect my energy from others
Take an inventory of people who drain you and people who give you energy -work, school, family, friends.
Stop having contact with the ones that don’t give energy or limit the contact you have with them.
Feeling ill after a conversation with an energy vampire? Learn to visualise an energetic boundary field that is seperate from you and others. This will take a bit of meditation practise but it does work!
More tips from the book on dealing with an emotional hangover
Affirmations to protect your energy
The goal is to cultivate positive and energising relationships where you feel seen and heard.
Let me know your thoughts on the type of emotional vampires you experienced and how you dealt with it.