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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.

Thank you for reading! Tamara

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9 Responses to “Energy Vampires- How to Escape.”

  1. Helen March 26, 2014 at 5:11 PM #

    Thank you Tamara, for this list that helps to spot toxic people, bringing to the forefront of our conscious what we know already but fear doing something about it – with the possibility of the unknown ahead.
    Thank you also, for being authentic, human and vulnerable.


  2. David Sullivan December 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM #

    Excellent article Tamara, I’m glad you just reposted it on your Facebook site! I just saw a similar article the other day on Tiny Buddha, so I’m thinking perhaps The Universe is trying to tell me something! I’ve had to cut off a few people I’ve known for 20 or 30 years because I found being around them was no longer a positive thing for me and they were taking advantage of me being a giving person or just were not people I could ever rely on to be there for me when I needed it.

    My friends in college laughed at me 20+ years ago when I came up with the phrase “Trimming My Tree of Friends” in response to me cutting people out of my life at that point because the relationships turned very negative; I likened it to tree trimming, which requires cutting off the dead branches (the relationships) so that the rest of the tree can remain healthy and strong.

    I quit practicing that philosophy for a number of years, fearful that I would drive people away which would leave me alone; that included dating/relationships as well, which I learned to start doing again this past year. It was REALLY difficult, but I know in the end it will be to my benefit, and I saw what tremendous friends I had in a few other people who are there for me no matter what and love me for me.

    Thanks for sharing, your posts these past few days have really struck a chord with me and for that I am grateful!!

  3. Lucy Houston January 25, 2013 at 12:29 PM #

    That was a hard read for me. I’m going through a tough time with a best friend right now (of 20 years) where she feels I have asked more of her than she has asked of me. I think she is flat out wrong. I have listened to one million stories of fights with boyfriends, issues with dad, decisions about career. And I have gladly done it. When she puts an “i’ve done more for you” on me, my only response is to mentally compare what we’re done for each other – which doesn’t feel like much of a friendship. Case in point – last summer she suffered a concussion and called me every day for two months, with anxiety issues, concerns about finances, would her boyfriend leave her… I listened and talked her off the ledge over and over again, but not without some resentment and bitterness for what she had put me through a year before when she thought I was being too needy.

    So I understand your point about casual friends, but when it comes to close friends or marriages, I think it’s dangerous territory to start counting what I’ve given vs what you’ve given. I think it’s a lose-lose game.

    • tamara January 25, 2013 at 12:54 PM #

      Thank you for writing Lucy, but I disagree with you. It doesn’t sound like your friendship is a healthy one. At least not in this moment. It feels as though there’s a lot of built up resentment for you and unexpressed emotion. Until you clear the air and find a healthy balance, it’s not a true and honest friendship. While not easy, it’s moments and honesty like this that will define the future and the health of the friendship.

      • Lucy Houston January 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM #

        No, it’s not a healthy one right now. I wasn’t trying to suggest that it was. We’re actually not talking right now, because of this very issue. We did had a very honest, kind, two-way friendship for 18 years, but something changed when she decided she was getting more than she was giving. That was my point. That the very act of stopping to count out what you’ve given, makes someone else to stop and compare what they’ve given, and if you want to play the even-steven game, I think you’re going to lose.

        • tamara January 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM #

          I’m sorry Lucy. That’s a painful situation for sure.

  4. emmanuel nessia January 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM #

    Wonderful! May you be truly blessed for sharing this.

    • tamara January 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM #

      Thank you Emmanuel. Many blessings to you as well.

  5. sarah nean bruce October 5, 2011 at 10:01 AM #

    i love this! thanks for sharing it~sb
    ps~here’s something i asserted (posted) yesterday

    i give up what i don’t need and
    i am content.
    i give up material things & endeavors
    taking up my space & my energy.
    i give up toxic relationships & situations
    weakening my outer & my inner being.
    i give up impassivity & negativity and
    i attract peace & positivity.
    ~sarah nean bruce

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