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Energy Vampires- How to Escape.

Toxic people are not only energetically draining, they have a direct effect on our success and happiness.  Let’s face it, we are all vibrational beings. Surrounding ourselves with high vibrational, positive people, propels us onward and upward, raising the bar in life for us all to match.  When we slum it around low vibrational, negative people, we’re pulled down.  As my dad used to say, “water seeks it’s own level.”

Being a a loving compassionate person has nothing to do with slumming it vibrationally.

Where this dynamic sneaks up on us is in the realm of friendships.  As we mature and experience life, we naturally grow and evolve, which means that our friendships must also adapt. Sadly, sometimes it’s necessary to call a weed a weed in the garden of our friendships and do a little pruning. While it’s admirable to have life long friendships, the truth is, people change. Not everyone wants to take responsibility for the life they’re living and when toxic friends aren’t happy, they tend to pull everyone around them down too.

This isn’t about the friend that goes through a rough spot and needs some extra time and attention, it’s about the overview of your entire friendship. Has it been a back and forth volley or a one way serve? If you have a huge heart and you’re a loving person, it’s easy to ignore the signs, but toxic friends are easy to spot once you know what to look for.

So ask yourself:

1. Are you exhausted after spending time with them? Give them an inch and they’ll take 9 million miles. You know who I’m talking about, what starts as an innocuous conversation ends with your feeling tired and drained. What happened? A brief conversation with them happened. Spend time at the water cooler sharing small talk and suddenly you’re ready for a nap. Talk to another mom on the school yard for 10 minutes and you’re ready to put yourself down for the day.

2. Are you unable to fit a word in edgewise? You know who I’m talking about: the phone call when you find yourself uh huh’ing repeatedly without actually having a conversation. Your friend goes negative on you and suddenly you’re listening to their list of woes in life and acting as a stand in therapist. This isn’t about a friend in need or one going through transition, it’s about those people who talk at you rather than with you- all of the time.  Admittedly it can be hard to stay in touch with how you’re feeling as toxic friends can be sneaky and subtle, but when someone wants to complain instead of problem solve, pull out your sword and start trimming your time with them.

3. Speaking of time, are people respecting yours? Are you? Some people will drone on and on even when you’ve said you’re busy and can’t talk right now. In these times a sharper sword is needed. This is your time and ultimately your life, and right now it’s being filled with someone else’s sloppy boundaries.

4. How are you feeling ? The biggest tool in your bag IS your body. When you silently scan your body while talking to someone, you’ll either feel relaxed and in the moment, or you’ll be clenching something. If you’re holding your breath and looking desperately for a way to break into their long-winded speech, you are being talked at and sucked dry. This isn’t a sign of a healthy friendship. Time with a healthy friend should leave you smiling, inspired and feeling full and happy.

5. Are you caught in the gossip trap? Gossip might make you feel bonded to a friend, but it’s draining. Participating in gossip wilts your petals faster than any toxic friend could on their own because once you spill their gossip, you’re the one left holding the empty bag feeling terrible. Avoid gossips at all costs by closing the door on people in your life that love to do it. Chances are they will eventually gossip about you anyways, so protect yourself.

6. Do you withhold positive news from them so they aren’t jealous? True friends are happy when your life is going well. Toxic friends are jealous and will compare their own life to yours instead of celebrating your wins. Time disrespecting, constant negativity, gossiping, complaining rather than problem solving, jealousy, and routinely taking instead of giving are toxic behaviors for which boundaries were invented.

Clearing your life of toxic friendships takes courage, but if you trust your heart, time eventually delivers like minded people into your life – And that my friend, is well worth the wait.

Now let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.  Can you think of one person in your life who you need to take some energetic distance from?  What action can you take to slowly back away without drama?

Photo via Flickr Bonnie

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