Dealing with people can sometimes get exhausting. However, the effect is amplified especially when you are in the constant company of an "energy vampire". Similar to how Stoker’s Count Dracula only appears at night, these vampires will only call on you when they need to vent or are hungry for attention.
“All humans radiate energy, but empaths radiate a particular type of compassionate and understanding energy that can act as a delicious life blood for energy vampires,” writes Christiane Northrup, MD, in her new book, Dodging Energy Vampires. “[Empaths] don’t know where they end and another begins.”
Therefore, it's imperative for you to learn how to protect yourself from such parasitic individuals.
Become a boring and terrible conversationalist
Conversations are a two-way street and if you appear disinteresting, the energy vampire’s fuel — what Dr. Northrup calls the “narcissistic supply” — will effectively dry up, depriving them of the emotional boost they get from other people’s attention. “The energy vampire will ignore you and go to someone else,” explains Dr. Northrup. Since you do have other friends who don’t cause you as much trouble, this approach won’t really cost you anything and may even allow you to have a little fun.
Learn to say no
“Saying ‘no’ immediately is a PhD-level skill,” says Dr. Northrup. “So what you do instead is to say, ‘Let me get back to you.’” The phrase acts as a barrier to safeguard you from a pool of negativity. More importantly, it stops the problem at the source – the energy vampire itself. Ending any possibility of continuation effectively halts the draining process and gives you enough of an opportunity to disengage from the entire situation.
Confirm the vampire’s intention
Sometimes, “let me get back to you” and “sorry, but no,” won't be enough protection and you may still feel compelled to give in to an energy vampire’s wants or needs. Before you meet them however, ask a trusted friend what they think. If they’re objective enough, chances are that they’ll see the situation for what it really is: the energy vampire’s opportunity to lay into you once again.
Remember: who you choose to socialise with is entirely up to you, and you have no obligation to favour one party over another. A good friend is one that stands by you, but your empathic qualities should be treated as a strength instead of being exploited as a weakness. Even if the offending party is someone you’ve known for a long time, don’t be afraid to call him/her out for who they are and take the necessary actions.