Energy, QI, life force, kundalini. Call it what you will but know that we are all energetic beings, divine in nature, lit with some heavenly spark, having a physical experience for our own personal reasons. Over time, and after dulling experiences, the spark becomes more dim, less bright, and altogether hidden. The trick to working the karmic system in your favor is to face your karma head on while not losing your energy. It is a game, a match of chess, and strategic planning is required to both resolve your karmic debt and not go energetically bankrupt in the process. Choosing just one or the other won’t work — you need to do both to beat the system.
There are certain personality types who zap energy from others — because they cannot generate energy themselves (they haven’t learned how to so they get a “feel good” peptide high off of negativity) and because they feel powerful when they steal it and leave others in the “red”. I’ve spoken before about the empathic vs. narcissistic spectrum. There exists a range or scale of sorts that helps us understand the people around us and their natural energetic “temperament”, if you will. On the far left side of the spectrum are empathic or highly sensitive people who posses a good heart and good intention (they don’t have to be shy or lack confidence but I think of these people as meek). On the far right side of the spectrum are narcissistic personalities who thrive on invoking harm, chaos, and pain in others. Somewhere in the middle of the range are people who are not empathic but also not deviant or altogether toxic. We are all on varying degrees of this spectrum and this will also change over time as we learn our life lessons.
To the far left of this scale are the (empathic) people who were never taught how to protect their own energy. It has always been stolen, usurped, and forced into hiding. This leaves them feeling powerless in their lives, emotions, and bodies because their energy has not been encouraged to expand and be exposed for appreciation. To the far right are the people who have trained their neural pathways to thrive on energy stealing, power taking, and oppression. They create devious scenarios that invoke fear, shame, resentment, anger, and confusion to trap empaths in cyclical stress cycles that they can then siphon. In working with enough empathic clients over the years, I can spot these patterns immediately and know that unless something is done about it, it will leave the empathic client feeling sick, stressed, and drained. But there is another element to the energy vampire phenomenon that, once you learn about, will come in very handy when learning to identify and avoid these people’s tactics. The secret is: they lay traps.
Empathic people are attracted to beautiful things. They love love, art, happiness, joy, togetherness, nature, spirituality or religion, philosophy, music, smiles, laughs, and well, good energy. An empathic person may not look around a room to see who all has entered but they know who is there based on how the people around them make them feel. They know beauty when they feel it and they are attracted to things like them: things with good energy.
One would think a narcissistic person or energy vampire would only seem negative, horrible, and mean from the exterior. But these people have learned to become beautiful, at least for a time — to project a good energy, to seem empathetic, caring, and kind, just long enough to rope you in. Once an empath has been roped in, it is highly unlikely they will be able to overcome the cognitive dissonance that ensues (without any help, that is). It’s a matter of “this person’s energy felt good at first but now they don’t treat me well, or they make me feel drained in their presence. It must be my interpretation. They must still be a good person.” How many times have you had that experience? My guess is many.
I’ll give you an example. A few years ago I was in a non-work-related meeting with about twenty other people. A long-time friend came and sat down next to me. We had known each other for some time and while we weren’t super close, our families were and I felt she was someone I could trust. We had shared conversations, food, and our kids played together often. She was fun, talkative, and helpful, so I downplayed that she was also judgmental, inserted herself into my relationship at times, and never seemed to listen to me when we spoke. I also had to affirm her reality — nodding in agreement with everything she said and if I expressed any difference of opinion, she acted more like a disapproving parent or judge and jury rather than open friend. She was both things at once and I had never realized I needed to reconcile this. I had pushed the bad things into my subconscious mind while I played up the good. I had never admitted to myself how I truly felt around her.
In the room full of empty seats, she sat down next to me and looked at me and nodded, while I smiled at her and said hello. Then she bowed down to her phone, staring at it for a good 15 minutes without saying a word. As she sat next to me, I began to feel the energetic power struggle. She wanted to take and I did not feel good about giving but felt I had no option. I had always given to her, why and how would I stop now? The problem was, I was already very sick and didn’t have any energy to give. She didn’t “ask” permission, but she zapped me and when she walked away without saying a word. I felt powerless, used, and like a dead battery. “She just recharged herself” I thought. I was just coming into my empathic abilities at that time so I wasn’t even sure what this meant but I knew I was suddenly so drained and stressed while she sat next to me. It’s about the subconscious power struggles.
You see, when it comes to energy, empathic people expect a give and take, a please and thank you, a “does this work for you too?”. It surprises us when people just do as they please without an energetic compromise of sorts. If you want to take something, you ask first, then wait for the answer. If the answer is no, you respect it. This comes naturally to an empath. If you’re not energetically sensitive, it will be hard to understand how someone could feel this without imaging it. But if you are empathic, you will know exactly what I mean. You feel you must oblige someone else’s energy demands. You give, they receive. You feel used in the presence of certain others — as if they were taking without asking. That’s because they are.
In that example, the “beauty” of my friend caused me to overlook her energy vamping because I was in too much cognitive dissonance about what was happening. I wanted to like her but I subconsciously felt powerless around her. Only when I reconciled how I truly felt in her presence could I see the beauty was not enough to make me stick around. The beauty was a facade that keep me close as a battery charger for her.
In many cases, the “beautiful” thing is that energy vampires can actually present as highly empathic people. As an empath your initial reaction will be, “Yay! Someone like me” and you will feel drawn in. In my experience, they also tend to be highly intuitive (though as I have written about before, they are utilizing a malignant intuition — one that relies on groupthink, gossip, worst case scenarios, assumption, etc, rather than inspiration from their soul or higher power). Once you are reeled into the idea that they are like you, you will gladly give up loads of free energy to them. You will invest time, effort, and love. You will give without asking in return because you assume that one day they will do the same for you — except that day never comes.
It is sometimes difficult to navigate who in your life is an energy vampire and who is not. A good rule of thumb is: if you ghost them or cut them off, do they go crazy? Do they try to pull you in deeper with attachment, or stress? If so, no matter how empathetic they appear, they may in fact be siphoning your life force. With trial and error, and greater development of your intuitive abilities, you will be able to spot even the most sly of vamps. I promise you.