Is this about the Twilight saga? No. The True Blood cast? Not exactly. I’m talking about every day people that we all know – emotional vampires.
Emotional vampires are your chronic “Debbie Downers” that suck the positive energy right out of you. These are the people that always complain at the office. They can never feel good even on their good days. They always have a crisis or an illness. Their lives must be in a constant state of turmoil. These are the people that love to toss out terrible texts, and their Facebook statuses read like a bad soap opera. And really, when you look at their lives objectively, things just aren’t that bad.
I’ve heard the expression “Misery loves company,” but there are those miserable people that actually thrive off of sinking their fangs into the first positive person they find; and for every upbeat comment, or happy remark made, they remain somber, critical, and just generally slumped over and sulky. What I’m talking about is actually a case of opposites attract. It seems people like me, who emit an aura of happiness, also attract misery magnets.
I’m a positive person. But me, as happy as I am, as happy as I choose to be, I have bad days too. But just like you choose which shirt to put on in the morning, you can choose to be happy (or not) on any given day.
I recently read a great book called “Thinking Consciously Rocks!” by Connie M. Williams. I really can not state this better than her when she says, “Some of us hold onto things longer than others. This is why some people allow problems to roll off them like water, while others dive into the problem and get soaked in a sea of negativity. We have to choose which emotions or thoughts we want to replay.”
Happiness, is a choice.
What these negative people don’t realize is that my job in life is not to fix them. I’m not here to boost their egos. I’m not here to rub some of my happy self on them and magically infuse them with joy. Even us positive people have our own schtuff going on, too – and I don’t have the time nor energy to be their unpaid psychiatrist or fixer-upper friend.
Maybe you can relate. It’s draining after a while. It’s like being a lone cheerleader for a losing team, or having a one-sided conversation. It’s like trying to inflate a tire with a big, fat leak. Expending energy to infuse this kind of person with even a grain of optimism is just futile. They are bottomless pits that will absorb every ounce of glimmer, hope, and goodness you try to cast their way. They should come with warning labels that if approached you are in danger of being sucked into their emotional void or their black hole of eternal bad vibes.
I have a friend, who, has her fair share of troubles. Who doesn’t? But she just refuses to see a light at the end of her tunnel. Some days the way she complains, I’d settle for her seeing a candle flicker from afar, never mind a ray of sunshine. She has a good job and a new house. I rarely see her and this is why – when I’m done having lunch with her, I don’t feel uplifted, I feel exhausted – like I just used up too much of my energy on someone who doesn’t even try to laugh or see the bright side of things. She will complain about her hair and about her mother. It will be too hot outside for her , or she will feel fat. If it’s not that, everyone must be against her at work. Her head hurts, her eyes hurt, once she even said her fingernails hurt. Nothing negative would surprise me about this woman.
Why am I friends with her? Well, she’s basically a nice person. She’s a former co-worker that assisted me on past projects when I needed the help. She does have a good side. She’s just not happy about it – ever.
People can choose to be happy, or they can sit there and wallow in sorrow. Pity parties may get you attention at first, but it gets old fast. Crosses and garlic don’t seem to ward off emotional vampires’ weary worries – well, then again maybe if I ate enough garlic bread it would repel them from depleting my supply of perpetual positivity – but I’d probably fend off a lot of welcome company as well! Too bad these people can’t pull themselves up by their bootstraps at least sometimes, put on their big girl panties, and just deal with it.
When things go sour, at that moment you have 2 choices: sit there and sulk while being pantyless - or go out and get yourself the sexiest, cutest, proverbial panties, put 'em on, and strut your stuff like you're the top model on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show runway. I choose B. It's way more fun! (And if you’re a guy, well, wearing panties is sure to give you a good laugh anyway, so it’s worth a try!)
Draining someone’s feelings of being fairly happy is just not fair all of the time. Ask yourself, do you complain more than you compliment? Do you sulk more than you smile? If you answer “yes” to these questions, then you need more than a friend fix - you might need an outlook adjustment and realize that life, is for living, and it’s really not that bad.
It’s one thing to ask for the support of a friend, but it’s another to bring them down with you into your perceived muck and mire. Instead, grab onto that helping hand, and give yourself a boost. You’ll find that happy people attract happiness, and if you practice this consistently, there’s just no where to go but up.