Instead of analyzing and dwelling on my difficult relationships and studying their level of Toxicity – I like to ask myself one simple question.
Are they an Energy Sucker, or not?
The truth is, it doesn’t really matter WHY or HOW – the answer we’re looking for is a YES or a NO.
(editor’s note: I suppose if the relationship is one you need / want to keep – you may want more specific answers so you can work through it)
What is an Energy Sucker?
Just as it sounds, an Energy Sucker is SOMEONE or SOMETHING that literally sucks your energy. It DRAINS the life out of you. (eek, sounds scary!) Ok, it might sound harsh, but in reality – we deal with these kinds of peoples and scenarios all the time.
The easy one: The friend who’s difficult. I’m sure you know the one I’m referring to (quick, without thinking, imagine a friend or family member that drains you! 1,2,3 – answer! – ok good.) They’re the ones that when their name pops up on your caller ID – your stomach does a little flip (even a little one). Or the one where you instinctively say “oh no, SHE’s gonna be there?” Or the person that after spending time with them, you hang up the phone, or leave their house completely and utterly emotionally drained.
This, my dear is an Energy Sucker.
Sure, we know all about those friends that drain us – we call them Toxic Relationships. But Energy Suckers is more than just a bad friend, or an annoying cousin (or grandparent.) Understanding Energy Suckers in our lives, help us realize that it’s MORE than just our relationships.
Here’s an example:
(my Louisville family members probably think I’m crazy) – but for me, Walmart can (sometimes) be an Energy Sucker. How so? The bright lights, the huge open store, the noise… sometimes it makes my head not feel so yummy and the experience isn’t so fun. On the flip side, a cozier library or book store is an energizing and soothing place for me.
An Energy Sucker can be a person or a PLACE… it can be a building (such as Walmart.) It can be your grandparents house (for whatever reason).
Here’s a more fun example:
It can also be an activity.
Remember the last time you called your Telephone company about your retardedely high cell phone bill? You then spent over 20 minutes pressing *0 for an operator, and instead kept getting connected to different departments only for your frustration and blood pressure levels to rise dramatically.
That is an example of an Energy Sucker. It was a situation, or something that drained your energy.
Before you get your undies in a knot – I KNOW that sometimes we need to do things because as adults, we have responsibilities that aren’t so exciting. (I mean, does anyone actually ENJOY doing their taxes? Except maybe my friend the accountant?)
It’s still good to know which activities drain us so we can monitor how much or how little time we spend doing them. Or, possibly delegating the task to someone else (enter: accountant!)
The first thing to do is….
You guessed it – create a list!!!!!!
Make a list of ALL the Energy Suckers in your life.
Top worst three people first – and then the rest.
Also include places or activities that rob you of your precious energy.
Ok, now what?
Now that you have your list made, pat yourself on the back for a minute because you’ve just taken the first step in taking back your energy. (yay you!!)
The next thing to do is figure out how to curb, or limit your interactions with said people or places on the list.
I read a story about this woman who had severe fatigue issues. She was instructed by her doctor to make such a list of Energy Suckers – and one of her top 3 people was her mother. How could she tell her mother,
“Hey ma, piss off – you’re an Energy Sucker!” – not really. The doctor suggested she limit phone conversations with her mom to 3 minutes exactly once a week. If the mother would start to nag, she politely tells her mom she needs to go, and gets off the phone.
It’s not a matter of being polite or rude it’s purely for the benefit of one’s health. Because if she WOULD stay on the phone for longer periods of time, all her energy would be drained – and would continue her cycle of fatigue problems.
Some Energy Suckers unfortunately are quite difficult and for a period of time, need to be stayed away from entirely. I have done this (and have had it done to me as well) and from first- hand experience, it’s extremely hard to do and it SUCKS (pun intended). If you do choose to stay away from an Energy Sucker entirely, you’ll most probably be seen as an Anti Social Bitch (or the male equivalent).
However, I firmly believe it’s important and crucial in the name of good long term health.
Well, my dear readers I hope you enjoyed Energy Suckers: 101.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day (a week late )