← back


How To Handle Energy Vampires At Work? Spoiler: Forget Garlic

September 26, 2022, 4-min. read

Are you convinced that vampires exist in fairy tales only? You may be surprised to find out that this is not entirely true. And maybe you've already met one or two. But they didn't suck on your blood, but rather your energy and drive.

How do you know if you've just been drained by one? Simple. You feel exhausted after the encounter, even though you were full of energy right before. The most striking thing is a significant shift in your mood. Negative thoughts come to mind; you feel a sense of doom. You may feel pressure on your shoulders and your chest, and you may even have a headache.

If something like this happens to you once, it doesn't mean anything. But if there are people with whom this happens to you regularly, pay attention.

Increase Your Engagement Survey Response Rate banner article-1

There are many types of energy vampires. We can divide them into those who are like this knowingly or even take pride in it, and those who are like this unintentionally and unknowingly.

Unintentional energy vampires are most often people who are themselves unhappy and distressed, who make others feel they must help them because they can't do it themselves, or pessimistic people, perpetually dissatisfied and hurt.

Conversely, intentional energy vampires are often people who like to give the impression of their importance but don't do much themselves; they pass the work onto others, overwhelm them with tasks and their own responsibilities, and may also manipulate them or be aggressive and intimidating.

However, both have some traits in common, and these include the following:

  • They are often self-centered and relational,
  • They're talkative - they talk and talk and talk,
  • When they let you speak or even ask a question, they don't care about the answer,
  • They don't respect any boundaries or your privacy,
  • They don't respect your time (they don't care if you have time, if it's convenient right now, or how much they take away from you),
  • They don't respect "no" even if you say it out loud,
  • They don't shy away from taking advantage of the kindness and help of others,
  • They make others feel bad, including guilt,
  • Manipulate others into defending, apologizing, explaining,
  • Instigate and stir up conflict.
  • They like to choose their victims from among people who are weak and cannot defend themselves or people who are empathetic, helpful, and would never dream that someone might have bad intentions for them.

On the contrary, they tend to avoid assertive, positive, and socially active people with a vast network of contacts.

How to defend against them? Unfortunately, garlic doesn't work. But you may try one of the following tactics instead:

1. The first and most crucial step is to realize that right now, there is such an energy vampire in front of you and what they are doing to you,

2. If you can, then end the conversation as soon as possible and generally try to see them only, if necessary,

3. Clearly define for yourself the limits of how far you are willing to let him go and how far you are not,

4. Keep your distance within the encounter - both emotional and physical (you can sit away, move away, stand up to indicate the need to leave as well as to gain perspective),

Never miss a LutherOne article or e-Book: SUBSCRIBE

5.  Approach the topics of conversation optimistically and positively, naming opportunities and benefits, trying to infect them with your optimism - you will either succeed, or you will poison them and discourage further conversation (they don't want to take it in that direction),

6. Turn the attention towards them - ask them what they will do about it and persist in it, even if this direction of the conversation will hurt them, and they will run away from it themselves.

And of course, also look after yourself and your well-being, engage in things that recharge you and make you feel good. Maintain your physical and mental well-being.

  • Imagine that everything the other person says to you passes through you without leaving anything in you; let it flow freely outside of you,
  • Imagine that there is a curtain between you and that it lets through only what you want it to let through; the rest it absorbs,
  • Imagine there's a mirror between you that reflects everything back,
  • Imagine an impermeable shell around you that protects you,
  • Imagine that anything unpleasant the other person says to you can be enclosed in a bubble and easily unzipped away,
  • imagine that you have something in your hand that gives you strength and protects you (a stone of wisdom, a gem, a flower, a life-giving spring, a magic ring...)
  • or imagine anything else and create your own imagination because something different works for everyone

Ready to step-up your performance management game too? Reach out today for a free demo.

LutherOne free demo

Get the latest news straight into your e-mail