Protecting your ENERGY is protecting your POWER – @Terri_Cole  {CLICK TO TWEET}

In my own life I have a few people whom I love that are Energy Vampires. EVs can be negative complainers who more often than not see the glass as half empty. They can be dramatic and exhausting. They might use guilt to get you to do what they want. You may wonder why I stay in these relationships. Someone being an energy vampire, does not mean they are evil or bad. An energy vampire is simply someone who requires a lot of energy to be around, and who you may feel drained by, after an extended period of time. I see most energy vampires as being positivity challenged. It is easy for them to focus on what’s wrong rather than on what’s right. How you respond and your own level of co-dependency dictates how negatively these relationships impact your life.

Most energy vampires are not trying to intentionally zap your energy. Their life experience and natural tendencies have created their relationship style. If you are in a relationship with an energy vampire, it is vital to accept that you cannot change their behavior. All you can do, is take care of you.

Energy vampires can be extremely caring, charismatic and loyal. Perhaps they are friends that you have had for years, or family that you’ve known all your life. Since these long term relationships are already in place, learning how to navigate them is a good way to preserve the relationship and your sanity!

Check out my top tips for protecting yourself and learning to manage energy vampires.

1. Practice an Energy Routine

My good friend Lara, and personal energy guru, has been practicing energy work for over a decade. Lara has helped hundreds of people restore and protect their energy. Using one of her incredible routines before (and after) any interaction with an energy vampire will help you feel protected and replenished. You can access her work here AND here!

2. Have a Game Plan

When connecting with an energy vampire, it is important to have a gameplan. This may mean you develop an exit strategy. Setting expectations beforehand can help you stick to this plan and honor your time and energy. Mentioning that you have 20 minutes to catch up on Skype, or an hour for lunch before your next appointment, can enforce clear and specific boundaries.

Learn how to set and enforce healthy boundaries

3. Don’t Overcommit

Energy Vampires thrive off other people. Once you give they tend to take, and then take more. You catch up over the phone one day and they most likely will be calling you for a favor the next. They need a lot from other people and usually are not afraid to ask for it. Knowing your boundaries and being unapologetic about them can help you keep a safe distance and not overcommit to anything that may be too draining.

4. Honor Yourself

Only you can know what is best for you. When dealing with someone who zaps your energy it is vital that you honor yourself first and foremost. Recognize your needs. If you’re feeling low energy it’s important to respect that and respond accordingly. Breaking plans or asking for a raincheck may be necessary if you’re just not feeling up to seeing or speaking with an EV.

Rock Solid  Boundaries are a MUST with Energy Vampires via @Terri_Cole  {CLICK TO TWEET}

5. See the Warning Signs

If you are in a new relationship with someone and they are exhibiting EV behavior, you might want to re-think. Below are a few tell tale signs from a Mind Body Green post written by Jen Nicomedes. Jen’s take is a little different than mine but her descriptions below are pretty spot on:

Energy vampires can be your family, friends, clients, colleagues, teachers, neighbors, lovers, or even strangers. And they come in all types…

  • There is the blamer, who lays blame on everyone else without ever taking any responsibility.
  • The guilt trippers use shame to get what they want.
  • Jealous bees can never genuinely feel happiness for anyone else.
  • Then there are the insecure ones, who pull others down to their level of low self-esteem.
  • The fun haters seem unable to embrace joy. The bullies stomp on the little guys to elevate their egos.
  • The Debbie downers, the whiners, the short-tempers, the gossipers, the drama queens, and the list goes on…

6. Carry Garlic

Folklore would have it that vampires hate garlic. Be prepared 😉

(OK just kidding…hee hee)

Most all people have at least one of two energy vampires in their lives. Perhaps for you this is a relationship pattern. Or for others you’ve simply connected with a highly needy person. Either way it’s important to put effort toward the relationship all the while being true to who you are and what you need.

Below I’d love for you to share with me your experience with energy vampires. Do you have any in your life? And if so what is your best approach to dealing with them. I always look forward to connecting with you on my blog and on FaceBook, so don’t be shy. Here’s to an energy filled week and to always, no matter what, taking care of you.

Love Love Love





*image courtesy of Steve Czajak


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  1. I used to be a vampire. Not the one who sips blood or use people. I was nocturnal, and it was so hard having different sleeping habits than the people around me. I think I missed a lot of great things.

  2. Hey love!
    After reading your article, realized everyone in my family are EV. I had to move 100000 miles to get away from them and cut all communications to minimum but I still get sucked in every once in awhile. There are times I fell like a thanksgiving Turkey on the table…haha.
    Your advice should help…thanks:)

  3. Hi Terri, thank you for this great post. My mother has gone through breast cancer and afterwards she requires a lot of energy to be around and, even though I don´t live with her, I feel drained by. Also she is kind of using guilt to get us to do what she wants, and when we don´t flow with it, she moves from victim to offender. It feels like an energy vampire to me from a long time ago but she is reinforcing it now. How can we handle this without putting her down?.. because every time we try to lift her up she hides in her treatment. Thank you again!

