Dealing with Vampires

Dealing with Vampires

By Mike Martin

Excerpted from Change the Things You Can (Dealing with Difficult People)

Difficult people live in the deep end of the fear spectrum of emotions fearing they will lose what they have or not get what they want. Caroline Myss in her book “Sacred Contracts” calls these people vampires. They feed on other’s negative reactions like sharks to blood they are attracted to fear, anger, and distress. It is their prime energy source. And of course they have to get it from other people.

One of her colleagues Dr. Judith Orloff, the author of “Positive Energy” calls these difficult people energy vampires and to deal with them she suggests a four step process:

1. Identify the Energy Vampires, and begin to evaluate ones you’d like to limit contact with or eliminate. Then plan at least one complete afternoon with people who give off positive energy and avoid the drainers.

2. Set Clear Boundaries. It’s crucial to limit the time you spend discussing a vampire’s gripes. But how you do it is just as important. Instead of saying, “You’re selfish and self-obsessed, I can’t take you anymore,” which a part of you likely feels, take a breath and shift to your heart.

3. Meditate. Sitting in meditation will ground you when you’ve been struck by a vampire. Try and calm your mind. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Maybe they will be gone by the time you open your eyes. If not, you’ll feel better anyway.

4. Visualization. When you’re with vampires you can’t get away from, visualize a protective shield of white light surrounding every inch of you. This lets positive energy in, but keeps negative energy out—particularly efficient for vampires at meetings or social events where you’re trapped.

Beware of the vampires that lurk in the corners of your life. They are waiting to suck the positive energy out of you. Don’t let them!!

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant. He has written and published thousands of articles about workplace issues for magazines and publications inCanada, theUnited StatesandNew Zealand. He has worked in human resources for over thirty years and has experience both as a senior manager and a union leader. For the past fifteen years he has worked with dozens of small, medium and large organizations in the areas of workplace intervention and conflict management.

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