People who drain our energy

November 2, 2007

by Latha Vidyaranya 

We often come across people after speaking to whom we feel so drained of our energy! Perhaps we can call them ‘energy-vampires’! They keep talking to us endlessly about themselves and their woes and constantly complaining on somebody or something that they seldom allow us to talk in between and make a contribution to the talk. It becomes a monologue rather than a dialogue. In spite of getting bored and irritated with such people, we continue to give them our precious time thinking that we are in some way obliged to listen to them. S/he may be our friend, our sibling or our own parent, especially mothers, who go on talking about their past difficulties or their present poor relationship with another child or in-law or about anything else that least interests us. But we simply surrender to them and continue to give them our time.
 
STOP! We are in no way obliged to listen to them always! It is fine to give our ear to somebody who may badly want to share his/her difficulty to lighten their emotional burden. We are doing a good job by helping them to relieve themselves of some life problem that they had been suppressing all these days. In fact at the end of the session they feel so grateful to us that we were patient enough to listen to their woes and perhaps even gave a few valuable suggestions to overcome those troubles. It is perfectly laudable.

But not so laudable is lending our time to listen to the same old stories of our own kith and kin day in and day out! We have every right to withdraw ourselves from such people because we are ending up as victims ourselves! This surely is an abuse on our time! Please understand that as adults we all have our own priorities set and we need time and energy to reach these goals. We can not let someone eat up all our time and constantly weep on our shoulders. We have an obligation to help them realize that it can not go on and on and that we will not be available to them henceforth to discuss things that may not have any solutions and that we are all obliged to cope with certain of these difficulties that have no visible end. In fact we are doing a disservice to them by developing a kind of dependency in them upon us.

Once this is stated matter-of-factly the ‘energy-vampire’ realizes that each one of us adults is responsible for our own upliftment or digging our own graves! We all have to draw energy from our own inner resources and help ourselves out of difficulties or learn some coping strategies. They need to very clearly see that their continuous outpours everyday with us is creating distances in our own relationship with other family members. Others (our spouse, our kids) have an equal right to demand our time, all of which is currently being drained by this particular person. You can not let other relationships get damaged because of your misplaced priorities on this person’s woes. Please wake up now and keep people at right distances and allow yourself the precious time and space that is very much required for your own growth.

Latha Vidyaranya’s articles featured on RwB:

(Latha Vidyaranya is a Special Educator and Counsellor and has founded ‘Empower Counselling Centre’ in Malleswaram, Bangalore.)

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5 Responses to “People who drain our energy”

  1. Sanjay M Says:

    Fantastic article Latha, esp the part marked in bold went home! I feel we have only limited time in our life, and that time we can do so many wonderful positive contributive things, but if our patient listening is misused as a perennial drain for a brain dump, then we’re really losing out on all the other invaluable opportunities we have in spending the very same energy in constructive ways instead of draining it out! Thanks really enjoyed this one (as usual) 🙂 and will definitely try to put it into practice…

  2. Sanjay M Says:

    …and on the other hand it reminds me to be extra careful not to inadvertently end up as a fellow who is draining somebody’s energy! :mrgreen:


  3. […] People who drain our energyNovember 2, 2007 by Latha Vidyaranya We often come across people after speaking to whom we feel so drained of our energy! Perhaps we can call them ‘energy-vampires’! They keep talking to us endlessly about themselves and their woes and constantly complaining on somebody or something that they seldom allow us to talk in between and make a contribution to the talk. It becomes a monologue rather than a dialogue. In spite of getting bored and irritated with such people, we continue to give them our precious time thinking that we are in some way obliged to listen to them. S/he may be our friend, our sibling or our own parent, especially mothers, who go on talking about their past difficulties or their present poor relationship with another child or in-law or about anything else that least interests us. But we simply surrender to them and continue to give them our time. STOP! We are in no way obliged to listen to them always! It is fine to give our ear to somebody who may badly want to share his/her difficulty to lighten their emotional burden. We are doing a good job by helping them to relieve themselves of some life problem that they had been suppressing all these days. In fact at the end of the session they feel so grateful to us that we were patient enough to listen to their woes and perhaps even gave a few valuable suggestions to overcome those troubles. It is perfectly laudable. But not so laudable is lending our time to listen to the same old stories of our own kith and kin day in and day out! We have every right to withdraw ourselves from such people because we are ending up as victims ourselves! This surely is an abuse on our time! Please understand that as adults we all have our own priorities set and we need time and energy to reach these goals. We can not let someone eat up all our time and constantly weep on our shoulders. We have an obligation to help them realize that it can not go on and on and that we will not be available to them henceforth to discuss things that may not have any solutions and that we are all obliged to cope with certain of these difficulties that have no visible end. In fact we are doing a disservice to them by developing a kind of dependency in them upon us. Once this is stated matter-of-factly the ‘energy-vampire’ realizes that each one of us adults is responsible for our own upliftment or digging our own graves! We all have to draw energy from our own inner resources and help ourselves out of difficulties or learn some coping strategies. They need to very clearly see that their continuous outpours everyday with us is creating distances in our own relationship with other family members. Others (our spouse, our kids) have an equal right to demand our time, all of which is currently being drained by this particular person. You can not let other relationships get damaged because of your misplaced priorities on this person’s woes. Please wake up now and keep people at right distances and allow yourself the precious time and space that is very much required for your own growth. […]

  4. Anjali Says:

    You are very true Latha. Wonderful article. I keep reading your posts.Great going. Wishing you a very happy new year.


  5. thank you, sanjay and anjali for the appreciation of my post. now i have started writing in my own blog at http://empoweringall.wordpress.com
    you may please vist my blog when u find time.

    RK, i must once again thank you for giving me opportunities to post my articles here in your blog, which later gave me the inspiration to start off my own blog. i am grateful to you for all the guidance and support you are giving me.


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