    1. Hi Adriana, Thanks for your question. It sounds like your mother is facing a lot of fear. Going through a life threatening illness can be one of the scariest times of a person’s life. And with cancer there’s often fear that it will come back. If she’s resisting you trying ‘lifting her up,’ try meeting her where she’s at. One of the most powerful tools of transformation is acceptance, first and foremost. Remember that only you can control you. No doubt it can feel draining to be around guilt, so do some exploring as to what your boundaries are. Perhaps this means loving her from afar on certain days, and on others having a gameplan as to how much time your going to spend with her. I know it’s tough but I also know you can do this.
      And just remember this “Sometimes the hardest people to love are the ones who need it the most.” ― Laura Wiess

  4. Hi Terri,

    How does one deal with an EV that is your alcoholic brother. I quit speaking to him for 18 months because he was calling me in the middle of the night with his rants and was also abusing me although I had nothing to do with his anger. He had no respect for me being tired while fighting two stage 4 thyroid cancers or that I had to work the next day or the fact that I was on call for the hospital and had to keep my phone on. We are speaking a little now, but, he never wants to talk for the short amount of time a day that he’s sober. I hate talking to him when he’s drunk. I still love him. We used to be besties. Can’t stand who he’s become over the last decade. Whatcha think?

    1. Hi Mia. It takes courage to reach out, be proud of yourself that you did. The program I cannot recommend enough is Al-Anon, it will walk you through the ups and downs of dealing with an alcoholic, and provide support along the way. Also if you grew up with parents who were alcoholics ACA may be a more fitted choice. Look into them and let me know what you think.

  5. I think my wife is an EV along with her whole family. As an example, we have a low spot in our backyard which has now been there since the neighbors had their yard put in like 5 years ago. We do not have time or money to bring our yard up, but really the corner just stays wet and it is not a big deal. Everytime we get together with her family they end up discussing the yard for like an hour and they just go round and round about it. Once my wife even blamed me for not letting her sue the landscaper (the same guy did both our yards) for not doing his job right. I was just like “How did I keep you from suing him?” and she gave me an evil scowl. I try and stay positive, but with my own life and struggles its pretty damn tough.

    1. Hi Dave, thanks for being so open with your share. Take the tips I suggested into consideration next time your around your wife’s family and/or the ‘pool hole’ issue comes up again. As I mentioned to Audrey, you CAN take care of you, so if that means leaving the room when and if the topic arises again, then you’ve gotta do what’s best for you. It can feel to stay positive when you’re around people who focus on the negative, so it makes sense that it may feel like a struggle. Gratitude lists and perhaps a weekly check in with a ‘positivity’ partner are great ways to keep momentum and rise above. They may seem small though their affects can be big!

  6. Hi Terri, divine timing once again. After I had family over recently I ended up feeling guilty because I had the fight or flight instinct the entire time. I appreciate the idea’s that you have provided for me to consider before the next time.

  7. Hi! I had to make lot of Big choices those two last year. Vampires playing victimism to get my attention. The relation with my mother is a vampire/victim one and she doesn’t seems to step out of it. We dont speak since 8 years now. She doesn’t respect my boundaries. And now one of my doctor is insisting on getting me to past some test and ridiculise my choises and his collegue when not showing what he expect to see (keep control under whatever reason). I feel i should get another doctor. I dont feel heard at all. He even interrupts me when I talk… What would you do ?!

    1. Hi Audrey! Thanks for commenting. Remember that ‘you can’t change the behaviors of others but you CAN always take care of YOU.’ Check in with yourself and ask yourself what you need? What would you tell a good friend to do in your situation? Only you know best, and trust that you do indeed have the answers within.

  8. I love this Terri! It helps me to identify not just the EVs in my life but also when I have been the EV and how to not allow myself to be sucked into that space. My focus is shifted toward love, joy, peace, and enlightenment. As I am aware of that, it causes me to face those areas within myself and in others that try to distract me from that aim so that I can clear it. As always, thank you for your Wisdom.

    1. Talk about self awareness! Thank you for this powerful comment Karin, you bring up a good point that many people do have EV tendencies. To create more peaceful and happy lives, those tendencies must be addressed. Keep up the good work!

  9. Hi Terri,

    Thank you for this post on Energy Vampires. It was very enlightening for me. I have learned how to manage the EVs in my life out of necessity, but it was not an easy process. Sometimes I still struggle. Thanks for the insight!

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