Article (March-2019)


Self management - Dealing with energy vampire

Manjistha Mukherjee

Designation : -   Human Capital

Organization : -  PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited, Kolkata


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Time, as they say, is money. Let us cross the line of tangibility and rephrase it to Time is value. But it is only possible if time is used for productivity, positivity and for happiness. These three components can add value to our work, life, and your loved ones and to yourself. But like all things, this reckoning needs some action. An action of filtration. Just like our computer firewall filters out the harmful apps and connections, we need to filter out the negative noise that surround us and feed on our energies. Filter them and act to hold them off.

So, how to find these negative noises? Well they are everywhere and there is a lot of noise all around us. They may implode inside you, pushing your positivity to the brink and distracting you from your purpose. They come from our external environment and usually brought in by physical objects or situations in life and of course by people around us. These people can be members in our family, in our offices, in our friend circle who are around us, are in our close vicinity and with whom we spend time either willingly or as per designs of the situations we come across. So it is impeccably important to identify people who take away precious moments from you and zap your energy by inducing non-value added interactions or negativity.

Hence, let's try to categorize the types of noise makers in the form of people around us and try to figure out the potent ways to deal with them. Learning to deal with them is an important life skill to stay relevant to the purpose of our personal or professional life as such people and factors will always continue to exist.

Speaking about people, when confronted with a situation, there are two types in this world. One with faith and the other with fear. The one with faith believes in a positive future, while the other (with fear) believes in a negative future. And while it is said that you should live in the moment, it doesn't mean that you should rule out the future - because every one of us, deep inside us or not, always tend believe that the best days are ahead of us. This is because it is inside us that we all want to grow. So, while you grow with the future you should consider which kind of people you connect to. We are bound to face both the kinds and there comes the filtration action.

People as Energy Vampires

1. People with melodramatic behaviour (higher aggression), and lot of appetite for gossiping, whining and complaining. These are the sorts that you want to avoid the most. These people will not even let you drive meaningful and productive time. It will take a lot of effort to tame them and usually that kind of effort is often not worth it as it will soak up a lot your of bandwidth. They are mostly "guilt trippers" who bestow guilt on everyone else and believe that they are at mercy of others and suffer due to everyone else.

Solution - In case if such a person belongs to your immediate family like an elderly figure, your child or a sibling you love who is not realizing the menace he/or she is causing to herself/himself you might consider coaching him or even bring in professional support if you lack time. However people who have been practicing this for a long time are usually out of the radar and best avoided in the interest of time and productivity.

2. People with unwanted ego issues/moderate verbal or noise aggression (not abusive aggression)/narcissism and who are desperate to prove their point without seeing the larger picture and without being solution oriented. These people could be higher up in the hierarchy or your peer or someone junior to you with respect to designation/age. They are more than often source of big noise to cancel as they prove to be huge time wasters.

Solution - You should politely and quickly bring them back to the main issue at hand and re-centre the entire point of debate around it. Be careful to do it politely as else they may blow it out of proportion and waste more time. Do not be shy or afraid to do that quickly or think that 'I am not empowered or qualified to do so'. In case if you really want to bring value at the table, please speak up meaningfully and with courage. I can guarantee you that people will align back their conversation to the issue at hand. In case if they still remain unreasonable just say that 'Let's agree to disagree' and move on as you should not allow an 'Idiot to bring you down to their level and beat you up with experience.'

3. People who suffer from insecurity or jealousy (the jealous bees) and are in constant need for reassurance and acceptance. They never genuinely feel happiness for anyone else and who pull others down to their level of low self-esteem. These people are weak (may be due to physical or intellectual capabilities or they are unable to take charge of their current situation) and often not too confident. These people if in your close vicinity may also be energy takers and may be a constant source of subtle noise in your life.

Solution - In case if situation needs us to be around these sorts of people and support them, we shall have to provide a lot of positive feed to them in terms of life skills, new and constructive ideas. These people may be handled very easily with a little bit of care and positive feed. If these people belong to your close circle at work or home, please do not leave them unattended as then the issues might go out of hand and lead to even higher noise and distraction. Also, when it comes to dealing with this sort, so not become over empathetic and take care not to get soaked in their laments. You may open your heart and create a big fence around it to protect it as mentioned by Danielle LaPorte.

Encourage them to develop fortitude, perseverance and resilience and step back as early as possible so that you can remove the role of constant caregiver.

In case if you are stuck in any such situation for few hours, weeks or months you may want to make a fundamental shift and start spending time more with people who lift you up, give you positive feeds, encourage you, are your positive/genuine critics (you will be able to tell) and make you feel happy. These are your sponsors, your friends who support you unconditionally, and your confidants, your family members who motivate you or may be your mentors at work whom you always consult and look up to with an iota of doubt that they would guide you.

Energy and time takers can also be a lot of inventory and unwanted things blocking up your spaces as you are constantly stressing yourself out to manage them, clean them up (unless you are attuned to stay in a haphazard manner), looking for them. Learn the art of decluttering be it your physical belongings or your environment. Remember, not only are you creating more room in your physical space, but you're also letting go of emotional baggage - a long lost photo of your abusive ex-boyfriend/girlfriend can be an energy vampire also.

The aforesaid practices are sure to help you focus as a professional, family person, a parent, an artist or an entrepreneur since these shall free up your time and energy for all good things to take the space.

The views of the author in the article are personal.