We all know someone who sucks the energy right out of us. The person who talks endlessly about him/herself or who can’t get to the point. This person can make us feel trapped in one- sided conversations. Then there are the chronic complainers that do nothing to resolve problems.
Your energy drains because you’re not included in conversations. You don’t feel seen or important because anybody could stand in your place and the person would say the same thing. As for the complainer, his/her complaining never goes anywhere. There’s no effort to address issues so your ears get hit with the same stuff over and over.
Self-involved people get tiresome because there’s no meaningful connection. Vamps don’t reveal anything very deep about themselves. You don’t get to see their vulnerabilities because they use complaining and self-jabbering to hide behind like a cloak. It’d be different if the vamp opened up and said something deep like the reason he complains so much is because it hurts when he doesn’t feel appreciated by his boss. But when people complain just to complain, it’s like verbal diarrhea--who wants to stick around for that?
How do you prevent vamps from draining your energy? Vamps prey on those who’ll give them attention. Set boundaries with them: tell them how you feel and what you need concerning the negativity or the one-sided conversations, but without criticizing or judging the person. If you don’t, not only will your energy go down but so will your self-respect since you’re not taking care of your needs and standing up for yourself.
So you might say something like, “I have difficulty listening because I’ve heard the same issues a number of times without any effort to resolve them. What I need to hear is less blaming and more of what’s going on within you that’s so upsetting. Does your boss make you feel insignificant? Tell me about that.”
The person may not do as you request, but at least you kept your power by voicing yourself which prevents resentment. If you continue to get triggered after speaking your truth, you’ll have to decide whether the relationship is worth maintaining. You’re not here to change the person, but if you can’t accept the person as is, then it might be time to move on.
Copyright © Sho Aoyagi 2013
These articles are meant to be informative and not to be taken as advice. Every person’s situation is different and the articles may not pertain to your speciﬁc situation.
Also, before dealing with any issue with another person or before attempting to look at your own issues, it’s important to consult with an appropriate professional for guidance.