Beware of Energy Vampires

Vampires are scary. They’re also sexy these days, if you buy into the whole Twilight/True Blood craze. I’m not a fan, but I can respect that Hollywood has done an impressive job reinventing the vampire image. Who can’t understand the allure of a becoming, dangerous type nibbling on one’s neck? Previously popular on Halloween alone, vampires now experience year-round intrigue, and, I’m happy for them. It must have been hard to endure such a bum rap for so long.

I’m less understanding of a different breed of vampire, a more stealth variety, often undetectable by appearance alone: energy vampires.

Without the ghoulish markings or gory, ahem, tastes of conventional vampires, an energy vampire seems less frightening. Don’t be fooled. Energy vampires maintain many of the same blood-draining, soul-sucking, terror-inducing talents of their spookier counterparts. I am unsure of the origins of their nomenclature, but I learned the term from a former colleague who used it to describe people who sap her power. Immediately, I understood this species and knew I’d witnessed their evil work.

Recently, an intern for my site reminded me about energy vampires and suggested we might do the community a service by posting ways to avoid their destructive behavior. For your reference, here are some ways to identify and, ideally, avoid energy vampires before they latch onto you and suck your precious soul.

Identifiable Features:
• Unpleasant, snarling, or judgmental facial expressions.
• Inability to exist in isolation. (They require energy from others at all times).
• Low or toxic energy emissions.

Common Behaviors:
• Incessant complaining.
• Frequent criticism of others.
• Debilitating levels of envy if others perform or experience positive behaviors.
• Disrespect for boundaries. (They need your energy and stop at nothing for it).

Recommended Precautions:
• Limit exposure.
• Seek experiences and people who nourish your energy to counterbalance any negative effects of vampirism.
• Never mirror the behavior of energy vampires to fit in. (This is the first stage of conversion).
• Use witticisms, topic changes, and general sincerity to avoid conversations with energy vampires that will deplete you.
• Be kind but clear about your boundaries; vampires are less likely to prey on you if they know you are strong.